Magazine
Courting Disaster

February 16, 2004

A right-wing coup is under way in the nation’s courts, which George W. Bush is stacking with anti-environmental judges, and the impacts on Western conservation issues are not going to be pretty. Also in this issue: National Park Service wilderness coordinator Jim Walters resigns in frustration over the agency’s neglect of wilderness, after the superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks allows helicopters in wilderness areas.

Feature

Tipping the scales
A right-wing coup is under way in the nation’s courts, which George W. Bush is stacking with anti-environmental judges, and the impacts on Western conservation issues are not going to be pretty

Sidebar

Jurisdiction shopping made simple
The environmental records of federal judges are briefly examined, including Dee Benson, Don Molloy, Alan Angus McDonald, B. Lynn Winmill, Michael Hogan, Edward Lodge, Clarence Brimmer, James Parker and Sam Haddon
Congress overrules the courts
Even when environmentalists win in the courtroom, Congress can overturn the court’s interpretation of an existing law by passing a new one

Editor's Note

In conservation contests, there are no slam dunks
The increasing politicization of the courts is creating a hazardous landscape for conservationists, who need to diligently oppose anti-environmental judges

Uncommon Westerners

Solving the puzzle of chronic wasting disease: Veterinarian Beth Williams
Dr. Beth Williams of the University of Wyoming’s State Veterinary Lab is a leading expert in chronic wasting disease who has provided some of the only clear answers to a disease that is ravaging wild deer and elk herds

Book Reviews

Tongue-tied in the Southwest
Ruben Cobos’ new book, A Dictionary of New Mexico and Southern Colorado Spanish, is an entertaining introduction to the unique Spanish dialect spoken in the Southwest
Calendar
Big cats on the block
In The Beast in the Garden, David Baron looks at our changing relationships with predators, focusing on the death of a young Colorado man who was killed by a mountain lion

Writers on the Range

Nation's premier environmental group is target of a takeover
The Sierra Club is being targeted by an organized effort to take over its board of directors in the name of animal rightists and anti-immigration activists
Why I'm running: Immigration is the environmental issue
The author explains that he is running for the Sierra Club’s board of directors in order to get the club to tackle the problem of immigration

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Utahns vs. moose; mad cow jokes; missile-site home for sale; Rancho Costa Nada; famous trials of lurid cases, like Scott Peterson and Kobe Bryant, don’t always bring money to the towns that host them

Dear Friends

Dear friends
HCN’s new book, Give and Take, pulls together our national monument coverage; Brian Erwin is HCN marketing director; corrections and comments

News

Park Service wilderness in disarray
National Park Service wilderness coordinator Jim Walters resigns in frustration over the agency’s neglect of wilderness, after the superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks allows helicopters in wilderness areas
Follow-up
President Bush’s budget will cut money for EPA and NOAA, give money for logging; Bush’s budget counts on drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and pushes coalbed methane; Modern Pit Facility decision delayed by nuclear agency; and Department of Hea
Mining may no longer be king of the mountain
Environmentalists are delighted by a new court ruling that says Gale Norton’s Interior Department abdicated its duty when it refused to regulate hard-rock mining
Ethanol takes off in the West
Critics say a new push for producing ethanol from corn is actually a waste of both energy and money
Owens River will finally get its water back
The Lower Owens River in Inyo County, Calif., may finally get its water back from Los Angeles, thanks to a last-minute lawsuit by the state’s attorney general
Salmon get a break from pesticides
U.S. District Judge John Coughenour bans the use of 38 pesticides near streams that host endangered runs of salmon and steelhead in Washington, Oregon and California
No place for pesky nuclear waste
The European-owned company LES wants to produce nuclear fuel near Eunice, N.M., but has yet to come up with a plan for storing the highly toxic, radioactive byproduct
Rollbacks on the range
The Bureau of Land Management plans to revise its Clinton-era grazing regulations, and critics say the changes will let ranchers ride roughshod over the public lands

