Items by Betsy Marston

Hidden, but vulnerable
Congress considers a little-known bill -- the Federal Cave Resources Protection Act -- that would guard the thousands of caves underlying public lands from vandalism and other forms of destruction.
Edward Abbey is an optimist
"The world is older, bigger and more interesting than we are. Growth is the enemy. Every organism grows to optimum space, then stops." If it doesn't, he says, it's a freak, which means our overblown and overdone technological civilization is headed for a great explosion, followed by collapse. "That's why I'm an optimist."
Canyon flights attract a comment blitz
A Grand Canyon National Park superintendent spent much of this summer sifting advice from the public on how to reduce noise from airplanes and helicopters flying in the 1,900-square mile park.
Grizzly bears: Thriving or vanishing?
A spring conference called "The fate of the grizzly," sponsored primarily by the University of Colorado Environmental Center, brought together critics of the federal bureaucracy involved in Yellowstone National Park, plus a few of the bureaucrats themselves.
High Noon in Washington, D.C.
After a year of negotiation between cattle growers, nine national conservation organizations and congressional aides, no compromise was reached on the controversial issue of fees for livestock grazing on public land.
The Park Service fights a garbage dump
In Colorado, a garbage dump is proposed next to Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.
Wilderness management's time has come
Although hundreds of wilderness areas have been created, few are actually managed according to the spirit of the Wilderness Act.
Two western forces clash at Jackson Lake
The frailness of Jackson Dam brings two sacred Western forces into conflict: agricultural water rights versus one of America's most beautiful and popular national parks.
Voters seize the initiative on nuclear waste
By an overwhelming 62 percent margin, South Dakota voters passed an initiative that gives the people the "exclusive right" to approve or reject the disposal of all nuclear wastes within the state.
Wilderness fight leads to symbolic hanging
Three members of a grassroots environmental group in south-central Utah were hanged in effigy last month in the town of Escalante.
A coal miner takes on the safety bureaucracy
Pat Conkle, a former Paonia, Colo. coal miner, has succeeded in forcing the Mine Safety and Health Administration to defend itself before the House Safety and Health Subcommittee.
Foes launch first-strike attack on MX
The MX missile deployment in Nebraska and Wyoming is meeting stepped up opposition, with Colorado pressing to be included in an assessment of regional impacts.
Dear friends
Visitors, odds and ends, mistaken identity.