Items by Ray Ring

Don’t trust this Texas billionaire
T. Boone Pickens is now boosting alternative energy, but Ray Ring trusts him about as far as he could throw a modern-day wind turbine.
No news is bad news
No news is bad news
The media’s economic crisis is hitting the West particularly hard, with major daily newspapers up for sale. Also: Chicago businessman watches nature via computer.
Political guns
Political guns
Every winter, Yellowstone park rangers risk their lives dynamiting avalanches so snowmobile tourists can get across Sylvan Pass.
The West goes to Washington
The West goes to Washington
Barack Obama is bringing Westerners to Washington, including Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano to run Homeland Security, and Cabinet picks Ken Salazar, Hilda Solis and Steven Chu.
Obama should pick Kemmis to help run Interior or Ag
That would introduce flexibility to the West's federal land.
Ex-HCN board member named Idaho lt. guv
Brad Little, who's also a Republican rancher, is a good pick.
Western wish list for Obama
Eleven key Westerners speak with HCN about their hopes and worries for an Obama administration.
Enviros shun autoworkers
Thus, they squander a political opportunity.
On Obama's coattails
Western Democrats have reason to celebrate the 2008 election, but the old conservative West has not disappeared.
Already one Westerner gets job in Obama admin
Montana poli sci grad Jim Messina will be a White House staffer.
The pundits are wrong
Three Western governors should not ascend to Obama's cabinet.
Mormon Church wins on gay marriage
Voters write bans into California and Arizona constitutions.
Republicans seem tougher in Northern Rockies
Democrats in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming eke out a single U.S. House win.
Prophets and politics
The Mormon Church works to ban gay marriage in California, even as gay people in places like Rexburg, Idaho, come out of the LDS closet.
Audio: Politics on planet Idaho
Audio: Politics on planet Idaho
Just how bad or good are Idaho's environmental politics? On September 18, High Country News gathered Idaho politicians and environmentalists for a lively exploration of these questions.
Democrats borrow from Madison Avenue
Denver offers an iconic Western backdrop and the message that "this is not your father's party."
Obama’s Western ace in the hole
Jim Messina, who hails from Montana, is the chief of staff for Barack Obama's presidential campaign.
A fractured party
The Grand Old Party will either find a new life – or court self-destruction – in the West today, where moderates and hard-liners are battling over conservation issues.
Solar flip-flops and fish stories
BLM flip-flops on solar and expedites oil and gas; Western Governors’ Association talks about energy; more fossil fuel risks; good (and bad) salmon news.
Bears saved from the 'burbs
Finding room for grizzly bears through the Montana Legacy Project.
Two weeks in the West
Bush administration finally acknowledges reality of global warming; Montana politics; Yucca Mountain 8,000-page application turned in; J.R. Simplot dies; Telluride wins fight over open space.
The gospel according to Ron Gillett
Ron Gillett brings his anti-wolf crusade to the small farming town of Ashton, Idaho.
My Crazy Brother
Ray Ring takes a personal, painful look at the West’s suicidal tendencies, as shown in the life and death of his brother, John.
Finding beauty in devastation
In his richly illustrated book Boy Wonder & the Big Burns, Montana photographer Chris Peterson finds beauty in the aftermath of fire – and in his relationship with his autistic son.
Bush brings more green into the green movement
The Bush administration has been good for environmental groups, at least when it comes to money and membership numbers.
Two weeks in the West
HCN looks at the various problems of Western wildlife, including Northern Rockies wolves, porcupines, fishers, pikas, and more; and Rocky Mountain National Park tests elk for chronic wasting disease and also gives out birth control.
A political speech the West needs to hear
High Country News imagines – and delivers – the kind of speech about our energy future that the West needs to hear from its next president.
Tireless and tenacious storytelling
Lori Edmo-Suppah works tirelessly to keep the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes informed through the newspaper she edits, the Sho-Ban News
Rebels with a Lost Cause
The fiercely conservative lawyers of the Sagebrush Rebellion continue to fight against environmental regulations, but despite all their sound and fury, very little has changed on the public lands.
Two weeks in the West
Recent elections in the West show support for land-use planning and “convergence politics”; hunting declines in the West, but Satan keeps busy in Idaho, causing divorces.