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • STEWARDSHIP COORDINATOR
    New Mexico Land Conservancy (Santa Fe, NM), Stewardship Coordinator - Seeking highly motivated individual with excellent interpersonal skills to coordinate stewardship activities and support conservation...
  • 40-ACRE LAMBORN MOUNTAIN RETREAT, PAONIA, CO
    One-of-a-kind gem borders public lands/West Elk Wilderness. Privacy, creek, spring, irrigation, access. $270,000. Info at https://hcne.ws/LambornMT or call 970-683-0588 or 970-261-5928.
  • RECRUITMENT & HIRING MANAGER WITH WRA
    Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is seeking a dynamic, organized, and creative person with great people skills to be our Recruitment & Hiring Manager to recruit...
  • CLEAN ENERGY ATTORNEY (NM) AND POLICY ASSOCIATE/ANALYST (AZ & NV)
    Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is looking for a variety of positions around the West with our Clean Energy Program. Currently we are hiring a Staff...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HAWKWATCH INTERNATIONAL
    We are seeking an experienced dynamic leader for a growing conservation organization; $65,000-75,000 salary plus benefits; job description and apply at hawkwatch.org/executivedirector
  • FRIENDS OF THE INYO IS HIRING FOR THE SUMMER OF 2019
    Friends of the Inyo is excited to post our seasonal job offerings for the summer of 2019! We are hiring Trail Ambassadors, Stewardship Crew Members,...
  • DONOR RELATIONS MANAGER
    This position is responsible for the identification and qualification of major and planned gift prospects and assists in cultivating and soliciting donors through meetings, trips,...
  • STREAMFLOW RESTORATION IMPLEMENTATION LEAD (ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNER 4)
    Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen Protecting Washington State's environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. We are a...
  • SENIOR STORMWATER ENGINEER (ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEER 5)
    Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen Our Water Quality Program is looking to hire a Senior Stormwater Engineer at our Headquarters building in Lacey, WA This...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Do you enjoy rural living, wild places, family farms, challenging politics, and big conservation opportunities? Do you have leadership abilities, experience with rural land protection,...
  • MAJOR GIFT OFFICER
    University of Wyoming Foundation Haub School of ENR, Biodiversity Institute, Environmental/Natural Resource Programs https://uwyo.taleo.net/careersection/00_ex/jobdetail.ftl?job=19001001&tz=GMT-06:00
  • MONTANA LAND STEWARD
    The Montana Land Steward develops, manages, and advances conservation programs, plans, and methods related to TNC's property interest portfolio in Montana. For more information and...
  • RAISER'S EDGE DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR
    POSITION DESCRIPTION: RAISER'S EDGE DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR The Raiser's Edge Database Administrator ensures the integrity and effectiveness of the member/donor database by developing systems and processes...
  • DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    We are hiring a Director of Development Full time, competitive pay and benefits. Location: Bozeman,MT Visit www.greateryellowstone.org/careers for details GYC is an equal opportunity employer
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, KANIKSU LAND TRUST
    Kaniksu Land Trust, a community-supported non-profit land trust serving north Idaho and northwest Montana, is in search of a new executive director. The ideal candidate...
  • MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
    The Arizona Wildlife Federation seeks an energetic Marketing and Communications Director. Please see the full job description at https://azwildlife.org/jobs
  • 3 POSITIONS: ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, AND FOREST PROGRAMS ASSOCIATE
    Mountain Studies Inst (MSI) in Durango and Silverton, CO is hiring 3 staff: Please visit mountainstudies.org/careers for Assoc Director, Dev and Engagement Director, and Forest...
  • CENTER FOR COLLABORATIVE CONSERVATION DIRECTOR, COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
    The Center for Collaborative Conservation is hiring a full-time, permanent Director. Applications are due on March 31. Description can be found at http://jobs.colostate.edu/postings/65118 No phone...
  • PROGRAM AND OUTREACH COORDINATOR
    Program and Outreach Coordinator - Dolores River Boating Advocates, a conservation and recreation minded non-profit based in Dolores, CO, is hiring a 20 hour/week Program...
  • CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER/DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    Friends of Cedar Mesa seeks a skilled non-profit leader to play a crucial role in protecting the greater Bears Ears landscape. Experience working with government...