HARRY LONSDALE (D) v. SENATOR MARK HATFIELD (R), REPRESENTATIVE LES AUCOIN (D), AND TOM BRUGGERE (D)
Challengers have many motivations for running against incumbents. For Harry Lonsdale, it initially was a single Ponderosa pine tree.
Lonsdale was a fly fisherman before the sport came into yuppie vogue. He also was both a wealthy businessman and an ardent environmentalist--a hybrid almost unknown in the East but found here and there in the West, where the management of natural resources is an overriding public concern.
Lonsdale tramped the banks of the Metolius River in central Oregon one day in 1987, heading for one of his favorite fishing holes. The scenery was fit for a Sierra Club calendar shot--icy-blue water, majestic forest--except that an element was missing, something Longdale could not quite identify, a vexing absence. As he neared his objective he finally placed it: A personal landmark, a towering Ponderosa pine, was gone.
He hiked to the stump, sunlit through the hole now bored into the forest canopy, and saw that it was scarred and scorched by chainsaw tracks. How could this happen on public land? Lonsdale was perplexed and troubled.
If he could be faulted for naiveté, consider that this was in 1987, three years before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the spotted owl an endangered species and before subsequent court rulings