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Skiing and Snowboarding : Politics

Earth Day 1970-2011

In September 1969, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson developed the idea of Earth Day, a nationwide, grassroots demonstration that would take place in the spring of the following year. Everyone was invited to participate. "The response was electric," he told Envirolink.com. "It took off like gangbusters. Telegrams, letters, and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air -- and they did so with spectacular exuberance...Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level...That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day -- it organized itself."

In this video, however, Walter Cronkite offers a slightly more sobering recap of Earth Day 1970:

"Someday...the world will be a better place, if it listens and acts," Cronkite says. "But in the meantime, perhaps for a generation or more, it will be frighteningly costly to each of us to clean up the mess each of us has made. But the cost of not doing so is more frightening. What is at stake...is survival."

Forty years later, Cronkite's words still ring true -- and Earth Day events continue to be popular. Check out the Environmental Protection Agency for a list of Earth Day activities happening near you.

--Whitney Dreier

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Wolves Removed from Endangered Species List

Wolf The United States Congress has removed the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List in two states, according the The New York Times. The action sets a new precedent that could introduce political influence as a way of amending the list. Typically, changes to the list are done by a federal, non-political, science-based agency; this congressional delisting came in the form of a rider on the Congressional budget measure backed by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, and Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho.

Michael T. Leahy, Rocky Mountain regional director of the advocacy group Defenders of Wildlife, is quoted as saying, "Now, anytime anybody has an issue with an endangered species, they are going to run to Congress and try to get the same treatment the anti-wolf people have gotten."

With the wolves no longer under federal protection, management falls to state wildlife agencies, in this case Idaho and Montana.

Senator Tester released a statement Saturday saying, "This wolf fix isn’t about one party’s agenda. It's about what’s right for Montana and the West—which is why I’ve been working so hard to get this solution passed, and why it has support from all sides. It’s high time for a predictable, practical law that finally delists Montana’s wolves and returns their management to our state—for the sake of Montana jobs, our wildlife, our livestock, and for the sake of wolves themselves."

Efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to delist wolves in 2008 and 2009 were unsuccessful after U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy ruled that the court lacked the authority and could not "exercise its discretion to allow what Congress forbids.”

For another look at wolves in the northern Rockies, see Josh Dean's piece in our November 2010 issue.

--Michael Webster

Photo by Gary Kramer/USFWS on Flickr

Read More

Wolves Removed from Endangered Species List

Wolf The United States Congress has removed the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List in two states, according the The New York Times. The action sets a new precedent that could introduce political influence as a way of amending the list. Typically, changes to the list are done by a federal, non-political, science-based agency; this congressional delisting came in the form of a rider on the Congressional budget measure backed by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana, and Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho.

Michael T. Leahy, Rocky Mountain regional director of the advocacy group Defenders of Wildlife, is quoted as saying, "Now, anytime anybody has an issue with an endangered species, they are going to run to Congress and try to get the same treatment the anti-wolf people have gotten."

With the wolves no longer under federal protection, management falls to state wildlife agencies, in this case Idaho and Montana.

Senator Tester released a statement Saturday saying, "This wolf fix isn’t about one party’s agenda. It's about what’s right for Montana and the West—which is why I’ve been working so hard to get this solution passed, and why it has support from all sides. It’s high time for a predictable, practical law that finally delists Montana’s wolves and returns their management to our state—for the sake of Montana jobs, our wildlife, our livestock, and for the sake of wolves themselves."

Efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to delist wolves in 2008 and 2009 were unsuccessful after U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy ruled that the court lacked the authority and could not "exercise its discretion to allow what Congress forbids.”

For another look at wolves in the northern Rockies, see Josh Dean's piece in our November 2010 issue.

--Michael Webster

Photo by Gary Kramer/USFWS on Flickr

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Carl Lewis Enters Politics

Carl
Courtesy of Flickr

Track-and-field superstar Carl Lewis is competing again -- this time for the New Jersey state Senate. The nine-time Olympic gold medalist is running as a Democrat against incumbent Republican Senator Dawn Addiego in the eighth legislative district.

Lewis, 49, who grew up in Willingboro, New Jersey and has lived there since 2005, has not yet released an issue-specific platform, but says his focus will be on children and the future. "We cannot rest until we make sure that our families can afford to live and raise their kids here, that our seniors can remain in their homes and afford their health and pharmaceutical costs," he said, according to Reuters.

Lewis, a member of the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame, is one of only two athletes to win nine Olympic medals (Michael Phelps is the other). He won gold in the 100, 200, long jump and 400-meter relay at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. He also won the 100 and long jump in 1988 in Seoul, and the long jump and 400-meter relay in 1992 in Barcelona. His most recent Olympic gold was in the long jump at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

But will being the best on the track translate to a successful political career? Standing on the steps of a historic New Jersey courthouse, he announced: "When I run -- you can see my record -- I run to win."

--Whitney Dreier

Read More

Carl Lewis Enters Politics

Carl
Courtesy of Flickr

Track-and-field superstar Carl Lewis is competing again -- this time for the New Jersey state Senate. The nine-time Olympic gold medalist is running as a Democrat against incumbent Republican Senator Dawn Addiego in the eighth legislative district.

Lewis, 49, who grew up in Willingboro, New Jersey and has lived there since 2005, has not yet released an issue-specific platform, but says his focus will be on children and the future. "We cannot rest until we make sure that our families can afford to live and raise their kids here, that our seniors can remain in their homes and afford their health and pharmaceutical costs," he said, according to Reuters.

Lewis, a member of the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame, is one of only two athletes to win nine Olympic medals (Michael Phelps is the other). He won gold in the 100, 200, long jump and 400-meter relay at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. He also won the 100 and long jump in 1988 in Seoul, and the long jump and 400-meter relay in 1992 in Barcelona. His most recent Olympic gold was in the long jump at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

But will being the best on the track translate to a successful political career? Standing on the steps of a historic New Jersey courthouse, he announced: "When I run -- you can see my record -- I run to win."

--Whitney Dreier

Read More

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