Letters From the West

Public land grazing critic Marvel makes case in exit video

Jon Marvel, the acerbic founder and long time leader of the Western Watersheds Project, has announced that he is stepping down and did an exit interview video for the Ketchum Keystone.

Marvel, an architect by trade, has transformed the Idaho Department of Lands by forcing the Land Board to maximize its return on grazing land, and other assets in court. He also has successfully pushed ranchers on federal land to meet increasingly stringent rules for the protection of clean water and endangered species like salmon.

But he steps down with ranchers still are grazing on public land despite his best efforts to force them off the land. He has done well in court but not in the Idaho or larger Western political arena, which he acknowledges.

He makes his case in the video and touts his accomplishments.

Rocky Barker is the energy and environment reporter for the Idaho Statesman and has been writing about the West since 1985. He is the author of Scorched Earth How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America and co-producer of the movie Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone, which was inspired by the book and broadcast on A&E Network. He also co-authored the Flyfisher's Guide to Idaho and the Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho with Ken Retallic. He also was on the Statesman’s team that covered the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news in 2007. The National Wildlife Federation awarded him its Conservation Achievement Award.

Posted in Letters from the West