Items by Matt Jenkins

Pipeline and dam dreams
The Utah Legislature has approved money for "preconstruction" work on a new dam for the Wasatch Front and a new pipeline for the booming city of St. George
The Latest Bounce
EPA abandons attempt to regulate hydraulic fracturing; BLM briefly cuts forestry school funding and Republican Rep. Greg Walden grills logging critic Dan Donato; California regulator tries to stop ecological crash in San Francisco Bay-Delta
Taking the law into their own hands
Citizens use a little-known legal doctrine called qui tam to fight energy company profiteering – and make money in the process
Wilderness: The new anti-nuclear weapon
The designation of a new wilderness area in Utah – the Cedar Mountain Wilderness -- may make it harder for nuclear power plant operators to ship radioactive waste to the Skull Valley Goshute Indian Reservation
The Latest Bounce
White Pine County, Nev., seeks federal help to fight Las Vegas groundwater grab; fired workers suddenly regain jobs at National Renewable Energy Laboratory; marijuana is Washington’s No. 8 agricultural product
Colorado River states reach landmark agreement
The seven states of the Colorado River Basin have come to a groundbreaking agreement that, among other things, will allow cities such as Las Vegas to lease water from out-of-state farms during times of drought
Trouble in the Delta
The San Francisco Bay-Delta Authority votes to disband, even as the Bay-Delta itself -- beset by high water exports, disappearing fish and declining water quality – may be dying
The Latest Bounce
Pete McCloskey plans run against Rep. Richard Pombo; 11 alleged eco-terrorists indicted; BLM gives six companies chance to work on oil shale production; Gray Development buys expensive state land in north Phoenix.
The Latest Bounce
Petroglyph boulders moved for controversial Albuquerque highway; Hilmar Cheese can drill "test well" for its wastewater; Richard Pombo’s plan to fast-track oil shale stymied; wilderness vs. helicopter skiing in Wyoming
Energy companies score massive refund checks
A federal judge has ordered the government to buy back offshore oil and gas leases that energy companies say can’t be developed, leading some to wonder if the BLM will have to do the same with leases in potential wilderness areas
Roadless forest plans draw crowds — and lawsuits
Concerned citizens overflow a meeting in Delta, Colo., as a crucial deadline for protecting roadless areas in national forests nears
Tapping into energy's fringe
As energy companies go after "unconventional" natural gas – such as tight-sands gas and coalbed methane –the environmental impacts are becoming increasingly apparent
The Final Energy Frontier
The end of the oil and gas era may be in sight, but the current energy boom in the West means that a rough and wild ride is still ahead
The Latest Bounce
Richard Pombo wants new offshore drilling; Nevada gold mines spew mercury across West; grazing fees don’t pay for program; judge slams Forest Service over refusal to look at environmental impacts of fire retardant
The Latest Bounce
Assistant Interior Secretary Rebecca Watson resigns; Texas oil baron Oscar Wyatt indicted in Iraq oil-for-food scandal; Congress won’t fund "bunker buster" nukes; Fish and Wildlife OK with lynx mortality at proposed Wolf Creek ski village
The Latest Bounce
Whistleblower Earle Dixon’s complaint denied; Colorado moose has chronic wasting disease; Colorado wind power gets cheaper than traditional electricity; court nixes BuRec’s 10-year Klamath River plan
The Latest Bounce
U.S. Geological Survey gets Yucca Mountain research funding cut; logging halted on Giant Sequoia National Monument; New Mexican politicians fight proposal to drill in Valle Vidal
‘Tributary issue' could force a seven-stateshowdown
Nevada is fighting with the four Upper Basin states of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico over its right to use water from the Colorado River’s tributaries, in particular the Virgin and the Muddy rivers
Squeezing Water from a Stone
With only a tiny share of the Colorado River available to it, Las Vegas decides to get the water it needs from elsewhere in the state – underneath the rural high-desert Basin and Range country
The Latest Bounce
California Coastal Commission rejects 36 oil and gas leases; EPA proposes two-stage regulation for radiation exposure at Yucca Mountain; developer’s attorneys have to pay legal fees in lawsuit against environmentalist; wannabe border patrol volunteer lose
Follow-up
Judge Dee Benson reconsiders the Norton-Leavitt 2003 wilderness settlement; New Mexico’s Otero Mesa back on the oil and gas auction block; former NOAA administrator James Lecky accused of doctoring science in controversial biological opinion
A tasty history of the Southwest
In Gardens of New Spain, William W. Dunmire tells the story of how Mediterranean plants and foods came to North America and changed the way its inhabitants eat
Writing a comment letter? Better make it good
The Bureau of Land Management is tightening its standards on what it considers worthwhile, "substantive" public comments from citizen activists
How low will Vegas go for water?
Patricia Mulroy of the Southern Nevada Water Authority has ambitious plans for getting yet more water for Las Vegas from intake pipes in Lake Mead
A view of the West from on high
In his essay collection Dragons in Paradise, George Sibley reminisces about his years in the funky mountain ski town of Crested Butte, Colorado
On the Colorado River, a tug-of-war on a tightrope
A wet winter postpones the declaration of a shortage on the Colorado River as the Upper and Lower Basin states continue to squabble over long-strategy for dealing with the region's droughts
Beehive state may get new wilderness — and more
In Utah, an "omnibus" public-lands bill may create several new wilderness areas near Zion National Park, but at the same time authorize the auction of federal lands for development
Oil and gas opponents will have to move faster
The Bureau of Land Management is shortening the amount of time that citizens and environmental groups in Wyoming and Utah will have to protest oil and gas leases
Follow-up
Montana approves green-power initiative; geothermal company takes Valles Caldera Preserve to court; bills to exempt hydraulic fracturing from regulation; William Jensen Cottrell sentenced for SUV vandalism
Colorado River kisses a toxic mess good-bye
The Department of Energy finally agrees to move the Atlas uranium mine tailings pile away from Moab, Utah, and the flood risk of the Colorado River.