Items by Ray Ring

Western voters love ballot initiatives -- and sometimes make a mess
Western voters love ballot initiatives -- and sometimes make a mess
A Western tradition of citizen legislation may cause more problems than it solves.
The real side effect of medical marijuana
The real side effect of medical marijuana
In a country where cigarettes and alcohol kill so many people every year, the argument against medical marijuana is pure hypocrisy.
Relying on Navajo guides
Relying on Navajo guides
In this issue's feature story, reporter Marilyn Berlin Snell turns to Navajo guides to understand the challenges facing today's tribal government.
Rocky Mountain wolf recovery leader was not your average bureaucrat
Rocky Mountain wolf recovery leader was not your average bureaucrat
An interview with Ed Bangs, who recently retired from heading the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's gray wolf recovery program
Montana's top gun-rights advocate has a national impact
Montana's top gun-rights advocate has a national impact
Gary Marbut's case for state rights in gun regulations is spreading from Montana to the rest of the country.
A lonely crusade
A lonely crusade
A Wyoming farmer's long struggle to find out what's polluting his water gets the attention of the EPA - and inspires reporter Abrahm Lustgarten of ProPublica.
Park Service finally drafts a solution to conflicts over canyon flights
Park Service finally drafts a solution to conflicts over canyon flights
The Park Service offers a plan to ease the conflict over Grand Canyon overflights.
The key player: Elling B. Halvorson
The key player: Elling B. Halvorson
Elling B. Halvorson, the main Grand Canyon air-tour operator, is involved in a great variety of Western businesses.
The Las Vegas effect
The Las Vegas effect
Grand Canyon air tours are fun, the way Las Vegas is fun, but one of the world’s natural wonders should not be treated like a sideshow.
The cost of righteousness
The cost of righteousness
Has some environmentalists' refusal to compromise helped cause the delisting of wolves in Montana and Idaho?
When all else fails, go to court
When all else fails, go to court
Obama could give environmental causes a push in the right direction with his choices for new judges, especially in the West.
Profile: Corey Shott, National Wildlife Federation
Profile: Corey Shott, National Wildlife Federation
Corey Shott still misses the mountains, but has made politics her career.
Profile: Rodger Schlickeisen, Defenders of Wildlife
Profile: Rodger Schlickeisen, Defenders of Wildlife
Rodger Schlickeisen has a long history of fighting for the West.
Profile: Bethany Cotton, Center for Biological Diversity
Profile: Bethany Cotton, Center for Biological Diversity
Bethany Cotton loves working for the environment, but misses life out West.
Ruthless economics
Ruthless economics
By insisting on buying goods, especially food, as cheaply as possible, we ignore the hidden and occasionally horrendous costs.
Alaska ho!
Alaska ho!
High Country News ventures into the rocky terrain of Alaska's wildlife politics.
A closer look at Obama's judges, federal agencies, and his approach to science and secrecy
A closer look at Obama's judges, federal agencies, and his approach to science and secrecy
A closer look at Obama's impact on federal judges, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Energy Department and the Forest Service, as well as his administration's approach to science and secrecy.
Presidential style
Presidential style
Obama's nonconfrontational approach to life underlies his slow-but-steady approach to Western environmental issues.
A dark moment, a glimmer of light
A dark moment, a glimmer of light
Despite the recent tragedy in Tucson, a sense of community blooms in the West, often in unlikely soil.
Diving deeper into the Bay Delta
Diving deeper into the Bay Delta
High Country News reporter Matt Jenkins gets his boots muddy writing about California's crazy water politics in the Bay Delta.
Oklahoma vs. the West
Oklahoma vs. the West
Oklahoma Republican Sens. Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe have a way of riding roughshod over the West's environmental politics.
How outsiders shape the West
How outsiders shape the West
Oklahoma isn't part of the West, but its two Republican senators have an enormous influence on the region.
Wyoming: A popular governor gets mysterious
Wyoming: A popular governor gets mysterious
Wyoming's popular Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal is carefully staying out of the race between his wannabe successors, Leslie Petersen and Matt Mead.
Utah: A Sagebrush Rebel headed for D.C.
Utah: A Sagebrush Rebel headed for D.C.
Right-wingers ousted wilderness-dealmaker Sen. Bob Bennett in the Republican primary, and now anti-wilderness Mike Lee will probably take his place in the Senate.
Montana: Utility regs and clean energy up for grabs
A Montana populist, Ken Toole, tries to keep his seat on the Public Service Commission, while other key races involve wealthy hunters and the state Supreme Court.
Stringing up the Western sheriff
Stringing up the Western sheriff
The West has known extremist politics before, but we usually seem to end up tacking pretty close to the center.
Idaho: How a Democrat wins in the Northern Rockies
Pro-business, semi-green Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick has a good chance of keeping his seat, while Idaho's Republican Party fractures over a loyalty oath.
Doomster chorus
A number of recent books warn of the deadly consequences of climate change.
A Hell of an Anniversary
A Hell of an Anniversary
High Country News' founder, Tom Bell, marks our 40th anniversary with a grim prediction: The West -- and the world -- are doomed.
Idaho's Republican dairy farmers embrace socialism
They're in a national movement to guarantee profits on milk.