Items by Michelle Nijhuis

Where free trade is more than an acronym
Pulling onions alongside a Mexican field worker, the writer describes the hard work and meager pay for a product that will sell for 50 times what workers are paid.
Finding the words
Across the West, Native Americans are working to revive vanishing tribal languages, using their elders and language-immersion schools to try to gain fluent speakers.
Dear Friends
Winter break; Ray Ring writes on Montana; good books and such; visitors; Radio HCN update; HCN gets honorable mention for John B. Oakes award.
Trash talk
A new edition of "Rubbish! The Archaeology of Garbage" by William Rathje and Cullen Murphy, reports the fascinating findings of the University of Arizona's "Garbage Project."
Tony and the Cows
In "Tony and the Cows," writer Will Baker investigates the life and death of radical environmentalist Tony Merten, who was accused of killing 34 cows and calves in New Mexico.
The Latest Bounce
California ends electric deregulation; new wolf packs found in Montana, Idaho; Forest Service overspends firefighting budget; Western land trusts booming.
The Latest Bounce
Kathleen Clarke picked as BLM head; USFWS and enviro groups agree to speed up ESA listings; Mont. Gov. Judy Martz wants to shrink Missouri Breaks monument; Bonanza, Ore., sues irrigators and agencies for polluting its water.
Fire plan gets a scolding
The government's General Accounting Office criticizes the $1.6 billion National Fire Plan approved by Congress last September.
The Latest Bounce
Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA); Interior Dept. still in mess over Indian trust accounts; law firm hired by government for Yucca Mtn. also lobbies for nuclear industry; Bush may roll back Clinton-era restriction on coal-fired power plants.
The Latest Bounce
Fire czar Lyle Laverty; no gold mine on Wash.'s Buckhorn Mtn.; EPA nixes radioactive waste storage in western Colo.; utilities lobby for nuclear waste site on Goshute Reservation, Utah; Las Vegas to dump more treated wastewater in Lake Mead.
This land might be your land
A state-by-state rundown on state trust lands in the West gives information along with acreage for surface and subsurface area.
Bush fails to defend roadless rule
Clinton's roadless plan for national forests has stalled out, caught in a Bush-era legal and bureaucratic labyrinth.
Not in our backyard
Greg Woodall and his sister, Carla, are focusing on Arizona's state school trust land in their quest to save the desert landscape around Scottsdale, Ariz., through the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
A sand-brown world
"Getting Over the Color Green: Contemporary Environmental Literature of the Southwest," an anthology edited by Scott Slovic, is a fine and inclusive work that features familiar and unfamiliar writers.
The Latest Bounce
Fallout from Jeffords' party switch; Las Vegas' wastewater poisoning Lake Mead fish; Green party may lose major-party status in N.M.; snowmobile manufacturers fight Park Service ban; Colorado land swap killed.
Energy plan eyes the Rockies
Environmentalists and land managers are girding their loins to deal with President Bush's energy policy, which calls for more drilling, pipelines, power plants and power lines on Western public lands.
Finding home
In their book, "Tunnel Kids," writer Lawrence J. Taylor and photographer Maeve Hickey take a compassionate look at a group of homeless Mexican teenagers who live amid a network of dirty, dangerous tunnels on the Mexico-U.S. border.
Roadless rule hits the skids
The Bush administration is working to revise and weaken Clinton's roadless area conservation rules for national forests.
The latest bounce
Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck resigns; Northern Rockies' spring mushroom boom; Yosemite's public bus system; new protection for California deserts; wolves may move to Utah.
Keeping ranchers' options open
New Mexico rancher Sid Goodloe has started the Southern Rockies Agricultural Land Trust to convince his neighbors that conservation easements to preserve private land are a fine idea.
The other Mexico
In "True Tales from Another Mexico," journalist Sam Quinones explores the "unofficial Mexico" and its stubborn innovators, risk-takers and rebels, whose stories seldom make the news.
The latest bounce
Analyzing election's growth-related measures; Gale Norton will keep new monuments, with some changes; agencies ordered to study antelope in Ariz.; tentative agreement on Jarbidge River road in Utah; Pueblo activists fight proposed cement plant.
Dear Friends
"Divided waters" lead story; Sandy Tolan's radio advice; reader feedback; HCN business folk; congratulations to Chip Giller and correction.
Idaho predators are under the gun
Idaho's first predator-control policy allows an aggressive approach, with a current plan to kill at least 75 bears and 10 mountain lions near the Lochsa River in an attempt to boost elk numbers.
Wildlife management blossoms on the reservations
The Nez Perce tribe's success in wolf recovery is one of many stories of successful and innovative wildlife management by Indian tribes.
Dear Friends
Changing times for tribes; HCN potluck in Phoenix; a look at HCN's books; Stephen Pyne talks about fire.
Return of the natives
In Idaho, the Nez Perce have become the first tribe to oversee the statewide recovery of an endangered species, the gray wolf, an experience that is energizing the tribe's own political and spiritual recovery.
The latest bounce
West's population is booming; Summitville's Robert Friedland to pay cleanup penalties; national standards for organic foods set; Molycorp mine in Questa, N.M., must stop dumping in Red River; Babbitt proposes three more national monuments.
Atomic farmgirl
"Atomic Farmgirl: The Betrayal of Chief Qualchan, the Appaloosa and Me," is Teri Hein's memoir of growing up in eastern Washington, on farmland contaminated by nuclear weapons production at Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
The latest bounce
Marchers commemorate anniversary of World Trade Organization protests; Julia Butterfly Hills' redwood tree attacked; Santa Fe starts logging its watershed; Northern Utes regain 85,000 acres of land in Utah; Colorado bans sport-hunting of prairie dogs.