Items by Marjane Ambler

N. Great Plains report: preview of disaster?
Coal development in the Northern Great Plains already seems to be progressing at a level higher than anticipated when the Northern Great Plains Resource Program completed its draft interim report last fall.
Clif Merritt: he leads from behind
Clifton Merritt, the western regional director of the Wilderness Society, is an atypical environmental leader -- not flashy or full of fire and brimstone, but good at motivating people positively.
Tribe undertakes a huge reclamation job
In 1986, Anaconda Minerals, a division of Atlantic Richfield Co., signed over to the Laguna Pueblo $43.6 million and the responsibility for reclaiming the Jackpile-Paguate uranium mines.
Tom Bell: The quiet revolutionary
In 1970, High Country News was born of Tom Bell's passion. For five years its pages thundered with his outrage at ranchers, politicians and corporations that threatened Wyoming's water, wild lands and animals.
The real water lawyers
Ditch riders on Wyoming's Wind River Reservation work with an aged, deteriorated system, very rough measuring means, and farmers who are quick to assume that they are being shorted.
A busted Wyoming mining town remains haunted by 550 lost jobs
Lander, Wyo., is still reeling from U.S. Steel's decision last April to permanently close its Atlantic City iron ore mine.
Indians will again ask Congress for control of the coal they own
The coal-owning tribes of the West hope to finally escape the regulatory limbo they have been in since passage of the 1977 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.
The West's tailings mess becomes a legal mess
At sites throughout the West, Department of Energy contractors are scurrying to remove uranium tailings from buildings and lots where they have been sitting for 20 years or more.
Zah warns that mining is not a panacea
Navajo Tribal Chairman Peterson Zah told the Council of Energy Resource Tribes members here last month that they should not look at energy resources as the answer to all the problems that exist on their reservations.
Indians gain significant water rights
Shoshone and Arapahoe Indians in Wyoming have succeeded at gaining protection for instream flows.
CERT taking new direction
The Council of Energy Resource Tribes board has chosen as its new chairman the leader of a tribe that has opposed energy development.
Of profit and risk
The Wyoming Industrial Siting Council is being prudent in considering requiring the Hampshire Energy Company, which is planning a coal-to-gasoline conversion plant in Gillette, Wyo., to post a performance bond to protect local governments.
Tribes and energy companies: A taxing problem
After initial victory celebrations, Indian tribes with energy resources on their reservations are reeling from the backlash to the Supreme Court's ruling affirming their right to tax energy production on their lands.
Federal coal sale brings $54 million
The Powder River Basin federal coal lease sale -- the largest such sale in history -- resulted in the sale of all but two of the 13 tracts offered.
"We don't have separation of powers here" -- the testing of tribal courts
A legal battle on Montana's Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation illustrates the quandary many tribal governments have as they face energy development decisions.
Reagan budget hits Indian self-sufficiency
President Reagan's proposed budget would allot more taxpayer dollars to Indian reservations but also impair the tribes' efforts to gain control over energy development on reservations, undermining Indian tribes' efforts to become more self-sufficient.
Tribes to monitor leases?
Indian tribal leaders recently told a Senate committee that they could do a better job of monitoring oil operations on their lands then the federal government.
Cocky CERT courts controversy, loses four tribes
The Council of Energy Resource Tribes emerged in 1975 with the bravado of a homegrown OPEC, but some tribes are withdrawing as the organization comes under federal scrutiny.
Energy companies seek peace -- and resources -- with Indians
Indian tribes may own one-third of the West's low-sulfur coal and half the nation's private uranium, and the energy industry is trying to connect with these and other resources on Indian lands.
Tribes hold energy hostage in battle for control
Three Indian tribes in North Dakota have adopted seismic exploration regulations, issued permits and hired Indian guides for oil developers, all to address a lack of authority by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Ailing uranium millworkers seek recognition, aid
Millworkers helped produce uranium for the nation's nuclear defense program in the 1950s and '60s. Now many are ill from exposure to radiation, but getting compensation is difficult.
Indians in the melting pot: 'old ways' don't melt
For more than 25 Western tribes that hold vast quantities of coal and uranium, the energy crisis is another source of pressure to abandon their cultural identity.
The Sagebrush Rebellion: Misdirected dynamite
The real danger of the Sagebrush Rebellion is not that the federal lands will be taken over but that the deep sentiments aroused by the effort will drive a wedge between agricultural and environmental interests.
Study of radioactive homes 'lost' for eight years
A study, initiated by the Environmental Protection Agency but never released to the public, documents high radioactivity in more than a hundred communities where uranium tailings were used as construction fill material.
NRC tailings control too lax, Wyoming charges
Western Nuclear Inc. has agreed to comply with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and stop construction of a uranium tailings dam that the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission already permitted, highlighting the gap between state and federal regulations.
Agency's wilderness grazing policies 'too pure'
Some conservationists trying to increase the amount of designated wilderness object to the regulations that the Wilderness Act places on grazing because those regulations draw opposition from ranchers.
New coalition inspired by FARM conference
The future of agriculture in the Rocky Mountain states may hinge on a trade-off with energy development spurred by the energy crisis.
U.S. Steel urges workers: fight EPA air regs
U.S. Steel has set Lander, Wyoming, astir by announcing that unless the Environmental Protection Agency relaxes its requirements for air pollution controls at the company's mill in Utah, it will have to close both the mill and its Wyoming mine.
Ranchers' group demands legal lasso for wild horses
With the unexpected blessing of a wild horse advocate and several environmentalists, a rancher group has filed suit to force the, federal government to thin wild horse herds in southwest Wyoming.
Uranium industry's expansion prospects bleak
The Three Mile Island nuclear accident has only added to the uranium industry's troubles, which include the erratic price of uranium and pending political decisions.