Items by Paul Larmer

A green obsession
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
'You've got me wrong': A Conversation with Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth
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
Adapt or collapse
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
Nostalgia is a moving target
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
Wacky California is pragmatic leader of the West
The writer says California is the leader when it comes to alternative fuels and insistence on cleaner air
California, here we come
California has a lot to teach the Interior West – particularly about clean energy and water conservation
Norton Departs
Interior Secretary Gale Norton’s decision to resign prompts a look at Interior’s conservative counterrevolution during her tenure, along with its unintended consequences
Thank you, Gale Norton
The writer thanks Gale Norton for inspiring Westerners to form a new kind of coalition
Dear friends
HCN now has a blog; HCN’s Tucson board meeting and potluck; correction and clarification
The difficulties of cohabitation
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
For Sale: The West
The writer has some suggestions for conservationists as prices for houses and timberland skyrocket
For sale: The West
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
A wish for the new year: A Scrooged Bush
The writer imagines George Bush as the ultimate environmental president
We need to store fat from the gas-feeding frenzy
The writer urges Western states to seize the moment and make the most of the gas bonanza that is enriching private companies
Storing fat from the feeding frenzy
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
A Western railvolution begins
The writer welcomes a shift from cars to light rail in Denver and other Western cities
You say you want a railvolution...
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
Weighing our water options
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
Hope for the West's open lands
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
Boom and bust, military style
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
Beyond the exurban dream
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
A call for modest reform
The time is ripe for moderate reform of the conservation easement system
Love the gas, not the drill
The writer loves natural gas but opposes drilling for it in the wrong places
The wisdom of the ground troops
If the folks who run the Forest Service listened to the wisdom of their people on the ground, disasters like the Biscuit Fire logging project would be less likely to occur
Grazing buyouts help land and ranchers
The writer praises grazing buyouts as a way to help land and ranchers
Public-lands ranchers: Should you trust this man?
Paul Larmer interviews longtime activist Andy Kerr, director of the National Public Lands Grazing Campaign, about grazing buyouts and the future of public-lands ranching
Grazing buyouts help land and ranchers
Some Western ranchers, fed up with economic problems and other conflicts, are handing over their grazing allotments to conservation groups in exchange for a healthy check
Energy without hypocrisy
Natural gas is a wonderful thing, but our need for it does not outweigh our responsibility to the land
Reawakening our wild humanity
Human beings can learn a lot from our wild animal cousins, but we need to pay more attention to them — especially to the ones we flatten on the highways
Who'll stop the rain?
January may have brought rain and snow to parts of the West, but the study of past climates warns us that we still have to learn to live with drought