Items by Matt Jenkins

Wilderness takes a massive hit
Starting in Utah, Interior Secretary Gale Norton has slammed the door shut on new BLM wilderness proposals and inventories and wilderness study areas
Wilderness provides a ‘safe haven’ for this cowboy
Nevada rancher Cal Baird wants to protect local wild lands as wilderness.
The wild card
As the Wilderness Act nears its 40th birthday, it takes a new kind of wheeling and dealing to protect wild lands, and there’s no better place to see the new face of the movement than Las Vegas, Nev.
California’s water binge skids to a halt
At midnight on New Year’s Eve, Interior Secretary Gale Norton astonished California by it cutting off from the "surplus" Colorado River water it has long been using, after the state failed to come up with promised water transfers.
The Latest Bounce
New Mexico and the Navajo Nation tackle cattle rustling; details of Vice President Dick Cheney’s Energy Plan won’t be released; "anaerobic digester" in the works to clean up hog-farm waste; Imperial Valley farmers refuse to sell water to San Diego, Calif.
Forest planning gets a facelift
The Forest Service has announced a major overhaul of the forest planning process that some fear may cut out both environmental oversight and public involvement, and lead to even more legal gridlock.
A Western water parable
In Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America's Fresh Waters, author Robert Jerome Glennon gives an absorbing account of the ways we use - and misuse - groundwater in the United States
Silver state gets a little wilder
A new bill designates 450,000 acres of wilderness in Nevada, but makes it easier for Las Vegas to grow by withdrawing other land from wilderness consideration
Forests could lose environmental review
Some congressional conservatives are trying to eliminate the analysis of forest-thinning projects that is required by the National Environmental Policy Act.
Popular historian passes on
Best-selling historian Stephen Ambrose, who wrote about the West and worked to save its rivers, dies at the age of 66.
Around the West, the hot races to watch
HCN takes a state-by-state look at the most important elections coming up in the West.
Native Waters
In Native Waters: Contemporary Indian Water Settlements and the Second Treaty Era, scholar Daniel McCool explores the current struggle by tribes to finally get the water they have long been promised by treaty.
Flow charts for the Golden State
The Water Education Foundation's beautiful color maps make California's natural and human-made water systems comprehensible, even for the layperson.
The Latest Bounce
BLM reconsiders approval of coalbed methane leases in Wyoming; Montana judge says salty groundwater from coalbed methane wells is not pollutant; California's Cadiz water project gets go-ahead; Valles Caldera National Preserve, N.M.,opens grazing.
The Royal Squeeze
California's Imperial Valley is under pressure to reduce the amount of Colorado River water it uses for irrigation, but some fear changes could inadvertently dry up the Salton Sea, imperiling birds and animals that depend on it.
The Latest Bounce
180 lynx to be released in Colorado; stricter noise rules in Grand Canyon; Bureau of Indian Affairs to create federal Indian Energy and Minerals office; bark beetles hit Arizona pinon pines.
The Latest Bounce
Endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow; Park Service deliberating about snowmobiles; Thomas Slonake's resignation from Indian Trust Accounts forced; Organization of American States' Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Mary and Carrie Dann.
Blame game sheds little light on fires
The Forest Service blames environmentalists for this summer's catastrophic Western wildfires, and although Greens reply that the agency is actually at fault, the push for more logging is growing in Congress.
The Latest Bounce
Water-hungry Idaho power plants are turned down; wind power project on the Nevada Test Site is canceled; livestock-eating wolves on Idaho's Sawtooth Nat'l Recreation Area are protected; USFS plans to log 72,000 acres burned in AZ's Rodeo-Chediski fire.
Yucca heads for the courts
The Senate's approval of a nuclear waste dump at Nevada's Yucca Mountain means the struggle moves on to its next phase, in the courts.
The tail of a dragon?
Fire specialists fear that giant wildfires such as the Rodeo-Chediski in Arizona and the Hayman Fire in Colorado may become more common in the Rocky Mountains and Southwest.
The Latest Bounce
Snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton; Calif. gnatcatcher, San Diego fairy shrimp habitat protected; Pacific fishermen sue to force habitat designation for salmon; charter forest demo project bill in Colo. Legislature; Clinton roadless rule.
The Latest Bounce
Zuni Indians worry about NM's Fence Lake coal mine; Santa Clara Pueblo's Black Mesa golf course; Trophy Mtn. Elk Ranch in northern Colo. restocks after slaughter from chronic wasting disease; Wyo. moves forward to manage wolves.
The Latest Bounce
Boise, Idaho, open space; BLM to auction cattle near Elko, Nev.; DOJ intervenes in W.R. Grace's asbestos disaster bankruptcy in Libby, MT; ATV trail in Utah to be named after Rep. Jim Hansen.
The Latest Bounce
Steelhead and salmon may be without critical habitat designation; 1872 Mining Law reform; Gateway Communities Cooperation Act proposed; hemp crop planted third year in a row on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
The Latest Bounce
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers puts Columbia River projects on hold after criticism on cost benefits; a 1,465-acre parcel that is part of the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site has been turned over to Indian tribes in Oklahoma; Congress refuses
Property rights reined in
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled April 23 that property owners at Lake Tahoe are not entitled to compensation for a moratorium in 1981 on new building that was created to protect Lake Tahoe's blue waters from erosion runoff.
Suburbanites compete for the lake's freshwater
Activists continue to fight against dams on the Bear River, one of three sources that feed Utah's Great Salt Lake, in their push for stricter water conservation along the Wasatch Front.
The Latest Bounce
Forest Service revokes its approval of Rock Creek Mine in Montana; Nevada's fight against Yucca Mountain may be doomed; ARCO will pay $87 million to treat toxic water in Butte, Mont.'s Berkeley Pit; deadline approaches to ban Jet Skis in national parks; A
The Latest Bounce
Nuclear power plant may be built in Idaho; Bruce Babbitt to head international division of Cadiz Inc.; Bonneville Power Administration says salmon will get water this summer; Hanford Nuclear Reservation; CO Rep. Scott McInnis wants single "fire czar."