Items by Tom Bell

A matter of facts!
When the history of the environmental movement is written, it will be found that a small band of unpaid, unsung volunteers blazed the trail. Imbued with little more than clear vision, bulldog tenacity, and a thick skin, they have taken unpopular stands in the causes loosely termed "the environment."
Western coal development moves closer to realization
As Wyoming Senator Clifford Hansen pushes legislation to construct an aqueduct system that would divert water for industrial use in the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming, plans for escalating extraction of coal are coming out into public view.
Storm brews over Utah
The Bureau of Reclamation faces off with local opponents over a proposed dam that would inundate China Meadows, a choice spot in Utah's Uinta Mountains.
Huge new complex proposed
Reynolds Metals Co. has announced a proposal to build a uranium enrichment plant near Buffalo, Wyo., that would cost at least $2.2 billion.
Last chance for wilderness
The Wilderness Act set a 1974 deadline for considering all remaining primitive and roadless areas for wilderness designation, and as that deadline approaches, controversy is stirring in the Rocky Mountains about how to treat those wild lands.
Justice is prostituted! Is Werner to go free?
It has now been seven months since helicopter pilot James Vogan went before a Senate subcommittee and revealed the illegal deaths of hundreds of eagles on Herman Werners's Wyoming ranch -- what has happened to justice?
Nixon nixes clear-cut ban
The Nixon administration went against the advice of its own environmental experts and refused to sign an executive order regulating clear-cutting.
Poisoning banned!
Poisoning banned! The news burst like a bombshell over the rangelands of the West. And repercussions are still echoing from Montana to Texas.
Montana air bartered
Montana Governor Forrest Anderson effectively sabotaged that state's air pollution program by refusing to sign the proposed implementation of federal standards.
Game herds threatened
Big game herds, hit with the harsh winter of 1971-72 and faced with steady shrinkage of winter range, continue to decline.
Huge power complex planned
The power industry could build at least five 10,000-megawatt coal-fired power plants in the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming, with staggering social, economic and environmental implications.
Desert study is released
Conservationists are hailing the release of the Bureau of Land Management's recommendations for management in central Wyoming's Red Desert, which include limiting mining and fencing and establishing a new primitive area.
Ranch sprays sage
Wyoming's Diamond Ring Ranch has again made the news for illegal activity, this time for unauthorized spraying of sagebrush on some 4,000 acres of public land.
Mike Frome 'expurgated'
The sure, incisive pen of one of America's foremost conservation writers has been censored from the pages of American Forests, the official magazine of the American Forestry Association.
Morton meets Westerners
Western conservationists got an attentive and sympathetic ear from Interior Secretary Rogers Morton in an unprecedented audience in Denver.
Our editor says ...
Six months have passed since High Country News changed direction and became an environmental newspaper, supported by subscriptions of only $10 per year. Since you, our readers, are in effect our stockholders, I want to report to you.
Mines and power make impact
Coal mining and coal-fired power generation will have an enormous cumulative impact on the West. But the public -- getting news in bits and pieces without any meaningful reporting on the large-scale impact -- does not realize the full extent of what is happening.
Timber study is released
An interdisciplinary panel, assembled in response to criticism of forest management in Wyoming, has recommended that wildlife, recreation, and scenic quality be considered in every management decision on Wyoming's national forests.
Eagles' deaths NOT vindicated
The case of Wyoming's poisoned eagles took a bizarre turn when Van Irvine -- the sheep rancher from Casper, Wyo., who is charged on 29 counts of game violations -- asked for a no contest plea and was fined the absolute minimum on all charges.
Energy may be cause of environmental degradation
National concern for energy may be leading our Western states into an era of environmental degradation unprecedented in history. Hearings now being held on power plant siting, coal strip-mining and huge transmission lines are finally beginning to focus attention on the overall problem.
Wyoming eagles die mysteriously
A tragedy involving America's symbol of freedom has struck in central Wyoming. Eleven bald eagles were found dead on the west end of Casper Mountain; five golden eagles were found dead, and another was partially paralyzed and near death.
Montana is unique ... environment has real champion
Unlike in most states, the Montana environment has a real champion: Fish and Game Department head Frank Dunkle, who has fought Montana governor Forrest Anderson to a virtual standstill.
Our editor says ...
Americans are great people. But I think the readers of High Country News are the greatest. The response to our letter regarding the future of the paper has been heartwarming. I really can't find the right words to express our feelings but I can say very simply -- we won't let the paper die!
Our editor says ...
The people of Wyoming are being duped by the mining industry and the state's highest political leaders. While we are being assured that millions of acres of our land surface are adequately protected, disaster may be waiting in the wings.
Green River development ... what it's all about
An overview of the Green River Basin project, with analysis of transbasin diversion, irrigation use, Kendall Reservoir, New Fork Narrows Reservoir and proposed alternatives.
Governors recognize environment issue
Governors Forrest Anderson of Montana and Stanley Hathaway of Wyoming -- neither of whom has outstanding environmental records -- have both declared the environment to be an important issue. The Era of the Environment must certainly have arrived.
Our editor says ...
Wyoming's unspoiled countryside is in jeopardy. The vast coal and uranium deposits which lie beneath our prairies and deserts are a treasure house of energy.
People of the West are changing attitudes about environment
Throughout the Rocky Mountain region there are demands to take a closer look at industries' impact on the environment.