Twisted Ecologic

Governor Hull says it's time for inclusiveness in politics. Environmentalists say she won't give them the time of day.

Since the Tucson meeting, a federal judge has ruled in favor of protecting the owl, issuing a ruling that calls on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study the impacts of pending building.

In contrast to the Southwest Center, environmental attorney Jeff Bouma says he's had a good experience with Hull's office -- but he says the issue made all the difference.

Bouma represented Concerned Citizens of New River, a group opposed to burning the cache of chemicals and explosives discovered in their neighborhood in 1997. Bouma worked closely with officials, including George Weisz, an adviser to Hull, to come up with a compromise that eventually ended up in the safe removal of the dangerous materials last May.

With a couple minor exceptions, Bouma says, "George did a great job going to bat for us on New River. He gave us access."

But, the attorney adds, "You can't view New River as a traditional environmental case. Had that been a bomb factory in the middle of a delicate ecosystem in which you had endangered species, would the Governor's Office have been willing to spend that type of money and effort on protecting it? Given her public pronouncements, I'd have to guess no."

In the end, Bouma says, he agrees with Robin Silver: "The only way you can deal with the Governor's Office and the Legislature on environmental matters is to put things on the ballot."

Contact Amy Silverman at 602-229-8443 or at her online address: asilverman@newtimes.com

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