President Bush’s proposal to offer work visas to undocumented immigrants in the U.S. has opened a window of opportunity, and many are rushing to take advantage of it (HCN, 2/2/04: Immigration reform from Washington, DC). The Border Patrol says that the number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border had declined over the last four years, but has increased 25 percent from a year ago. The migrants may be racing to beat a planned June 1 beef-up of border security.

Oil and gas development isn’t the only threat to Wyoming’s pronghorn migration corridors; good ol’ housing developments are, too (HCN, 8/18/03: Where the Antelope (and the Oil Companies) Play)). The town of Pinedale wants to annex 28 acres that sit astride a critical migration "bottleneck," in order to pave the way for a housing and commercial development. Cathy Purves of the Wyoming Wildlife Federation hopes to convince some of the energy companies in the area to purchase the land as a good-neighbor gesture, and put it under a conservation easement to limit development.

Longtime conservative political warrior Jim Hansen was tossed out of the running for the Utah governor’s seat during the Republican party convention on May 8. Hansen served 11 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before resigning in 2002. Olene Walker, who became governor last year after Mike Leavitt took the reins of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was also eliminated in the primary. Walker was the state’s first female governor and the only female gubernatorial candidate. The winners of the primary were chemical-fortune heir Jon Huntsman Jr. and Nolan Karras, chairman of the State Board of Regents.

Outdoor equipment manufacturers, including Nike, Adidas and Columbia Sportswear, want Undersecretary of Agriculture Mark Rey — who oversees the U.S. Forest Service — to uphold the Clinton-era roadless rule. The rule protects more than 60 million acres of forest from logging (HCN, 7/30/01: Bush fails to defend roadless rule). Last year, the Outdoor Retailers’ Association protested the out-of-court settlement between then-Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt and Interior Secretary Gale Norton, which stripped protection from 2.6 million acres of potential wilderness in Utah (HCN, 6/9/03: How much is wilderness worth?).

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