Items by Paul Larmer
Despite a relatively snowy winter here in western Colorado, the season itself seems to have shrunk, with spring arriving weeks earlier than it once did in a trend with ominous consequences for the desert Southwest, particularly Phoenix.
The rapid spread of invasive species like quagga and zebra mussels could transform the once-isolated and ecologically unique West into just another McDonaldized patch of the planet.
This issue’s cover essay on New Mexico’s gas fields – and our publisher’s adventures during a recent snowstorm in Paonia – reveal the complex links that bind Westerners together for better or worse
The Peregrine Fund has proven that it can breed and release endangered birds of prey as often as it needs to, but do we want to treat Western wildlife like a crop of annual flowers that has to be re-seeded every year?
Longtime community activist and HCN board member Luis Torres is delighted to see environmentalists and loggers working together in the forests of his native northern New Mexico
High Country News reveals its odd historical connection with the West’s uranium obsession of the 1950s
Westerners, like most Americans, are deeply in love with their lawns – but in an time of increasing drought, the Kentucky bluegrass is going to have to go
Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth talks about how his agency has changed over the years, defending current forest management policies as well as the Service’s dealings with the energy industry
In his book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, Jared Diamond warns about societies that overreach themselves – a warning that southern Arizona, in the midst of its tremendous real estate boom, ought to heed
Curmudgeons like Jim Stiles – owner/editor of Moab’s Canyon Country Zephyr – have a lot to teach us about why it is so important for us to cling to the West that we love
The writer says California is the leader when it comes to alternative fuels and insistence on cleaner air
California has a lot to teach the Interior West – particularly about clean energy and water conservation
Interior Secretary Gale Norton’s decision to resign prompts a look at Interior’s conservative counterrevolution during her tenure, along with its unintended consequences
Despite its problems and failures – many of them arising from the conflict between the United States’ growing population and our declining wildlife habitat – the Endangered Species Act is a necessary law
As privately owned timberlands go up for sale around the West, some communities are trying to find ways to keep their forests from disappearing in a flood of development
The writer urges Western states to seize the moment and make the most of the gas bonanza that is enriching private companies
Westerners need to prepare for the next economic bust by saving money from today’s energy boom, just as black bears store calories in the form of fat in order to get through the winter
Westerners may love their cars, but the region’s rapid growth means that even the most ardent car-lovers have a stake in mass transit, and in Denver’s grand experiment in light rail
As the rapidly growing city of Las Vegas, Nev., schemes to find more water, it reminds those of us who live outside big cities that we also need to rethink the way we use water
The Quivira Coalition is working hard to try to preserve the West’s remaining private ranchlands – but much more needs to be done to protect this invaluable land
The military’s plan to close Cannon Air Force Base is being fought by nearby Clovis, N.M., a community that, like many in the West, has become spectacularly dependent on a single industry
The West’s rural areas are erupting with large-lot, big, expensive homes, but the actual costs of this new rural lifestyle extend far beyond the purchase price