Items by Daniel Kraker

A fee-dodging retiree forces a national forest to rethink access charges
A fee-dodging retiree forces a national forest to rethink access charges
A retired geophysicist named Jim Smith successfully challenges Arizona's Coconino National Forest on access fees.
Learning to live with fewer watts
Fred Logg's small solar system powers some lights, his laptop and a small refrigerator -- but the energy source has its limitations.
From Pickups to PV
From Pickups to PV
Utility brings solar power to far-flung Navajos
Growth unfettered
Arizonans are grappling with the consequences of Proposition 207, an anti-takings measure passed last fall.
The end of an era on the Colorado Plateau
The closing down of the Mohave Generating Station and the Black Mesa Mine are both a victory for environmentalists and Indian water activists, and an economic catastrophe for the Hopi and Navajo nations
Sacred claims
American Indian tribes face an uphill battle in their effort to protect sacred sites on federal land in the West
Congress and Indians spar over lost money
Sen. John McCain proposes a way to settle the long-running scandal over missing Indian trust-account funds, but Blackfoot banker Elouise Cobell remains wary
Dems stumble in Arizona race
Arizona’s District 1 is considered a congressional "fair fight" district, but Republican incumbent Rick Renzi is leading Democrat Paul Babbitt, despite the region’s demographics
Tribes turn out to vote
The Indian vote could decide tight races in this year’s elections, including contests in key Western states
The great Central Arizona Project funding switcheroo
The state of Arizona and the federal government have long bickered over who should pay for the Central Arizona Project, but a recent agreement reduces the state’s share, and puts money toward funding Indian water projects
Tribe defeated a dam and won back its water
The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, which defeated a dam that would have flooded tribal farmland, uses water from the Central Arizona Project to grow profitable crops like pecans and citrus fruits
The New Water Czars
In Arizona, a historic water deal could give the tiny, impoverished Gila River Indian Community a path back to its farming roots – and turn it into one of the West’s next big power brokers
Is the Southwest’s ‘last real stinker’ on its last legs?
The possibility that the Mohave Generating Station could shut down delights Southwestern environmentalists, but worries the Navajo and Hopi tribes economically dependent on the plant
The tangled messages of a servicewoman killed in combat
The death of Lori Piestewa, a young Hopi woman killed in combat in Iraq, has brought both grief and pride to the close-knit Navajo and Hopi communities
Jet Ski riders circle the wagons
In November, personal watercraft will be banned from Lake Powell and seven other Western reservoirs while the Park Service completes an environmental review of the machines' impacts.
Indians play power game
The Fort Mojave Tribe has built the South Point power plant to diversify its economy, partnering with a major energy company and monitoring its environmental performance.
Is a coal mine pumping the Hopi dry?
Hopi Indians fear that Peabody Western Coal is draining the aquifer that provides their water even as the company's royalties bring money to the reservation.