Items by Joshua Zaffos

Arizona elections stay 'clean'
Big business tries to challenge Arizona’s pioneering Clean Elections program, but the public campaign-finance program prevails
King of Fish, Slave to Man
In King of Fish: The Thousand-Year Run of Salmon, David Montgomery documents the death of Atlantic salmon, and points out that the same threats and challenges face salmon recovery around the world
Mining town gambles on a road to riches
The rivalry between two Colorado gambling towns has led Central City to begin building a new highway to draw visitors directly to its casinos rather than to those of its more successful neighbor, Black Hawk
The terrifying saga of the West’s last big dam
The writer visits the increasingly costly Animas La-Plata Dam Project in southwestern Colorado
Water 'holy war' rages in central Utah
In central Utah, Sanpete County wants to build a dam and reservoir to provide for its fast-growing population, but neighboring Carbon County says the Gooseberry Narrows Dam will be a water-stealing boondoggle
The environment's 'most durable foe'
Historian Steven C. Schulte’s new book, Wayne Aspinall and the Shaping of the American West, portrays the chair of the House Interior Committee and the environmental movement’s "most durable foe" as a fair but rigid representative who, surprisingly, joc
Colorado Senate race steps into national spotlight
Democrats, looking to regain the seat held by retiring Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, offer strong support for Hispanic state attorney general Ken Salazar, who may vie against very conservative former U.S. Congressman Bob Schaffer
You can’t hurry love in the rural West
The writer says you can’t hurry love in the rural West
Gas well slated for state park
Energen Resources Corp. wants to put a gas well on Navajo State Park in Colorado, near Navajo Lake
Clean water changes could sully Western streambeds
If the Bush administration pushes through a rule change to the Clean Water Act, three-fourths of the West’s rivers would be unprotected from pollution
‘Restoration Cowboy’ goes against the flow
Dave Rosgen has become a popular and influential guru in the field of river restoration and management, but some say his teaching oversimplifies a complex subject
Back down the fireline
In Fire and Ashes: On the Front Lines of American Wildfire, John N. Mclean leads readers through sweaty-palmed human encounters with Western wildfires
Water law for dummies
The Citizen’s Guide to Colorado Water Law by the nonprofit Colorado Foundation for Water Education gives a clear and simple overview of water in the state
Another roadside detraction
New studies from the University of California at Davis show that roads significantly promote the spread of invasive, exotic weeds
Toxic waste looms over village
A pile of toxic waste rock is moving dangerously close to Questa, N.M., while the mining company, Molycorp, and the state slowly work out a reclamation plan
BLM sinks local input to drill Roan Plateau
In Western Colorado, locals burned by the oil shale boom 20 years ago are dubious about planned natural gas drilling on the Roan Plateau, especially since the BLM unexpectedly dropped their favorite plan
A fire maverick is resurrected
Forgotten Fires: Native Americans and the Transient Wilderness, a controversial and thought-provoking 1954 study by Omer C. Stewart, has been rediscovered and republished
Sustainable forestry for beginners
Brian Foster’s Wild Logging: A Guide to Environmentally and Economically Sustainable Forestry introduces readers to Western landowners, foresters and loggers, and answers technical questions
Report brandishes cold facts about U.S. energy
A new report by the Rocky Mountain Institute called U.S. Energy Facts criticizes current energy policy and urges efficiency and conservation
A ravaged river gets a new life
The Nature Conservancy is using the McCarran Ranch, which it recently purchased, as a river-restoration pilot project for Nevada’s Truckee River
Reinstating the heir to the Truckee River
The Nevada Lahontan cutthroat trout, believed to be extinct for 60 years, may still be alive, but actually restoring the fish to its native Truckee River and Pyramid Lake could prove extremely complicated
Who needs Superfund when we’ve got reality TV?
Joshua Zaffos scoffs at the Bush administration’s effort to cleanup pollution
Tribes recognized at Little Bighorn
This summer, the National Park Service will unveil a memorial to the American Indians who fought Custer at the Little Bighorn
A dirty use for Clean Water Act money?
A Forest Service project to thin trees in New Mexico’s Santa Fe National Forest is using money obtained through the Clean Water Act
Roadkill 101
Hayden Valley Elementary School in Hayden, Colo., is using its "Critter Control Project" to map wildlife roadkill patterns and find solutions to the problem
Off-roaders steer agencies with dollars
Critics say Idaho is being swayed by ORVers’ money in its plans for an off-road vehicle trail through the Lost River Valley
On the WaterWatch
WaterWatch of Oregon has a newly revamped Web site designed to educate people about the Beaver State’s rivers and watersheds.
The hunt is on for a mystery killer
Fallon, Nev., is home to the fastest-growing cancer cluster in U.S. history, and some researchers suspect that the seemingly harmless metal tungsten may be to blame
Tangled up in blue
Ellen Meloy’s memoir, The Anthropology of Turquoise, explores her life in the Southwest through the metaphor of color
Born to be winter wild
The Boise-based Winter Wildlands Alliance works to encourage "human-powered" winter recreation on public lands in Idaho, Colorado, California and Nevada