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Know the West

When Tuttle walks, will they listen?

  Larry Tuttle, director of the nonprofit Center for Environmental Equity, left his Oregon home on May 10 to go for a walk - an 1,872 mile walk. The mileage represents Tuttle's impetus for taking to the West's highways - to support reform of the 1872 General Mining Law. "Pending congressional mining reform is a sham, and the gutting of the nation's environmental laws to release billions of board-feet of so-called salvage timber sales demonstrates just how far Congress is willing to go," says Tuttle. On his "march for reform," Tuttle will trek through Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming before reaching Denver, Colo., sometime this fall. His wife, Judy, says her husband has concluded that the environmental movement is too much in the habit of getting grants, sending faxes, and just trading information. "Instead of preaching to the choir, Larry thought it would be good to get out into rural America and talk to regular folks." Tuttle, a former county commissioner in Oregon and staffer at The Wilderness Society and the Oregon Natural Resources Council, hopes to show Westerners how environmental legislation benefits them. The most unusual sight so far was a two-humped camel spotted on the first day just outside Salem. "I'm not sure what kind of omen that was," says Judy.

*Elizabeth Manning