Items by Rebecca Clarren

Dooming a dam saves dollars
Environmentalists are rejoicing at the decision, largely economic, to demolish Condit Dam in southeastern Washington.
Battered borderlands
As the number of illegal immigrants crossing the Sonoran Desert into Arizona rises, the Border Patrol is faced with the need to protect a fragile environment at the same time that it polices the border.
Big Oil down the tubes?
Environmentalists disagree over whether an oil consortium's plan to build a pipeline across the Cascades is a good thing that will reduce oil spills in the ocean, or a danger to the mountains of Washington.
The real thing
Carla Emery's updated "Encyclopedia of Country Living" is an invaluable textbook on the rural life.
A bigger picture
"Crown of the Canyons," an atlas compiled by the Wilderness Society, says the monument is part of a larger ecosystem that includes rural communities as well as other public lands.
Caution: Desert Tortoise Crossing
The BLM has published a brochure about the threatened desert tortoise to educate the public about the animal and how it should be treated if encountered.
Wanted: HCPs with teeth
Some conservationists say that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's proposals for beefing up its Habitat Conservation Plans still do not go far enough to effectively protect endangered species on private lands.
Another plug to pull?
In California, the Sierra Club wants to remove a dam and restore Hetch Hetchy Valley, once part of Yosemite National Park and now flooded by a reservoir that provides water to San Francisco.
Western weather: feast or famine
Meteorologists blame La Niûa for recent extreme weather in the West, with record-breaking snow and rain in the Northwest and Northern Rockies, and drought in the Southwest raising fears of summer wildfires.
Tree lovers are willing to pay
An environmental group is raising money to buy and preserve the Loomis State Forest in northern Washington state.
The Wayward West
Purple coneflower protected on N.D. state lands; federal agency says bison pose no risk to Mont.'s brucellosis-free status; endangered listing of salmon and steelhead will impact urban Seattle; Colo.'s Oil & Gas Conservation Committee may favor industry.
The big picture
F.E. Bill DuBois has taken photos of Nevada mines from his plane for 24 years - a visual history that is now being exhibited in California.
Adopt-a-ferret is under way
The BLM will introduce an adopt-a-ferret program in Colorado to aid in the restoration of the endangered black-footed ferret.
Help arrives for the ailing Alamosa
The Capulin, Colo.-based Restore Our Alamosa River is working with the national group, Water Keepers Alliance, to heal the polluted Alamosa.
Julia Butterfly won't come down
Activist Julia "Butterfly" Hill has lived for more than a year in a 1,000-year-old redwood near Stafford, Calif., to protest the cutting of old-growth trees.
Oil wells in my backyard?
In western Colorado's La Plata County, locals fight for a moratorium on gas development until the state studies the impacts of the methane drilling that many say is making their lives miserable.
User fee critics contest report
Critics say a General Accounting Office report defending recreation fees does not give a full picture of public reaction to user fees.
A Wyoming river needs help
A group of Wyoming fly fishers is trying to raise money to restore the Platte River in Fremont Canyon.
Three cheers for the Treemusketeers
Treemusketeers, an environmental group for young people aged 10-14, has started a recycling program in its hometown of El Segundo, Calif.
Fishers fail trout test
A survey shows that 70 percent of fishers on Idaho's Middle Fork of the Boise were unable to distinguish endangered bull trout from the brook or lake trout they were out to catch.
Cows conquer condos
A 32,000-acre ranch on the border of Utah and Colorado will remain a ranch rather than a subdivision, thanks to the efforts of a land trust in each state that helped the landowner place conservation easements on his land.
Does soccer tread on open space?
Residents of King County, Wash., are fighting over whether a 112-acre farm, protected by the county's farmland preservation program, can be turned into a soccer field.
Damning report on dams
A panel of scientists says that threatened chinook salmon would be better off if they didn't have to be barged around four Snake River dams on their way upriver to spawn.
Crust course coming
The BLM is sponsoring a two-day course on the biology and ecology of "biological soil crust," formerly known as "cryptogamic soil."