Items by Karen Mockler

The aroma of Tacoma
Karen Mockler likes the West’s grittier towns – the ones that aren’t remotely cool, the ones with a certain funk
Wyoming's unsung wilderness heroes
In Ahead of Their Time, editors Broughton Coburn and Leila Bruno collect the stories of the heroes and heroines of the Wyoming wilderness movement
A new look at Yellowstone
With its beautiful photographs and fine writing, Pete Bengeyfield’s Incredible Vision: The Wildlands of Greater Yellowstone succeeds in giving readers a new look at an often-photographed landscape
West Nile isn’t just for people
West Nile virus is impacting Western wildlife, particularly birds, and some think coalbed methane development may be spreading the disease
Yellowstone’s grizzly stalker
Grizzlies in the Mist by Chuck Neal is an idiosyncratic look at the great bears of Yellowstone, combining scientific background and personal anecdotes with a strong conservation message
States crack down on wildlife cruelty
Westerners are becoming more concerned about incidents of cruelty to wildlife, but laws against such acts remain inconsistent in the region
Small-town determination at 25 percent off
People of Powell, Wyo., resurrects their own department store.
Golfers may oust eagles
The plan for a golf course and housing development on the Snake River near Jackson Hole, Wyo., would allow the developer to displace or kill up to 18 bald eagles.
Griz ordered to get scarce
Several communities surrounding Yellowstone National Park have passed regulations banning grizzlies, wolves and other "unacceptable species," even though the laws are unenforceable.
Are Wyoming's feedgrounds a hotbed of disease?
Conservation groups want to phase out 23 elk feedgrounds managed by the state, claiming they are expensive breeding grounds for disease.
Scouts (dis)honor
Tucson, Ariz., development foes are upset by a plan to sell land that was given to the Boy Scouts by a local rancher 30 years ago.
Agencies tangle over Hells Canyon dams
In the Northwest, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is fighting with the National Marine Fisheries Service over relicensing three dams in Hells Canyon on the Snake River that the fisheries service says are killing salmon.
The tale of a salmon slinger
On a tributary of Oregon's Nehalem River, the writer worked with Fish and Wildlife biologist Michele Long to scatter the carcasses of hatchery salmon, which feed a wide range of wildlife.
Chinook tribe recognized
At long last, the Bureau of Indian Affairs recognizes the existence of the Chinook Tribe.
Land trade threatens trails and trees
Some environmentalists fear that a proposed land exchange involving Oregon's Clatsop State Forest will lead to the logging of an intact forest ecosystem.
Down under: Arizona boasts the 'show cave of the century'
A tour of Arizona's recently opened Kartchner Caverns State Park reveals an extraordinary underground landscape that was undiscovered until 1974.
Loggers tap new forests
The decline of logging in the Northwest has created a timber boom in the South, where most timber grows on private lands and chip mills are increasingly popular.
Gracias
Photographer Celia Roberts' bilingual Year 2000 calendar "Gracias" celebrates the Latino migrant workers who harvest western Colorado's fields.
Desert development raises dust
In Phoenix, Ariz., cases of "Valley Fever" are rising as rapid development stirs up pathogens in the area's dust.
Counties grab for control of national forests
Environmentalists are worried by a new House bill that will strengthen county control of national forests and their budgets.
Rivers among us
In its study, "Rivers Among Us: Local Watershed Preservation and Resource Management in the Western United States," the Reason Public Policy Institute offers a free-market, libertarian look at balancing water needs with environmental protection.
Hard times in rural Idaho
The report "Profile of Rural Idaho" reflects a "two-Idaho" phenomenon, where the economic gulf is widening, especially in poor rural areas.
Water crusader wants allies
Perry R. Wilkes, Jr., and his wife, Bette, founded the nonprofit Citizens for a Rational Water Policy to try to change the city of Albuquerque's water policies.
Pumice mine is a test case
The Forest Service is suing Tufflite Inc. for illegally mining pumice on the San Francisco Peaks in Arizona's Coconino National Forest.
Fossil Creek will flow again
Arizona Public Service agrees to restore Fossil Creek by decommissioning the creek's two small hydroelectric plants.
Tribe slowed down on road to showbiz
In western Washington, the Muckleshoot Tribe's plan to build a 20,000-seat open-air amphitheater is stirring up heated opposition from other King County residents.
Risks multiply for land managers
A report by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility titled "Attacks on Federal Employees" documents a rising tide of violence against Forest Service and BLM staffers.
Dirty air in the deep of winter
A new report, "Air Quality Concerns Related to Snowmobile Usage," says snowmobiles produce nearly all the air pollution in Yellowstone National Park.
Figuring out FERC
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the little-known agency that handles hydroelectric project licensing.
A tired stream gains new steam
Environmentalists, federal agencies and area Indian tribes are pushing to decommission 90-year-old Fossil Creek Dam and its two small hydropower plants near Strawberry, Ariz.