Items by Michelle Nijhuis

Hot Times - Global Warming in the West
Global Warming is showing up in the West, in everything from receding glaciers to shrinking pika habitat
Global Warming's Unlikely Harbingers
Mountain pine beetles are attacking more forests and more varieties of trees — and thriving at higher elevations than ever before — and some scientists believe global climate change is at the root of the problem
Perspectives on change — climate change
Charles Wohlforth looks at climate change in Alaska from two cultures’ viewpoints, when he talks to scientists and to the Inupiaq people in The Whale and the Supercomputer: On The Northern Front of Climate Change
As Congress adjourns, the environment is left in limbo
The energy bill is stalled for now as Congress wraps up its business for the year, but a lot of anti-environmental legislation has been passed in an end-of-season rush
A mountain town considers going ‘micropolitan’
A proposed expansion of Telluride’s mountain airport could change the Colorado ski town forever, and not all the locals want that to happen
Trying out for the new sport of Extreme Canning
Michelle Nijhuis suggests a new sport she calls Extreme Canning
Digging through the dust of Libby
Journalist Andrea Peacock chronicles the tragic story of Libby, Mont., and its betrayal by the W.R. Grace Corp. in Libby, Montana: Asbestos and the Deadly Silence of an American Corporation
Rocky Flats, the sequel?
The Department of Energy says any new nuclear bomb factory will be safer than Rocky Flats, but critics have their doubts
Building a new bomb factory could cause global aftershocks
The Bush administration’s plans to build a new factory for nuclear bomb triggers could spark a brand-new arms race, critics say
Courting the Bomb
The hardscrabble desert town of Carlsbad, N.M. – already home to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant – is brushing aside the fears of environmentalists and arms-control advocates in its eagerness to host the Bush administration’s planned new nuclear bomb fac
A tale of tough women walks out of the past
In Bold Spirit: Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America, author Linda Lawrence Hunt celebrates a Norwegian immigrant’s 1896 journey across America in an attempt to save her family homestead
Is it a farm – or is it a pharmacy?
Farmers in Western Colorado are considering the benefits – and the risks – of biotechnology and "biofarming" corn
Look before you eat
In Safe Food: Bacteria, Biotechnology and Bioterrorism, Marion Nestle takes on the long and often shameful history of food safety in the U.S.
The BLM’s conservation kingdom
The BLM’s new National Landscape Conservation System manages 15 monuments created by President Clinton, as well as 800 other protected areas
Change comes slowly to Escalante country
Just as it seemed the local communities were starting to accept the BLM’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the rise of conservative national politics has helped to revive old grudges and stir up opposition
The Underground Heart: Return to a Hidden Landscape
In The Underground Heart, poet Ray Gonzalez returns to his hometown of El Paso, Texas, to examine the border country with a thoughtful and sometimes angry eye
Dummy up and deal
In "Dummy Up and Deal," H. Lee Barnes gives readers a chance to peek behind the scenes in Las Vegas’ casinos.
Nevada’s desert beauty
In The Black Rock Desert, writer William L. Fox and photographer Mark Klett visit a remarkable corner of northeastern Nevada
Road warriors back on the offensive
The Bush administration rolls back a Clinton-era moratorium on RS 2477, a controversial old statute that some Western counties have used to claim designated roads in wilderness areas, parks and monuments
Holding open the door to the good life upnorth
A day spent helping Mexican immigrants apply for matricula personal identification cards leads the writer to believe that the influx of workers from the south is not a threat to the West’s environment.
Mexican workers in our towns want to legitimize their presence
The hour was early, the high desert air was fall-frosty, and the coffee was, well, truly horrible. I'd arrived for my volunteer shift at a Catholic church in the western Colorado town of Delta, and I had a very bad feeling.
Rural residents bring fierce friends
Wildlife biologists are looking at the ways animals adapt -- or fail to adapt -- to developed areas outside of cities, such as campgrounds, rural subdivisions and ranchlands.
Shadow creatures
Wildlife biologist John Marzluff is fascinated by the crows and other adaptable wild animals that have made a comfortable home for themselves in the suburbs and even downtown areas of Western cities such as Seattle.
Museum collections hit the roof
Lack of adequate storage for artifacts in museums throughout Colorado and the West is creating a messy backlog that could eventually stall construction projects on public lands.
An inspiring, devastating story
Land, Wind and Hard Words: A Story of Navajo Activism by John W. Sherry tells the story of the Navajo grassroots environmental group Dine CARE and the dedicated small group of people who founded it, 10 years ago.
Another way to win back land
The Timbisha Shoshone have won control of 314 acres with water rights in California's Death Valley National Park, and have gained shared management responsibilities for another 300,000 acres in the park, along with 7,400 acres of nearby federal land.
Can money buy happiness?
Some Native Americans warn that the unexpected arrival of money in the form of claim payments can have harmful impacts on impoverished tribes.
Land or money?
After generations of struggle, the Western Shoshone decide in a divisive election to accept land settlement payments from the federal government in lieu of the tribe's ancestral lands, which one spanned the Great Basin.
Is this wilderness perverted?
Utah Rep. Jim Hansen proposes half a million acres of wilderness in western Utah, but in the same amendment would dump hazardous waste in the nearby Skull Valley Goshute Reservation.