Items by Ed Marston
The West has come late and gradually to the experience of cultural diversity and aggressive minorities. But the 1992 election tells us that the region is finally experiencing what it means to be part of America in the late 20th century.
To those of us who grew up in the 1950s reading I.F. Stone's Weekly, with its regular exposes of the dangers of above-ground nuclear testing, the accompanying coverups and denials, and the silence of the mass media on those subjects, the end of all nuclear testing is a shock.
The 1992 election will redraw the West's political map, but the new shape is almost impossible to predict.
One of the West's largest utilities may be betting that the future lies with coal-fired power plants rather than efficiency and alternative fuels.
These two special issues of High Country News say that we have overbuilt our electric power system by up to five times. We could shut down up to four out of five power plants, coal mines, and hydroelectric dams while providing the same services and a higher quality of life.
Rebuilding the Colorado-Ute Electric Association power plant at Nucla, Colo., was a technical success. Unfortunately, although the operation went well, the patient died a lingering and painful death.
Environmentalism is the vanguard of urban America, which is giving the rural West the choice of adapting to the larger society's vision or of dying.
The leader of the Oregon Natural Desert Association explains why participation in grazing-reform working groups by environmentalists is a waste of time, or even a sabotage of environmentalist goals.
In Oregon, Doc and Connie Hatfield combine ecology, politics and marketing to strengthen the economics of ranching.
An experiment is under way in Oregon that may be an alternative to all-out war over use of the public lands.
The foresters, economists, sociologists, public land managers and foundation executives at the Defining Sustainable Forestry Workshop came surprisingly close to describing what sustainable forestry might look like.
Today, Babbitt said, the main threat to the West is not aridity, but dam builders. Each new water development destroys another chunk of the West, said the man who fought for the Central Arizona Project while Arizona's governor.
Wilkinson was a pioneer. "People were practicing public land and Indian law, but it wasn't being taught," he says. "It shows how influential the East was in determining even western law school curricula."
The Forest Service is becoming experienced in listening to messages it would not have chosen to hear a few years ago.
When his Forest Service superiors told him he had so angered the ranchers he was working with that he should apply for a transfer, District Ranger Don Oman refused.
A rural electrification convention symbolizes the forces that vigorous, progressive elements must overcome if the countryside is to move forward again.
It has taken more than a century for livestock grazing on public lands in the West to reach maximum pain and minimum profit.
What sense are we to make of the inland West's last 10 years? And what possible futures can we imagine for the 1990s and beyond, based on our interpretation of the 1980s?
The drastic decline of the West's natural resource economy and the failings of conventional water development have created a climate for change.