Items by Christopher Smith

Mormons win Martin’s Cove
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gains control of the Wyoming historic site of Martin’s Cove, where Mormon immigrants died 150 years ago
Bureau of livestock, mining ... and parks?
The decision to put the BLM, rather than the Park Service, in charge of the new Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, is part of a trend toward blurring the lines among the roles of the federal land management agencies.
Yellowstone soft on safety
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Yellowstone National Park for violating safety regulations for its employees.
Poacher gets trapped
Utah hunting guide Samuel Sickels is nailed for poaching cougars, with the help of videotapes and photographs taken by his clients.
Deaths drive change at Lake Mead
At Nevada's Lake Mead, the busiest national recreation area in the country, park rangers try to crack down on the "reckless clueless" misbehavior, often fueled by alcohol and drugs, that has already killed 36 visitors this year.
Feds sue a Utah county for building a road in a national park
Garfield County faces a trespassing lawsuit, filed by the Department of Interior for unauthorized road construction on the Burr Trail in Capitol Reef National Park.
Judge gives grave-robbers a green light
In Utah, a court rules that state law does not protect Anasazi graves, dismissing charges against a Blanding couple who dug up an Indian burial site while pot hunting.
The Park Service takes a hard look at itself
Park historian Richard West Sellars is not flattering when he examines the history of the Park Service in his book "Preserving Nature in the National Parks."
The "tough love' trial is over
The Utah trial of eight North Star employees in the death of Arizona teenager Aaron Bacon on a "tough-love" wilderness program ends with only the field instructor, Craig Fisher, guilty as charged.
The rise and fall of Steve Cartisano
Utah native Steve Cartisano, the controversial "godfather" of wilderness therapy, has left a trail of lawsuits behind him, including one for negligent homicide in the death of a Florida teenage girl.
Tough love proves too tough
Controversial "wilderness therapy programs" such as Utah's North Star, intended for troubled kids, come under critical scrutiny - and lawsuits - after several teenagers die while in their care.
Did federal negligence help kill two hikers?
An upcoming trial will decide whether the Park Service was responsible for the deaths of two men in Kolob Canyon July 15, 1993.
How the BLM killed a cow to save a canyon and stop the paperwork
The removal of a lone cow from Utah's Chimney Canyon cost reams of paperwork, road-building and human effort.
I came, I saw, I wrote a guidebook
The increase in numbers of tourists drawn to the canyon country by guidebooks and magazines raises questions about exploiting and overusing a fragile landscape.
Moab area acts to regain control of public lands
Changes in management of Moab-area public lands, including new visitor fees, may help protect an over-used landscape.
How an ex-clown brought order to a boom town
Former Summit County Commissioner Gene Moser worked to create a state-of-the-art development code for a rapidly growing area.
Ranchers charge tourists for a dose of reality
"Recreational ranchers" earn extra money from tourists who pay for a chance to work as cowboys.
A delicate question: When is an arch crowded?
Arches National Park uses pilot program to measure how many people are too many people at Delicate Arch.
Whose fault? A Utah canyon turns deadly
The deaths of two hikers in Utah raise legal and ethical questions about risk and responsibility.
BLM union comes to Moab
BLM employees vote to unionize because of management and morale problems.
Cows are evicted from Utah
Judge finds BLM defied the law in administering Comb Wash grazing permit