Conservation News Story Archive January - February 2001
2-28-2001 West Entrance Yellowstone road closed to snowmobiles early due to lack of snow. Park news release. The road will reopen March 1 to mass transit vehicles only. 

Wyoming House passes bill favoring methane drillers By Associated Press. Critics say this bill greatly inhibits public comments, including that of adjacent landowners.

2-27-2001 Supreme Court Upholds EPA in landmark pollution case. Yahoo News. By James Vicini. "The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld how the federal government sets air pollution standards, rejecting industry arguments that public health benefits should be weighed against compliance costs." 
Related. Score One For Clean Air Act. CBS News.

'Squaw' remains in Idaho. Panhandle lawmakers help kill review of derogatory names. Betsy Z. Russell Spokane Spokesman-Review. In recent years, the Idaho Panhandle has gained a reputation as a haven for racists. 

Despite the continuing racism, The Nez Perce tribe brings wolves back to the Idaho wilderness -- and reinvents its political future. Feature article High Country News. By Michelle Nijhuis

Writers on the Range. Does Bush understand the American West? By Russell Sadler

Wyoming State Senate kills bill to lease state land for residential developments. Billings Gazette. This page has had 2 major alerts on this. Thankfully it is dead.

2-26-2001 Conservation Groups charge "Grand Theft at Grand Targhee" [ski resort]. This ski resort is on the west slope of the Tetons directly west of the Grand Teton. The Greater Yellowstone Coalition's appeal is 105 pages long. I guess they found some problems with the plan ;-)
2-25-2001 Wary about wolf plan. Denver Post editorial. The Post argues that wolves won't return to Colorado until some of the opponent's fears are addressed and Coloradoans insist that their state legislature remove its blockade on wolf restoration.

Energy crisis has many regretting Montana's early leap into deregulation By Mike Dennison. Great Falls Tribune Capitol Bureau. 
Electricity Deregulation a disaster for the West. By Max Jarman. Gannett News Service

Air of accusation in the Flathead By Michael Jameson. Missoulian. "Talk show host's targeting of 'green Nazis,' businesses turns into full-fledged war of words." 

2-24-2001

Air Pollution dims vistas in Western national Parks. by John Rosapepe. High Country News. Writers on the Range. The good news is new pollution rules will slowly clean up the mess. The bad news is the Bush Administration may block the implementation of the new rules.

Idaho Power electricity bills to raise by 25 to 45% this spring. Idaho Statesman.

 

2-23-2001 Bad Wyoming State Land Leasing Bill Advances in Committee! . . .  background see earlier alert below.

From 2-19. Alert. Wyoming Legislature Considering a bill to allow residential development of Wyoming state lands. Alert from the Wyoming Outdoor Council. This bill would allow residential development--thousands of houses deep inside Grand Teton National Park and deep in the national forests of NW Wyoming on scattered sections of state lands. I doubt the Yellowstone Country has ever seen such a threat. This is under the guise of "affordable housing." The vote in the Wyoming State Senate may come as early as Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Deer, humans battle for space as Idaho's population grows By Melanie Carroll. Idaho Statesman.

Asbestos exposure in Libby worse than expectations By Michale Jameson. The Missoulian. Montana has always been abused by the corporations. One would think the dead and dying in Libby would affect the state4s politicians.

Nevada rancher dodges jail sentence in high-profile Forest Service case By Scott Sonner. Las Vegas Sun. Seems like there are two standards of justice in the country -- prison for the least offense by most of us and a slap on the wrist and legal counsel all the way the Supreme Court for public land abusers.
No Charges for Defiant Ranchers. By Brent Israelsen. The Salt Lake Tribune. Here is the double standard of justice again. Anyone else who did this would spend most of the rest of their life in federal prison.

 

2-22-2001

U Build It, We Burn It by Mary Sojourner. Writers on the Range. Sojourner writes that because the West is held in thrall by developers, it's not surprising someone decided to start some fires.

Montana Legislature approve MEPA bills By Erin P. Billings. Billings Gazette.  The legislature has passed its measure to dramatically weak Montana environmental laws.

 

2-21-2001 Secretary Norton Says Bush Administration to Let Clinton's National Monument Declarations to Stand. Washington Post. Is this a sign of moderation, or deviousness? Fighting the monuments may also be seen as a poor use of their political capital.

The Sawtooth Society, the Guardian angel of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Idaho Mountain Express.

In the dark about cows and taboos. Commentary by Dick Dorworth. Idaho Mountain Express. This is a good opinion piece about propaganda from the cattle industry.

2-20-2001 Supreme Court turns away challenge to Endangered Species Act By Anne Gearan. Associated Press. The case Gibbs v. Babbitt involved a wolf killer who was represented by Bush bigee Theodore Olsen, the attorney who had earlier convinced the high court to give the 2000 election to Bush.

Timber industry optimistic about Bush. ENN

Montana state senate decides to protect state Constitution. By Erin P. Billings. Billings Gazette State Bureau

Schweitzer rips Judy Martz and Montana Republicans on Montana electricity deregulation disaster. Billings Gazette. Idaho's equally Republican state government said no, hell no! to the deregulation scam.

 

2-19-2001

Global warming worse than expected. Greenhouse gases are taking their toll and will dramatically alter the Earth's ecology during this century, scientists say. Oregonian

Aboard a Yellowstone Snowmobile: An Assault of Smoke and Sound. By Brent Israelsen. Salt Lake Tribune. Reporter travels to Yellowstone on President's Day to see what all the commotion is about.

Coalbed methane both boom and bust to Wyoming landowners. By Jan Falstad Of The Billings Gazette Staff. Despite all the talk about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the real difference will be made by energy sources like coal bed methane (natural gas). This article explores the issue.

2-20-01. Coalbed methane’s potential no longer ‘crazy’ idea By Jan Falstad.
2-21-01. Tracking the boom: Federal, state agencies strive for responsible development By Clair Johnson
2-22-2001. Rising concern: Effects of drilling little known ranchers, outdoor groups say By Clair Johnson.
2-23-2001. Boom time economics: Gillette sits at ground zero in the coalbed methane boom By Jeff Toffefston.

 

2-18-2001 Noisy snowmobiles crowd Yellowstone for President's Day. By Kit Miniclier Denver Post Staff Writer.
Eyewitness story on snowmobiles amuck in the Park. Received by email 2-18.

Mining legend ends as Idaho's Sunshine Mine goes dark. Spokane- Spokesman-Review.

2-17-2001 Montana Legislature wants to "balance" the inalienable right of Montanans to a clean and healthful environment as well as other inalienable rights. Missoulian. What part of "inalienable" doesn't the Montana legislature understand? Inalienable rights don't get "balanced" by politicians. 
Missoulian Editorial: "Proposed amendment would give legislators the ability to "balance" your constitutional rights every time they meet."

Wolf reintroduction comes closer in Colorado.  By Theo Stein Denver Post Environment Writer

Snowmobilers head for park for President's Day. By Jeff Tollefson Billings Gazette Wyoming Bureau

2-16-2001 Yellowstone