Items by Bruce Hamilton

David Brower: Remembering the Archdruid
Conservationists mourn the recent death of David Brower, former Sierra Club director, founder of Friends of the Earth and Earth Island Institute, and passionate fighter against dams and for the wild.
Wise-use power is overblown; the real threat is apathy
Writer says the environmental movement has not lost clout yet.
Edward Abbey: druid of the arches
The sudden death last week of Edward Abbey recalled to us this superb profile of the writer by Bruce Hamilton, who was HCN managing editor in 1976, when this story appeared.
EPA shrinks from regulating tons of dust stirred up by coal mines
As coal mines proliferate, environmentalists are starting to realize that mining creates major air pollution problems, but federal agencies appear reluctant to regulate it and industry may not have the technology to control it.
Congress passes 'fantastic' park and recreation bill
In its final hours, Congress passed a $1.2 billion National Park and Recreation Act that settles several of the nation's leading environmental controversies, including the fight over Mineral King in California.
Alaska: how the House was won
A Sierra Club employee recounts his initiation as a lobbyist during the congressional battle over the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.
Carter's water politics to strangle the West?
The Carter Administration's proposals for reforming national water policy may ruffle the longstanding laws of prior appropriation, and have Western politicians and water user groups fighting mad.
Boise rediscovers geothermal
Using geothermal energy to warm your home and heat your water may sound like a far-fetched idea, but some residents of Warm Springs Avenue in Boise, Idaho, have been doing it for 85 years.
Carter attacks dams; battle of the decade ahead?
President Jimmy Carter has asked Congress to delete funds in the next fiscal year for 19 controversial water development projects.
Wood stove revival puts damper on energy costs
Today, with rising energy costs, wood burning is probably the fastest growing form of alternative renewable energy use.
Idaho legislature axes conservation programs
The forced resignation of Earl Adams, the director of Idaho's Office of Energy, was the coup de grace in a long line of attacks by a hostile Republican-controlled legislature against efforts to set up a state energy conservation policy.
Rest-rotation range plan -- panacea of problem?
Both critics and advocates are weighing in on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's drive to improve deteriorating range conditions on public lands in the West through a grazing system known as rest-rotation.
Utah oil shale boom: not if, but when
Unknowns are plaguing oil shale development southwest of Vernal, Utah, but the burst of optimism for oil shale in the early 1970s has many local residents saying that extraction of oil from their abundant rock is inevitable.
Grizzly critical habitat -- what will be excluded?
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released its suggested boundaries for grizzly bear habitat in the Lower 48 States; many high country residents are up in arms because activities like logging, according to the FWS, may have to be "modified" in critical habitat.
Boulder adopts plan to slow growth
Boulder, Colorado, has become the first community in the Rocky Mountain West to attempt to slow down its growth rate by city ordinance, which will limit the amount of new housing.
Alunite-to-alumina plant proposed for southwest Utah
Unstable supplies of bauxite -- the main raw material of aluminum -- have prompted the government and industry to search for new bauxite substitutes such as alunite. Southwest Utah has that resource and residents there are apparently welcoming the industry.
Congress preserves new wild areas
A summary of the bills that passed and failed in the scramble that occurred before Congress adjourned, including legislation concerning strip mining, wild rivers, synfuels subsidies, wilderness, water pollution, and more.
Interior to designate grizzly critical habitat
The threat of the federal government designating parts of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming as grizzly bear critical habitat has some people more frightened than if they had actually met one of the awesome creatures on the trail.
BLM caught in multiple use bind
Conflict over the Challis Planning Unit in east-central Idaho, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, is an example of the difficulties faced by that agency when it tries to balance the demands of multiple user groups.
What ever happened to the federal land use bill?
David Calfee, an Environmental Policy Center lobbyist for the federal land use planning bill that narrowly failed in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1975, gives insight into what caused the effort to falter.
Dick Randall: a life with coyotes
Dick Randall, who grew up in Wyoming's wide open spaces and at one time in his life shot hundreds of coyotes from a plane, is now an outspoken opponent of predator control.
Cartoons, counseling, and butterflies
When HCN cartoonist Rob Pudim isn't slaying social dragons, he's often out catching butterflies or helping out with Boulder's methadone program.
How to get out the conservation message
KOA-TV Science Editor Don Kinney gives tips on press releases, editorials, and other methods for spreading a conservation message.
Saving swamps for ducks and men
Although swamps have historically been viewed as unattractive and worthless, a building movement -- buoyed by federal laws -- recognizes wetlands as havens for wildlife that also hold and purify water used by humans.
A lifetime watching the wilderness
Ann and Myron Sutton are students and teachers of the wilderness, having studied hundreds of wilderness areas in nearly 40 countries and written over 20 books on the wild outdoors.
BLM farm plans hold promise, problems
Lack of clear goals for Idaho agriculture becomes more evident as the U.S. Bureau of Land Management wrestles with plans to convert thousands of acres of desert lands managed by that agency into individual private farms sanctioned by the Desert Land Act and the Carey Act.
Mineral withdrawals: death of 1,000 cuts?
A wave of controversial mining proposals has led to a call for putting certain public lands off-limits to mining, but the mining industry is concerned that too much land is being considered for these restrictions.
Court lifts Powder River injunction
The U.S. Supreme Court has lifted an injunction barring four coal companies and a railroad from proceeding with coal development in Wyoming's eastern Powder River Basin, opening the way to full-scale development of the region's coal.
Phosphate-hungry world after Idaho
A rush for phosphate in Idaho could mean 22,000 new residents, a substantial loss of wildlife habitat, increased air pollution, and an uncertain future for two resident endangered species.