Items by Allen Best

Colorado needs to break its cigarette habit
Allen Best confesses his addiction and wishes Colorado would ‘fess up, too
Colorado’s thirsty suburbs get the state into trouble
Allen Best says Denver suburbs need water but asks why everybody should pay
Kobe Bryant bumps up against a small Western town
Allen Best goes beyond the cliches involving Kobe Bryant, the basketball star accused of rape in western Colorado.
Once touched by drought, you never forget
The writer remembers his mother and grandmother’s stories of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression as he faces the current drought afflicting the West
Once touched by drought, you never forget
Allen Best recalls what his grandmother and mother felt about the persistence of drought
Love and loathing on the interstate highways
The writer loves Western highways even more than he hates them, especially in summer when his gas-pedal foot gets twitchy
Drought unearths a water dinosaur
"The Big Straw" - a massive, extravagant scheme to bring water from Colorado's Western Slope to its crowded Front Range, is being seriously reconsidered in a state faced with drought and a growing population.
How does snow melt? A test for all Westerners
With each flood of newcomers to the Interior West, specialized knowledge of place and culture is both lost and gained.
Biologists caught in the crosshairs
Seven wildlife biologists are in trouble for giving to a lab hair samples of what were supposed to be from wild Canada lynx in Washington but actually belonged to captive ones and a bobcat.
A monorail for the mountains?
Growing traffic on Colorado's Interstate 70 has some thinking the state should consider building a monorail to ferry people from Denver into the mountains.
A high country whodunit
Daniel Glick's "Powder Burn: Arson, Money, and Mystery on Vail Mountain" tells the story of the Vail Ski Area and the fire that destroyed its mountaintop restaurant, in an entertaining way, but ultimately lacks depth and insight.
The mythic West and the billionaire
"Painters of the American West" museum exhibit from billionaire Philip Anschutz's collection ironically shows idealized, beautiful land, untouched by industrialists (such as Anschutz).
Coyote killing continues
The Colorado Wildlife Commission has approved a nine-year coyote-killing experiment in western Colorado.
Ski area arms race dirties the water
Environmentalists would like to overturn the Forest Service's decision to let Colorado's Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort start snowmaking.
Don't step on a bomb
Around today's Colorado Trail, where Camp Hale was in WWII, hikers are finding old grenades and other unexploded ordnance.
The Wayward West
David Brower quits Sierra Club; White River Nat'l Forest plan gets avalanche of mail; judge says Army Corps of Engineers has been ignoring environmental laws on Yellowstone River; acting grizzly Bart dies.
Lawmaker accepts Babbitt's challenge
In Colorado, Rep. Scott McInnis has proposed a bill to make the 130,000-acre Black Ridge Canyon a national conservation area, with 72,000 acres designated wilderness.
Turning the road builders around
On Colorado's White River National Forest, Assistant District Ranger Bill Johnson, a former sawmill worker, is responsible for roads and road removal, a subject at the heart of disputes on the forest. Also, Tony Vangalis, in his own words.
The White River National Forest
The White River National Forest stretches most of the way across Colorado from the Continental Divide to the Western Slope.
'Managing for biodiversity is a mistake'
Guidebook writer Lou Dawson says that the White River Forest should be managed for people and their use.
'They're not good stewards of the land'
Jim Gonzalez, a hunter who loves roadless areas, says that the White River National Forest caves into ski areas and other special interests.
In their own words
Recreationists, environmentalists, politicians and agency employees are among those offering comments on the White River National Forest's proposed new plan.
STOP
Recreationists of every kind have long used Colorado's White River National Forest as a playground, and the Forest Service's proposed new plan, which would limit some activities in an attempt to help the forest, is being met with a lot of anger.
Protests proceed at Vail
Nine protesters are arrested for trying to block an access road in the White River National Forest in an attempt to halt the controversial expansion of the Vail Ski Area.
No luck for this lynx
A reintroduced lynx dies on Vail Pass, and some say the fact that the animal traveled 200 miles to get there proves that the Vail area is prime lynx habitat.
Wilderness developer Tom Chapman is back
Notorious developer Tom Chapman is circulating a glossy brochure for the mansions he says he plans to build on former mining claims in Colorado's Holy Cross Wilderness.
Lynx reintroduction links unexpected allies
In Colorado, reintroduction of Canada lynx and the starvation of some of the animals has some conservationists agreeing with the livestock lobby's arguments that federal biologists rushed to bring in the lynx without due consideration.
Vail and the road to a recreational empire
Some worry that Vail and the other booming ski resorts along Colorado's I-70 corridor - which are more lucrative than ever as they become year-round resorts - are turning the state into an Alpine theme park more like Switzerland than the Rocky Mountains.
Vail fires outrage community
The Earth Liberation Front claims responsibility for fires that damaged ski facilities at Vail, Colo., and though many in the community have rallied support, others blame Vail for its ruthless development and planned expansion into possible lynx habitat.
Looking for the missing lynx
The possibility that rare lynx may still roam the forests in Colorado's Eagle County leads some to say more development of the area's Vail ski resort should not be permitted.