Items by Ray Ring

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.
How green is Judge Molloy?
How green is Judge Molloy?
A pro-wolf ruling by Montana Judge Don Molloy provokes accusations that he's a "nutzoid" greenie, but he doesn't always side with environmentalists.
Recognizing unfairness
Recognizing unfairness
Young people dressed in graduation caps and gowns protest for immigration reform.
Some notable arson wildfire cases in the West
Some notable arson wildfire cases in the West
Brief descriptions of some notable arson wildfire cases in the West in the last 50 years.
The worst manmade wildfires
Most Western wildfires today are caused by humans, either accidentally or deliberately.
The HCN mix
The HCN mix
High Country News will continue to cover important Western issues, and yet make room for lighter pieces about the region's culture and communities.
The fight for the Flathead
The fight for the Flathead
During the Western Governors' Association meeting in Whitefish, Mont., journalists and dignitaries flew over the threatened landscape around Glacier National Park.
Libby's lethal numbers
Libby's lethal numbers
The toll of the asbestos disaster in Libby, Mont., keeps growing.
Eccentricity and wildness
Eccentricity and wildness
Western eccentrics are found underwater as well as in the high country.
The oil spill's upshot
The oil spill's upshot
The tragic BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could help the environmental movement, if greens act wisely.
California voters OK reform of primary system
'Top two' ballot measure may reduce power of hardliners in each party.
Yellowstone bison: Hazed and confused
Yellowstone bison: Hazed and confused
A decade-old Yellowstone management plan isn't doing much for wandering bison, or for the ranchers it's meant to protect.
Going to extremes
Going to extremes
Determined ideologues are hijacking Western politics, but some reformers are trying to change that.
Small wonders, big world
Small wonders, big world
A couple of hitherto-unknown bees are discovered in Nevada -- just two of the many new species found every year.
Death of an era
Death of an era
High Country News remembers Stewart Udall, the legendary Interior secretary.
Reefer politics
Reefer politics
The West leads the way on medical marijuana.
Turnover at the top
Many environmental groups are seeing a changing of the guard, epitomized by 38-year-old activist Mike Brune's new job as head of the Sierra Club.
Understanding an oil group
The Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States isn't as reasonable as it appears.
Supreme beings
Supreme beings
The Supreme Court's precedent-overturning ruling allowing more corporate money in politics raises the possibility that it plans to tackle the Commerce Clause next.
'The environment ... is where we live'
'The environment ... is where we live'
A group of determined activists in Mountain View, N.M., fights for environmental justice in a poor and polluted neighborhood.
The federal energy two-step
The federal energy two-step
Oil and gas companies are furious with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, but environmentalists wonder if he’ll go far enough in restraining the industry.
A "shock jock" in Montana has a great fall
A "shock jock" in Montana has a great fall
Controversial right-wing "shock jock" John Stokes loses his Montana radio station in a battle over bankruptcy.
'The West's Biggest Bully' gets his
'The West's Biggest Bully' gets his
Controversial right-wing "shock jock" John Stokes loses his Montana radio station in a battle over bankruptcy.
The roadless rule's ground game
Excerpts from Tom Turner's chronicle of the roadless rule's creation give the inside scoop on how the rule was crafted.
The Wicked Witch of the West
The Wicked Witch of the West
Cheyenne lawyer Harriet Hageman has relentlessly fought the roadless rule for nearly a decade.
Roadless-less
Roadless-less
Judge Clarence Brimmer is determined to bring down Clinton's roadless forest rule, which has been mired in lawsuits ever since its controversial birth.
The roadless rule ground game
Excerpts from Tom Turner's chronicle of the roadless rule give the inside scoop on how the rule was crafted.
Parties 'R' Some Of Us
Parties 'R' Some Of Us
Despite the economic slump, Western party-throwing companies are doing well, especially when it comes to throwing fancy weddings.
Our best idea
Our best idea
A family trip out West in 1959, when he was 9 years old, inspired Dayton Duncan to make a new documentary series with Ken Burns, called The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.