Items by Jon Christensen

Brave new L.A.
Brave new L.A.
Los Angeles is an unlikely model of urban sustainability for the West and the world.
Land trusts thrive despite, and because of, the Great Recession
Land trusts thrive despite, and because of, the Great Recession
The recession has afforded a unique opportunity for land trusts to protect more of the West’s private open land through direct acquisitions and, increasingly, conservation easements.
Measuring Tahoe’s blues
Jon Christensen accompanies scientists trying to measure the opacity and “blueness” of Lake Tahoe.
Dreaming of a New Deal for nature
A review of Neil M. Maher's book, "Nature's New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American Environmental Movement," which reminds us that to succeed, an environmental policy must reckon compromise.
The great wilderness compromise
Both sides of the contentious debate over a proposed Idaho wilderness bill invoke Howard Zahniser, father of the Wilderness Act -- and both sides have a point.
How not to fix conservation easements
The writers urge support for conservation easements and their tax breaks as a way to protect private land from development
Gov. Schwarzenegger is the nation's newest Progressive
The writers watch Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger launch initiatives over the head of California’s state legislators
It takes a community to save the sage grouse
The writer says it’s up to locals to keep sage grouse alive
Go West, Democrats, in the path of Harry Reid
New Senate minority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., brings to Capitol Hill the lessons learned from a hardscrabble Nevada childhood
Go West, Democrats, in the path of Harry Reid
The writer profiles the Democrats’ new minority leader, Sen. Harry Reid, a quintessential Westerner
Biology: The missing science
Studies by Montana’s Andrew Hansen and Colorado’s Rick Knight offer some of the first scientific evidence that preserving ranch lands provides important benefits to surrounding ecosystems
Not just a ranch: Bucks and acres
Carl Palmer hopes to make his Adobe Ranch in California an economic success to prove that open space can be financially as well as environmentally valuable
Who will take over the ranch?
As private lands become the new frontier in the West’s wild real estate frenzy, ranchers are turning to land trusts in places like Gunnison, Colo., to find out how to hold on to their land and keep it open and undeveloped
Showdown on the Nevada range
The Sagebrush Rebellion smolders when the BLM impounds and tries to auction off cattle owned by ranchers Ben Colvin and Jack Vogt for refusing to pay for grazing allotments.
A bitter valley waits
Residents of Nevada's Amargosa Valley, not far from Yucca Mountain, seem to be mostly ambivalent over the prospect of the high-level nuclear waste dump opening.
Can Nevada bury Yucca Mountain?
The unexpected power shift in the U.S. Senate raises environmentalists' hopes that the high-level nuclear waste dump proposed for Yucca Mountain in Nevada, which once seemed unstoppable, may not be a "done deal" after all.
An environmentalist in the heart of cowboy culture
Former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall, Arizona native, rancher and environmentalist, lectures on cooperation and community in the West at the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nev., and gets a surprising ovation.
The weedy future of the Great Basin
The fire-loving weed cheatgrass is taking over the Great Basin's overgrazed sagebrush steppes, and BLM scientists are struggling to find a way to eradicate the non-native weeds and restore the land before it all goes up in flames.
Save Our Sagebrush
In the wake of the huge fires that swept across the Great Basin in August 1999, the BLM is seeking ways to restore the sagebrush landscape and to control the fire-prone cheatgrass that now infests it.
Nevadans drive out forest supervisor
Citing a climate of threatening, "irresponsible fed-bashing" that made it almost impossible for her to do her job, supervisor Gloria Flora resigns from her job overseeing Nevada's Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
Nevada rebellion ends with a whimper
What was slated to be a big, vigorous wise-use protest, during which sagebrush rebels would open up an old Forest Service road into Nevada's Jarbidge Wilderness, sputters to a halt with fewer than 50 attendees.
Beyond sagebrush politics: A prospering megalopolis steers Nevada
Nevada is the fastest-growing state and its politics reflect a lively, complex reality.
A senator for the New West in the race of his life
Democrat Harry Reid brings a reputation for integrity, a record of environmentalism, and the toughness he kept from his hardscrabble Western upbringing into a challenging race for a third term as a U.S. Senator from Nevada.
A lot is at stake in Supreme Court case
Bernardine Suitum, 80, sues Tahoe Regional Planning Agency over her desire to develop a lot she owns in Incline Village, Nev.
Las Vegas may shoot craps with its water
A small but determined group protests Las Vegas' plan to take more water from Lake Mead and the Colorado River, saying the city's growth is already out of control and a potential public-health disaster looms if the water is contamined.
Here come Clinton and Gore
Back in 1997, President Clinton and Vice President Gore came to Lake Tahoe for a summit on the lake's environment and development.
The mission is simple: restore Lake Tahoe
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency was created in 1969 to protect and restore Lake Tahoe.
Planning under the gun: Cleaning up Lake Tahoe proves to be a dirty business
Is the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency going to clean up beleaguered Lake Tahoe and its surroundings - or simply drive a wedge between the elite and the working class in the community?
The shotgun wedding of tourism and public lands
The first Western Summit on Tourism and Public Lands shows the Clinton administration seeking a political and economic alliance with the West's growing tourist industry.
Two reports set the stage for Sierra Nevada's future
Reviews of "Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project Report" and "Sierra Nevada Wealth Index."