Sea lice are on the move — and they’re spreading, courtesy of fish farms (HCN, 3/17/03: Bracing against the tide). According to a study published in the British Proceedings of the Royal Society, wild seaward salmon passing a fish farm in the Pacific were 73 times more likely to contract sea lice, a parasite that weakens the fish, near the farm than anywhere else in their migration corridor. The study concluded that "amplified sea lice infestations due to salmon farms are a potential limiting factor to wild salmonid conservation."

Ain’t democracy great? Last November, Colorado’s citizens voted to implement a renewable energy standard that would require the state’s largest electricity providers to generate 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2015 (HCN, 5/2/05: The Winds of Change). Now, the members of one of those providers, Intermountain Rural Electric Association, have voted to exempt the cooperative from the state requirements. The association’s 124,000 members in six counties voted by a margin of 79 to 21 percent to exempt themselves from the renewable portfolio standard.

New Mexico’s most ornery rancher is leaving the country. Last spring, Catron County rancher Kit Laney attacked Forest Service employees who were rounding up his cattle from public lands; he was arrested and subsequently charged with assault with a deadly weapon — his horse, spurs and reins (HCN, 9/13/04: Follow-up). Now, Laney has completed a five-month stint in federal prison — and is moving to Argentina. Laney, who has fought the federal government for 14 years over the right to graze his cattle on 144,000 acres of Forest Service land, told The Denver Post of his decision to give up his fight: "It’s a bitter pill to swallow. I come from a patriotic family. I’ve always believed that if you work hard enough, you could prevail. Now, I know that you might splatter a little egg on their face, but you aren’t going to win."

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