Items by Paul Larmer

Evolution of a magazine
Today’s redesigned High Country News is definitely a magazine, far removed from the black-and-white tabloid newspaper it once was.
Knee high by the Fourth of July
Growing corn in the interior West ain't no picnic.
Cowboy up to the energy boom
In today’s complicated West, where retirees battle energy companies and environmentalists fight transmission lines carrying green power, maybe we need some heroic cowboys to help straighten everything out.
Primer 5: Wildlife
How far are we willing to go to accommodate wild creatures?
The hazards of the leasing game
Protecting environmentally sensitive Western lands from the current oil and gas frenzy is a challenge to the conservationists who file protests with the BLM.
Primer 2: Energy
The West's abundant resources below ground have supplied much of the power for the U.S. in the past; are renewables next?
Don’t write off this story yet
The Salton Sea might appear to be dying, but like many another story in the West, it isn’t over with yet.
Planning for uncertainty
A Phoenix symposium on dealing with drought and global warming echoes the larger uncertainties facing public-land and national park managers throughout the West.
The Sagebrush Rebels ride again -- and again
Despite the rhetoric of the Sagebrush Rebel lawyers, most of today’s Westerners understand that the public land is a national resource that belongs to all of us.
Becoming a native
In a West made up of newcomers, it’s hard to tell who really counts as a native – even when it comes to exotic plants such as the infamous tamarisk.
Dear friends
Editor John Mecklin to step down, Jonathan Thompson to step up; visitors; clarification on Rebecca Solnit interview.
Loosening the grazing knot
A showdown in Idaho pits bighorn sheep lovers against longtime sheep ranchers, but if people are willing to work together, this grazing knot can be untied.
Dear friends
Meet HCN in Salt Lake City; hasta la vista, Gretchen Nicholoff; visitors; Robert Funkhouser dies; correction.
Fire: Friend and foe
Recent Western fires have cleared the stage for the rampant growth of highly flammable exotic plants such as cheatgrass and the buffelgrass now invading the Sonoran Desert
The resurgence of hook-and-bullet conservation
Hunters have done a huge amount over the years to preserve wildlife and habitat, but the powerful group Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, with its obsessive focus on killing predators, seems to be taking a step backward
When the going gets tough, the tough collaborate
Sometimes it seems that only the impact of a severe drought can get Westerners to work together on water issues
The granddaddy of all collaboration groups
In his beautiful, compact book Working Wilderness, Nathan Sayres tells the story of the Malpai Borderlands Group, “the most hailed example of collaborative place-based resource management in the West.”
One of Interior’s departed returns to D.C. (for a short while)
Q and A with Ann Morgan, the former Colorado director of the BLM, who recently testified before Congress about the agency's push to open its lands to drilling.
Dry to the bone
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.
March madness trims the herd
Just as winter turns into spring, Paul Larmer watches a young elk die in western Colorado.
Welcome to the Homogocene
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.
Slipping into the holidays
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 West is not a zoo
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?
Life in the transition zone
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
HCN's secret past
High Country News reveals its odd historical connection with the West’s uranium obsession of the 1950s
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