The lawsuit by the Alliance for the Wild Rockies
seeks to block the sale of 15 million board feet of timber on 1,242 acres in the Selkirk Mountains of northeastern Washington and northern Idaho.
Mike Bader, a consultant for the Alliance for the Wild Rockies
, says old-growth forests and lichen that caribou depend on have been threatened by human disturbance such as new roads, timber harvests and recreation.
We believe that eventually those areas will be protected as wilderness, but like any vision, it's going to take a while." Bob Clark of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies
(which has played a central role in crafting and selling NREPA) says that even though the bill has 82 cosponsors thus far, "that's not enough to push it through.
For further information, contact the Alliance for the Wild Rockies
in Missoula, (406) 721-5420.
The plaintiffs--the Edmonds (Wash.) Institute, the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA) in Washington, D.C., the Alliance for the Wild Rockies
in Missoula, Mont., and activist Phil Knight of Bozeman, Mont.--also charge that the agreement did not go through public review to analyze its environmental and economic impacts.
Founder of the Missoula-based Alliance for the Wild Rockies
, Bader is the visionary behind the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act.
"A century of mining, grazing and logging have all but destroyed [the Blackfoot] river," says Dan Funsch, outreach director for the Missoula-based Alliance for the Wild Rockies
. "Now, for a few lousy wedding rings, the McDonald Gold Project wants to finish it off."
It instead backs the much stronger Alternative 4, submitted by the Alliance for the Wild Rockies
and the Salmon-Selway Grizzly Coalition.
Clausen, a self-confessed drug-runner, first showed up in Montana in the late 1980s, trying to infiltrate the Alliance for the Wild Rockies
on behalf of the timber industry.
Backed by the Alliance for the Wild Rockies
, the Bozeman-based Headwaters Group of the Sierra Club, former Club Executive Director David Brower, Dave Foreman, and an impressive list of scientists and public figures, NREPA promises "a new model" of wilderness protection, based not on recreation or scenery but on the science of conservation biology.
But now he confronts the independent candidacy of Steve Kelly, one of the founders of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies
, which has been battling the Williams-sponsored Wilderness Bill, which would doom 4 million roadless acres in Montana.
Resistance to this surrender by the big environmental groups has been led by the Alliance for the Wild Rockies
(Box 8731, Missoula, MT, 59807; 406-721-5420), which has fought gallantly against vast odds.