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Lay of the Land

Canada Fights Global Warming | Homer at the Helm | Fuel Economy Decline | W Watch | San Joaquin Valley Air Quality | California Marine Reserve | Bold Strokes | For the Record | Green Elephants | Loggers Against Logging | Sprawl | Little Chips, Big Impact | Updates


BEYOND PROPAGANDA?In recent years, a steady stream of defections led to the ultimate collapse of the Global Climate Coalition, the main industry group fighting tough action on global warming. Among the first to jump ship was BP, the world’s third-largest oil company, and one of the more environmentally responsible. BP is now withdrawing from another industry lobbying group, Arctic Power, which advocates opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. The company says it doesn’t necessarily oppose drilling in the refuge, but it is stepping away from the contentious political debate. (See "Pick Your Poison," September/October 2001.)

ROADLESS RESCUE Our 60 million acres of unroaded national forests have been granted a stay of execution. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overruled a district court judge in Idaho who had opened the wildlands to logging. "Roadless areas in our national forests . . . help conserve some of the last unspoiled wilderness in our country," wrote the San Francisco—based court, which sent the case back to Idaho. A judge there must still rule on a challenge from the timber industry, which asserts that–despite more than 2 million citizen comments–the public process leading up to the roadbuilding ban was insufficient. The Ninth Circuit, however, made it clear that it doesn’t expect the timber industry to win its case. (See "Lay of the Land," November/December 2001.)

YOSEMITE AIRPORT The Federal Aviation Administration is opening its purse to dramatically expand the municipal airport at Mammoth Lakes, California. The proposed "Mammoth Yosemite Airport" could bring hundreds of thousands of additional visitors to the High Sierra by 2020, fueling sprawl in the Range of Light. The FAA is contributing nearly $20 million to the project; the Sierra Club is filing suit to challenge it. (See "The Sierra Club Bulletin," November/December 2002.)

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