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Know the West


  A proposed ballot initiative in Montana would add one sentence to the state Constitution, "forever" preserving the right of Montana citizens to hunt and fish. However, that right "does not create a right to trespass on private property or diminution of other private rights."

The race is on for retiring Colorado Republican Ben Nighthorse Campbell’s U.S. Senate seat, and a Republican beer magnate and Democratic attorney are neck-and-neck — on spending. Leading up to the August primaries, Pete Coors had raised $2.17 million and Ken Salazar, $2.9 million. Most of that money came from outside Colorado, according to the Boulder Daily Camera. Coors supporters included the owners of the Sacramento Kings basketball team and the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, former Vice President Dan Quayle and an executive from Miller Brewing Company. Salazar received some beer money, too: Anheuser-Busch pitched $4,000 to his campaign.

Under state law, Oregon currently manages all its state forests to "maximize permanent value" — and at the moment, that means selling timber for profit. Now, Oregonians for a Balanced Tillamook, a coalition of fishermen, environmentalists and landowners, has sponsored a ballot initiative that would redefine "value" to include conservation and recreation values. If passed, Ballot Measure 34 would direct the state Board of Forestry to balance sustainable timber production with watershed and wildlife protection.