Arizona Gov. Jane Hull (R) has requested in writing that Interior Secretary Gale Norton redraw the boundaries of the state's five newest national monuments. (May 2001 Planet). Hull said the boundaries of the Ironwood National Monument, for instance, threaten rights-of-way for roads or power lines and up to $100 million in mineral rights. She also asked Norton to delay her department's review of the federal pygmy owl (pictured at left) recovery plan, already more than two years behind its federally required release date.
No Gag on Global Gag Rule
In May, the House voted 218 to 210 to uphold the "global gag rule" imposed by President Bush (April 2001 Planet). The rule disqualifies overseas family-planning groups from receiving U.S. funds if they, with their own money, lobby to change abortion laws or provide legal abortion services. "We came very close to a victory," said Laurie Mignone, conservation organizer with the Club's Global Population and Environment Program. "Activists' letters and calls made a difference."
Git Along, Dogie
Remember those Anheuser-Busch cattle that were banned from grazing in California's Golden Trout Wilderness (May 2001 Planet)? And the appeal of the Forest Service decision by a former Anheuser-Busch consultant? Good news: The agency's regional office upheld the decision to boot the bovines, thereby protecting the last pristine habitat for the state fish.
Reprieve for Endangered Species
A House subcommittee nixed President Bush's request that the annual appropriations for the Fish and Wildlife Service include special language removing citizens' rights to sue the agency if it failed to put species on the endangered list (June 2001 Planet). However, the bill, set to move on to the Senate, allocated only $8.5 million for endangered species listings and critical habitat designation, when scientists say $24 million is needed.
Photo courtesy FWS/Glenn Proudfoot
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