Flooding closes Mt. Rainier National Park

Yesterday it was revealed that the famous Going to the Sun Highway in Glacier National Park had washed out in the big Pacific Northwest rainstorm.

Today the news is that flooding has closed Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington State. More rain is predicted for today and this weekend. News Story.

Posted in national parks, public lands. Comments Off on Flooding closes Mt. Rainier National Park

Critical habitat for lynx established by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

This issue has been very controversial, and the Service’s designation is very small. It is only 10% of what was first proposed, and it is almost entirely inside national parks where the designation hardly matters.

Story from the Daily InterLake (Kalispell, Montana).

Too much giveaway in CIEDRA says new chair of House Resources Committee

House Resources Committee chair, Richard Pombo, the ardent enemy of endangered species and public lands will be the one who becomes extinct January 1, 2007. Meanwhile he remains chair of the committee for the “lame duck” session of Congress which will soon resume.

A big question is the future of CIEDRA, which has drawn both support and opposition from Idaho and national conservationists as well as non-wilderness and anti-wilderness forces. The bill passed the House this year, but has been stuck in Idaho Senator Larry Craig’s Senate subcommittee, much to the dismay of Idaho Representative Mike Simpson, the bill’s sponsor.

Craig, long a foe of wilderness, has been expected to kill the bill or turn it into an anti-wilderness vehicle. His options now increase in the lame dusk session, but decrease afterwards when he will be replaced as subcommittee chair by a Democrat. Will he let it through as it passed the House, kill it, or try the anti-wilderness transformation route?

Republican representative Simpson, just reelected, is expected to reintroduce CIEDRA in the next Congress, but Pombo’s replacement will be Nick Rahill of West Virginia. Rahill is already on record opposing the “land giveaways” to Custer and Blaine County that are in the bill. So if this bill to establish Wilderness in the White Cloud and Boulder Mountains of Central Idaho is to pass a Democratic Congress, the side payments to anti-wilderness groups will probably have to be reduced.