Items by Ed Marston

Senior BLMer recalls how James Watt did things
Senior BLM director, Bob Moore, gives his opinion on appointees and career people.
Big changes are coming to Interior, Udall says
The former Secretary of the Interior, Stewart Udall, speculates on Babbitt's effect on the agency.
Can Bruce Babbitt make Interior hum?
Bruce Babbitt will manage a fragmented and dysfunctional Department of the Interior.
The new Secretary of the Interior - Bruce Babbitt
Introduction to : Babbitt in his own words
The 1992 Election: Nationally a revolution, in the West an evolution
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.
The West's nuclear Mandarins have reaped what they sowed
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.
Western voters face clear choices
The 1992 election will redraw the West's political map, but the new shape is almost impossible to predict.
PacifiCorp bets on coal, and against efficiency
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.
Power could come from a shared vision
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.
How clean coal helped kill a utility
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.
Rural economies can reform or go the way of Detroit
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.
Wilderness and cattle don't mix
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.
Ranching's charismatic reformers
In Oregon, Doc and Connie Hatfield combine ecology, politics and marketing to strengthen the economics of ranching.
A neighborly approach to sustainable public-land grazing
An experiment is under way in Oregon that may be an alternative to all-out war over use of the public lands.
In search of sustainability
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.
Is Babbitt just funny, or is he also shrewd?
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.
Charles Wilkinson: A profile
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."
Metamorphosis at the Forest Service
The Forest Service is becoming experienced in listening to messages it would not have chosen to hear a few years ago.
Ranchers' hold on agency revealed
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.
The public range begins to green up
Grazing reform appears to be a sustainable and unstoppable movement to recover lost land.
The decayed core at the center of rural life
A rural electrification convention symbolizes the forces that vigorous, progressive elements must overcome if the countryside is to move forward again.
The West's real cattle heritage: Damaged land and political paralysis
It has taken more than a century for livestock grazing on public lands in the West to reach maximum pain and minimum profit.
The decline of the West's made-in-Washington economy continues
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?
Water enters its age of reform
The drastic decline of the West's natural resource economy and the failings of conventional water development have created a climate for change.
The West's right to pollute shall never be denied
The West's refusal to confront the issue of water quality will haunt the region.
A tough weed takes root in the devastated West
The 20-year-long history of High Country News is romantic because it is tragic.
Ecotage isn't a solution, it's part of the problem
The time for an ambiguous attitude toward ecotage passed with the announcement of the arrests in Arizona and the allegations of a plan to attack the Rocky Flats nuclear arsenal.
Why Denver's concrete proposal got beat
Two Forks Dam is on the verge of veto because the economic currents are flowing against it, and the political currents are following.
The West is crippled by its resources
Writer Wallace Stegner has a rule of thumb: The more arid a state, the worse its congressional delegation. I have a corollary to that rule: The more a state is "blessed" with natural resources, tile worse off it will be economically, socially and politically.
Wallace Stegner: The transcendent Western writer
The geographic removal of Stegner from the inland Western landscape he helps us see says a great deal about the past state of this region. But we do not yet know whether the forces that led him out of the region are artifacts or persisting conditions.