Magazine
'Sound science' goes sour

June 23, 2003

Federal scientists are facing increasing pressure from bureaucrats and politicians, and some are blowing the whistle on what is happening in their agencies – among them biologist Michael Kelly of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Also in this issue: Three Colorado towns have won water rights for kayaking courses, making the state one of the few that recognize in-stream water rights for recreation, and worrying traditional water users.

Feature

Sound science goes sour
Federal scientists are facing increasing pressure from bureaucrats and politicians, and some are blowing the whistle on what is happening in their agencies – among them biologist Michael Kelly of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Sidebar

Who needs critical habitat?
Environmentalists say the Interior Department has deliberately created a budget crisis, and is using it to avoid making critical-habitat designations
Are minnow scientists still under the gun?
Conservationists say Fish and Wildlife scientists bowed to political pressure when they made decisions about keeping water in New Mexico’s Rio Grande for the endangered silvery minnow
Off-roaders smash science
Pressure from ORV groups ended the temporary closure of part of California’s Algodones Dunes to protect the Peirson’s milk-vetch
State gets its way on a national refuge
Political pressure is affecting the way the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages its wildlife refuges, including the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming
‘Jeopardy’ opinions go the way of the dodo
'Jeopardy' opinions, only issued when a project could drive a species into extinction, heighten conflict between conservationists and industry, and also between the Fish and Wildlife service and other agencies.

Editor's Note

Hear that whistle blow
More than ever, we need whistleblowers to give us true ‘sound science’

Essays

Put another tank on the fire
The invention of the Porta Fire, a Forest Service-approved portable campfire, means that even in the middle of drought-caused fire bans, campers can still have their campfires – more or less

Book Reviews

An inside look at the hardscrabble plains
In Gone: Photographs of Abandonment on the High Plains, New Mexico photographer Steve Fitch confronts hard times on the Great Plains
Have no doubts, go higher
The anthology When in Doubt, Go Higher gathers thoughtful and adventurous essays from the Colorado monthly magazine The Mountain Gazette

Perspective

The Bush administration - Sinister motives, or just ‘veracity-challenged’?
As Deputy Interior Secretary J. Steven Griles comes under scrutiny for conflict of interest, larger questions arise about the Bush administration’s "ideology-dishonesty nexus"

Writers on the Range

There’s a better way to clean up the RS 2477 road mess
As it deals with the mess over RS 2477 roads, the Bush administration is trying an end run around Congress, rather than proposing legislation that would actually solve the problem

Heard Around the West

Heard Around the West
Spell-check turns drought to thought; space shuttle science project survives; wild horses having too many babies; joke press release; Silver City, N.M., trims own salary; someone in Basalt, Colo., takes on Humvees; and state lawmakers lease cars in Califo

Dear Friends

Dear Friends
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News

Colorado Supreme Court turns tide in favor of kayakers
Three Colorado towns have won water rights for kayaking courses, making the state one of the few that recognize in-stream water rights for recreation, and worrying traditional water users
Follow-up
Colorado wants to follow Utah in wilderness rollbacks; Mexican gray wolf shot by feds in New Mexico; captive northern spotted owl dies after release to wild; future oil and gas drilling could cause problems at WIPP; and environmentalists lose round in fi
Will offshore be off-limits?
California is trying to deny offshore oil-drilling leases, even as the U.S. Senate approves a major inventory of the state’s offshore energy reserves
Genetic engineering turns salmon into fast food
Transgenic "superfish" might be a boon for the aquaculture and supermarket industries – and a disaster for wild salmon
Is it a farm – or is it a pharmacy?
Farmers in Western Colorado are considering the benefits – and the risks – of biotechnology and "biofarming" corn
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