Items by Paul Larmer

The man in the rubber boots
A day spent helping to "bring in the water" on an irrigation ditch leads the writer to muse about the green landscapes in the dry West.
Transforming powers
The Bonneville Power Administration has long provided the Northwest -- especially its aluminum industry -- with some of the cheapest public power, but drought, endangered salmon and the deregulated electricity market may just change all that.
Dear Friends
June potluck; Storytelling 101 with HCN and Ira Glass; summer interns Laurel Jones and Rachel Jackson.
Dear Friends
Feedback from readers' surveys; Jon Margolis apologizes for booboo; the many lives of Mark Matthews.
Dear friends
Activist Connie Harvey celebrates 70th birthday in Aspen, Colo.; visitors by modem and phone; God leads HCN subscribers; oops: HCN booboos.
Dear Friends
The Ides of March; spring visitors; report from a land-use management seminar sponsored by FREE (Foundation for Research on Economics & the Environment).
Mr. Babbitt's wild ride
In eight years as Interior Secretary, Bruce Babbitt has known some failures but more successes: reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone, halting the New World gold mine, and creating many national monuments, starting with the Grand Staircase-Escalante.
Power on the loose
Electric utility deregulation and California's energy crisis hold promise and peril for the rest of the West, as conservationists seek to ensure that new energy systems are both efficient and easy on the land and water and air.
Lifting the veil of secrecy
Len Ackland's book, "Making a Real Killing: Rocky Flats and the Nuclear West," gives a comprehensive and often scary history of the Rocky Flats nuclear bomb factory near Denver, Colo.
Tickling the green funny bone
The online environmental magazine "Grist" tries to keep a sense of humor in its work as a self-described "beacon in the smog."
Dear Friends
Thirty-year anniversary party in Boulder; High Country history; news, visitors and Suckling's first name.
Dear Friends
Why HCN is writing about meth; good news from HCN's Writers On The Range and online archives; two HCN parties coming up: September board meeting in Boise and 30th anniversary in Boulder.
Out of the darkness
When Paonia, Colo., resident Richard Rudin challenged a local mine's plans for expansion, the town was painfully divided, until the efforts of the North Fork Coal Working Group brought miners, environmentalists and agencies together for a solution.
Are cows the ultimate weed seeders?
Ecologist Joy Belski believes that cattle are the prime culprit behind the rapid spread of weeds in the Great Basin.
HCN at 30: 'On faith alone'
In the early 1970s, Tom Bell's "High Country News" tackled the killing of eagles by Wyoming sheep ranchers, and when the paper's environmental stand caused subscriptions to drop, loyal readers sent in money to keep it going.
A dam good speech
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber becomes the first major political figure in the Northwest to back breaching of four Snake River dams to help endangered salmon.
Tom Bell quotes
Quotes from High Country News' founding father, Tom Bell, show his passion about preserving the West.
HCN at 30: The saga begins
High Country News celebrates its 30 years by looking back at the paper's early days in Lander, Wyo.
'People are important'
Potlatch Corporation employee Frank Carroll explains why he thinks dam-breaching is a poor idea.
'Dams made the modern Northwest'
Historian Keith Petersen talks about how Columbia and Snake River dams have made the Pacific Northwest what it is today.
A 700th generation fisherman
Umatilla Indian Donald Sampson, director of the Columbia River Intertribal Fisheries Commission, defends Indian rights to fish for salmon.
'The science pushed me'
Jim Baker, the Sierra Club's point man on Columbia salmon, offers his ideas on breaching dams to save fish.
Unleashing the Snake
In Washington, conservationists, farmers, and federal and state agencies are passionately debating whether four dams on the lower Snake River should be breached in an attempt to restore endangered salmon and steelhead runs.
Is the Grand Staircase-Escalante a model monument?
Superintendent Jerry Meredith has a management plan for Utah's new Grand Staircase-Escalante Nat'l Monument, the first park to be managed by BLM rather than Park Service, and many environmentalists and some locals praise the job he's doing.
A Montana writer's real-life tales of bears and terror
"Mark of the Grizzly: True Stories of Recent Bear Attacks and the Hard Lessons Learned" by Scott McMillion combines horrifying accounts with thoughtful discussion.
Gutsy scientists stand up to bureaucratic juggernaut
Todd Wilkinson's book, "Science Under Siege: The Politicians' War on Nature and Truth," chronicles the struggle of government agency biologists to stand up for environmental and wildlife protection.
Idaho grizzly plan shifts into low gear
A once-vigorous effort to reintroduce grizzly bears to the Selway-Bitterroot County on the Idaho/Montana border has hit some unexpected road blocks and detours.
Fighting exotics with exotics
Entomologist Jack DeLoach's proposal to release exotic insects to fight the exotic tamarisk raises questions about the successes and pitfalls of biocontrol.
Killing tamarisk frees water
New Mexico's dried-up, tamarisk-choked Spring Lake comes back to life when the tamarisk is removed, inspiring the Pecos River Native Riparian Restoration Project to tackle tamarisk on the river.
Tackling tamarisk
The exotic woody shrub known as tamarisk or saltcedar has infested the West's river systems, but scientists are divided over how to fight it, or whether it is even possible to do so in a degraded landscape.