Items by Michael Milstein

Clinton flinches under Western pressure
Environmentalists' euphoria over President Bill Clinton's Western policies came to an abrupt end in late March, when the White House pulled public land reforms from its new budget.
Declining seabird may drop off the endangered list
The Fish and Wildlife Service has announced plans to remove the marbled murrelet from the endangered species list, despite the small seabird’s declining numbers
Tax credits make eco-logging pay
The U.S. Treasury Department has given $50 million in tax credits to Ecotrust to help depressed Northwestern timber towns carry out sustainable logging
For sale: Your local ranger station?
Facing severe budget cuts, the Forest Service is selling off property, and considering closing some recreation sites it considers too expensive to maintain
Surprise bequest to protect Columbia Gorge
The Friends of the Columbia Gorge, a small conservation group based in Portland, Ore., has received a $4 million bequest from Norman Yeon
Klamath farmers face a new threat
Klamath Basin farmers may be hit with a huge increase in electric rates, but some say that even putting farms out of business may not save enough water for endangered fish
Wolves are welcome in one Western state
Oregon has developed a blueprint that will allow eight or more wolf packs to move in from neighboring Idaho
News flash: Fish do need water
Federal wildlife managers admit that the massive fish kill in the Klamath River in 2002 was caused, in part, by the diversion of water to farmers
Federal report supports Klamath farmers
The National Research Council issues a report saying that irrigation shutoffs alone won’t save endangered salmon in the Klamath River Basin of Oregon and California
Bush administration stretches a lawsuit to get the cut out
The Bush administration plans to more than double the amount of logging in public forests west of the Cascades in Washington, Oregon and Northern California
Loggers got scant help as industry toppled
A new study shows that logging communities received little of the economic help promised to them when the timber industry collapsed in the Northwest during the 1990s
Forest protection under the knife
The Bush administration bows to pressure from the logging industry to revise the Clinton-era Northwest Forest Plan.
Bush will edit NW Forest Plan
The Bush administration aims to overhaul the Clinton-bred forestry plan, and environmentalists pledge to oppose efforts to dilute it.
Recreation-fee foes catch an agency fumble
The Forest Service has been illegally collecting recreation fees at thousands of sites in the West, instead of the 100 places allowed under the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program.
Joy Belsky: 'She made us better'
Oregon range ecologist Joy Belsky is remembered with admiration by friends and opponents alike.
Homeland security drafts rangers
Western public-land rangers are being pulled from their regular jobs and reassigned back East, guarding federal buildings in Washington, D.C., and serving as temporary sky marshals.
Invisible roads block wilderness
Attempts to create wilderness areas in the North Dakota grasslands bump into a 19th century state law that designated every one-mile section line in the state as a public highway.
Elk find no home on the grasslands
North Dakota State law prohibits elk outside Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and so far attempts by ranchers and environmentalists to create an "elk cooperative" on the plains have come to naught.
A dissident speaks up for the Badlands
Maverick rancher and part-time ranger John Heiser is a rare voice for conservation on the North Dakota plains.
Change on the Plains
The Great Plains ranchers who have long grazed the national grasslands face a growing push by the Forest Service to take over management and try to restore the prairie landscape.
Lawsuit may take what's holy
Wyoming Sawmills is suing the Bighorn National Forest over its Historic Preservation Plan, which aims to preserve a Medicine Wheel that is sacred to Native Americans.
Sewage fouls Yellowstone
Outdated plumbing in Yellowstone National Park's tourist lodges is spilling sewage into the water, and the state of Wyoming has threatened to fine the Park Service unless it takes care of the problem.
Lake trout linger in Yellowstone
Exotic lake trout are ravaging the threatened native Yellowstone cutthroat trout in Yellowstone National Park.
Bison killing goes inside
Park officials in Yellowstone give rangers permission to shoot bison heading out of the park this winter.
Microbes for sale here
Yellowstone Park officials sign a contract that formally opens the park's hot springs to "bioprospecting," allowing the San Diego company, Diversa Corp., to collect samples of hot-water microbes called thermophiles.
Yellowstone's "geyser guy' was one of the park's best friends
An elegy for Yellowstone's "geyser guy," Rick Hutchinson, profiles a geologist who loved the park so deeply that his friends still feel his spirit there.
Yellowstone's "geyser guy' was one of the park's best friends
An elegy for Yellowstone's "geyser guy," Rick Hutchinson, profiles a geologist who loved the park so deeply that his friends still feel his spirit there.
Drug smuggler's ranch falls into public lands
A notorious drug smuggler's obsession with reclusiveness leads to his arrest - and his Wyoming ranch, which abounds with wildlife and fronts the Clark Fork, is now in public hands.
'Good' rancher goes berserk with an assault rifle
Local rancher Martin L. Thomas, known as a good steward of the land, is charged with opening fire on elk with an assault rifle, killing or crippling at least 10 animals.
Grizzlies and tourism collide on Wyoming road
The proposed widening and straightening of Highway 14-16-20, the link between Cody, Wyo., and Yellowstone National Park, raises tremendous controversy between tourism boosters and environmentalist critics.