The Latest Bounce


Proving that open space isn't only for white suburbanites, Rep. Hilda Solis, D-Calif., has pushed her San Gabriel River Watersheds Study Act through the House (HCN, 8/5/02: L.A.'s rivers get some respect). Solis' bill, which would study the creation of an urban National Park in her North Los Angeles district, could make it to the Senate by the end of the year.

It took a helicopter and 30 federal agents on horseback to remove 227 cattle belonging to Western Shoshone sisters Mary and Carrie Dann from BLM land in northeast Nevada (HCN, 8/5/02: Land or money?). Because the sisters didn't remove them by a mid-September deadline, the cattle were seized and will now be sold. But there's no word on how many federal agents it will take to find the 60 head still roaming the sagebrush.

Secretary Gale Norton has resurrected a proposed 1,600-acre cyanide heap-leach gold mine on BLM land sacred to the Quechan tribe in California's Mojave Desert. Norton has ordered a review of former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt's denial of the project. The tribe, with support from the state Legislature and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has been fighting the mine since 1998 (HCN, 12/17/01: Gold may bury tribe's path to its past).

Utah's Rep. Jim Hansen just won't take "no" for an answer in his efforts to sell Martin's Cove in Wyoming to the Mormon church (HCN, 9/30/02: This land holds a story the church won't tell). It became obvious that Hansen's bill to transfer 940-acres of BLM land wasn't going to make it through Congress before he retired at the end of the year. So the Mormon congressman slid the deal through the House by attaching it to a bill that would compensate Sioux Indians for tribal lands lost to federal dam projects.

And, just in case environmentalists weren't feeling gloomy enough these days, what with the recent rash of rollbacks and reversals of environmental regulations, Montana Gov. Judy Martz has a few discouraging words. She told a gathering of the Western Environmental Trade Association * a mining group * that they, in fact were the "true environmentalists," while logging protesters should "get a job" (HCN, 8/5/02: Montana's governor is a poor choice to lead the West).

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