Items by Catherine Lutz

Harvesting ancient farming
The Colorado nonprofit Sustainable Settings wants to teach farmers about an ancient agricultural system called "alley cropping" that uses scant water wisely and protects against soil erosion.
Missing: One truckload of fuel
More than 7,000 gallons of diesel fuel accidentally dumped in a water-quality monitoring well at Copper Mountain ski resort, Colo., have yet to be found.
Hot Property: A former nuclear bomb factory gets caughtin suburban turf wars
Rocky Flats, a former nuclear bomb factory, is caught between Denver's rapidly growing suburbs, which covet the open space, and conservationists who want the cleaned-up area to become a national wildlife refuge.
Expansion faces restrictions
Telski, the ski resort in Telluride, Colo., wins a lawsuit and can now expand onto national forest lands.
Stirrings in the San Rafael Swell
As increasing numbers of recreationists discover Utah's San Rafael Swell, the BLM struggles to manage the area and environmentalists, ORVers and politicians wrangle over the best way to preserve - or exploit - the land.
Crater doesn't come cheap
Conservationists will need to come up with $3 million to buy a 247-acre caldera near Flagstaff, Ariz., called Dry Lake, from the developer whose plans for the site were stalled by them.
Western weather waffles
A look at this last winter in the West shows snow in the Northwest and Sierra Nevada, variable weather in the Rockies, and what looks like the beginning of a long, hot, dry summer in the Southwest.
Backpacks and quacks
Pintail ducks flying north from California's Central Valley this spring will carry transmitters to track their migration routes in an attempt to find out why pintail duck numbers are dropping.
SUWA goes national
The National BLM Wilderness Campaign, a project of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, is lobbying to protect roadless lands throughout the country.
Fish find friends in farmers
Washington farmers are working to get into compliance with the Endangered Species and Clean Water acts to save threatened salmon.
A letter fans the flames
A letter from Elko County District Attorney Gary Woodbury advised Nevada businesses to not sell to or serve Forest Service employees.
Gentlemen, stop your engines!
The Park Service has begun to restrict motorized recreation in many national parks, banning tourist flights, personal watercraft and snowmobiles in some areas and working to reduce auto congestion.
What's in your organic burrito?
The Department of Agriculture has released its new, proposed national organic standards for food in the U.S.
Oh, give me a home...
A new documentary, "Subdivide and Conquer: The New West," takes a sobering look at the rapid development and sprawling subdivisions in the West.
Guides may get guidelines
Sen. Larry Craig's proposed Outfitters Policy Act would standardize outfitter operations on the public lands, but private users and other critics say the law would tie up the resource for commercial benefit.
Greens call snowmaking a snow job
Colorado Wild, an environmental group, is appealing the Forest Service's decision to let Arapahoe Basin Ski Area divert water from the North Fork of the Snake River for use in snowmaking.
The Wayward West
Judge upholds drilling ban on Rocky Mtn. Front; Rep. Tom Udall is for breaching Snake River dams; GAO says Baca Ranch, N.M., is overpriced; Louisiana-Pacific fined for toxic dumping; Albuquerque Mayor Jim Baca supports Mexican wolves in Gila Wilderness.
A new town hits the skids
After a 14-hour hearing packed with anti-growth activists, Garfield County Commissioners vote down Sanders Ranch, a huge development that would create a new town between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale.
What to do about "Frankenfoods'?
Two natural-foods chains - Wild Oats Market and Whole Foods Market - are banning genetically engineered foods from their stores.
Saving the environment saves money
"Green Scissors 2000," a report by a coalition of environmental and taxpayer groups, cites 77 wasteful government programs.
Goose eggs in Congress
The League of Conservation Voters gives most Western congress people a poor grade on environmental issues.
Bovine boondoggle
A special investigative report by the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News says public-lands grazing consumes dollars as well as grass.
Drain it now, says organization
The Glen Canyon Action Network plans a Restoration Celebration and Rendezvous at Utah's Glen Canyon Dam.
The Wayward West
Babbitt plans "national landscape monuments"; Phoenix air pollution; Animas-La Plata rises again; Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman's ideas on storing nuclear waste; lawsuit over Makah Indians' right to hunt gray whales.
Women on the move
The 20-year-old quarterly "Women in Natural Resource" covers the changing role of women in the natural resource professions.
Mumma resigns - wildlife division shaken up
John Mumma resigns as director of the Colorado Division of Wildlife as agency morale drops under a state government unsympathetic to wildlife.
Incinerator unsafe, says former Tooele manager
A former manager at the Army's chemical weapons incinerator in Tooele County, Utah, says he was threatened with firing if he talked about the plant's environmental problems.
Buy land now, says Udall
Rep. Mark Udall, D, is battling a Colorado Department of Resources moratorium on buying land for wildlife habitat.
Wolves at Colorado's door?
The Boulder-based wolf recovery organization, Sinapu, is working on restoring the wolf to Colorado's San Juan Mountains.
An ancient ditch hits a glitch
Farmers in San Luis, Colo., are upset that pollution from a defunct gold mine owned by Battle Mountain Gold is leaking into Rito Seco Creek, which feeds their irrigation ditches.