SWORDFISH BOYCOTT ENDS.Seafood lovers can once again
enjoy swordfish without guilt. In August, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced
plans to seasonally close more than 100,000 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico and
Atlantic Ocean to longline fishing, which has depleted the swordfish population and killed
many endangered sea turtles. In response to these new restrictions, the Natural Resources
Defense Council and SeaWeb have ended their two-year campaign against overfishing,
releasing some 700 chefs nationwide from their pledge to take the fish off their menus.
(See "Food for Thought," July/August 1998.)
FROG LEAPS AHEAD. Fish hatchery stocking and habitat degradation have
brought the mountain yellow-legged frog to the brink of extinction in California's Sierra
Nevada. But thanks to a campaign led by the Center for Biological Diversity and the
Pacific Rivers Council, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed in October to a
"status review," a step that almost always leads to formal listing under the
Endangered Species Act. (See Lay of the Land,"
NEW LIMITS ON PIG POLLUTION. Frederick County, Maryland, joined the
fight against polluting factory farms in September, enacting new restrictions on these
concentrated animal feeding operations. The ordinance-which calls for annual inspections
of hog farms and keeps large facilities from being built within a half-mile of residential
areas or one mile of scenic waterways-is the first such law in Maryland and the most
comprehensive in the country. (See "Meat Factories,"
January/February 1999, and "Home Front,"
BACA RANCH GOES PUBLIC. Since 1860, New Mexico's scenic Valle Grande,
with its conifer forest, pristine trout streams, and large elk herd, has been privately
owned as the Baca Ranch-and off-limits to the public. All that changed in July, when
President Clinton approved a $101 million purchase that will turn the 95,000-acre ranch
into the Valles Caldera National Preserve. (See "What
Money Can Buy," January/February 1998.)