Items by Rebecca Clarren

Priests preach to the choir: Protect the Columbia
The Roman Catholic bishops of the Pacific Northwest have released a long-awaiting pastoral letter on the duty to protect the Columbia River: "The Columbia River Watershed: Caring for Creation and the Common Good."
The latest bounce
Bonneville Power may scrap salmon recovery; killing hatchery salmon in WA; oil companies may drill in Rockies; "Operation Crossroads" tackles illegal immigrants. Idaho officials accused of ignoring INEEL's air and waste violations.
An agency in need of refuge?
Some say the National Wildlife Refuge System is being neglected and perhaps should be split off from the Fish and Wildlife Service.
The latest bounce
User-fee protester faces prosecution; Utah state Sen. Terry Spencer proposes four bills to stop nuclear waste storage on Goshute Reservation; Hopi tribe may be allowed to take eaglets; electric cars encouraged in California.
Don Ewy is no timber beast
Environmentalist, logger and HCN reader Don Ewy wonders who vandalized the bulldozer he used to selectively log trees in the North Fork State Forest in Colorado.
Dear Friends
Winter kicks in; calling all lapsed subscribers; deaths of poet and conservationist Geoffrey Platts and photographer Sherm Spoelstra.
Landowners could get gas relief
Four bills in the Colorado state Legislature promise to give landowners more rights in the regulation of methane gas development, but some activists remain skeptical.
The latest bounce
It's now a crime to kill or harm threatened salmon; enviros say Puget Sound Energy harms salmon nests; tribes sue to protect salmon; new and cleaner snowmobiles tested; BLM uses helicopters to round up cattle on Grand Staircase-Escalante.
Coloradan tapped for Interior
President-elect George W. Bush has nominated former Colorado Attorney General Gale Norton to head the Interior Department, and some environmentalists are worried about her ties to industry.
Troubled harvest
Farmers, government officials and immigrant advocacy groups are at odds over the best way to deal with the burgeoning population of illegal immigrants picking Washington state's fruit crop.
Final roadless plan drives Clinton's legacy
The Forest Service has released its final version of a plan to limit road-building on nearly one-third of the nation's national forest.
A bird? A plane? It's the environmental air force
LightHawk, a nonprofit airline, uses its small planes to fly politicians, environmentalists and journalists over landscapes degraded by mining, clear-cutting and other uses.
The latest bounce
Vermilion Cliffs is a new mounument in Ariz.; Forest Service can buy land in Colorado's Red Mountain Mining District; NFS to buy land in Wash. from Plum Creek Timber Co.
Timber counties get new money
A new law is intended to give former timber counties federal tax money for schools and roads, without using the funds to increase logging.
The latest bounce
BLM impounds cattle on Grand Staircase-Escalante N.M., Utah, and pulls 3 oil/gas leases in Wyo.; Moab's Atlas mine tailings to be moved; Magnesium Corp. agrees to cut emissions in northern Utah; ID enviros to sue ranchers and agencies over taking salmon.
Homeless tribe wants its land back
The Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw are asking for 95,000 acres of the Siuslaw National Forest as compensation for land stolen 150 years ago.
The latest bounce
Clinton's fire-recovery plan approved with caveats; Interior Appropriations bill riders dropped; public can now appeal USFS projects; Colorado gas wells in some areas must use directional drilling; cyanide from Los Alamos runoff traced to fire retardant.
'The playing field has to be leveled'
Rancher and developer Charles Micale says the gas industry should respect the property rights of surface owners.
'It's hard to keep fighting'
Janey Hines, in her own words, talks about battling the gas industry with the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, the group she heads in Parachute, Colo.
Status quo reigns in New Mexico
In New Mexico, some say complaints about oil and gas development are dwarfed by the industry's clout.
'It's corporate greed'
Arnold Mackley, whose western Colorado ranch is dotted with gas wells in his own words says the industry ought to able to make a living without destroying the land.
'We need that gas'
Ken Wonstolen of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, in his own words, says that Colorado is an energy-dependent state, and the methane gas it produces is greatly needed.
How well do you know your wells?
A primer describes the technology and potential problems of methane-gas drilling.
Colliding forces
In Colorado, homeowners and developers are battling the oil and gas industry as the boom in methane gas production brings increased numbers of wells to the rural landscape.
The Latest Bounce
Army Corps of Engineers loses approval to dredge Columbia; 85% baby salmon/steelhead on Snake River were barged this year; 222 sockeye return to Idaho's Redfish Lake; Wash.'s Goldsborough Dam to be breached; Dick Cheney wants to undo monuments.
Who'll clean up a mining mess?
Recent studies show that contamination from Idaho's Bunker Hill Superfund Site has spread throughout the entire Coeur d'Alene River Basin, and some say the Superfund cleanup effort now winding down has not helped at all.
Composting takes out the trash
California has cut its landfill waste by 40 percent, and some give composting the credit.
The Wayward West
Western wildfires rage; Rosebud Sioux Tribe cuts its planned giant hog farm by half; Dick French is ousted from job in charge of cleaning up Hanford Nuclear Reservation; Clinton withdraws support for a Great Sand Dunes National Park.
The Wayward West
Clinton administration delays dam-breaching decision; critics call Army Corps of Engineers' Los Alamos, NM, dam unnecessary; W.R. Grace repurchases vermiculite mine in Libby, MT and revokes EPA access; Californians vie to get $ for their polluting cars.
The basin has a much-ballyhooed plan
The Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Project, a controversial proposal for managing federal land in the Northwest, may be near approval after six years of work.