Items by Pat Ford

Who are the true Idaho conservatives?
Who are the true Idaho conservatives?
Elwha, a story of today's West
Elwha, a story of today's West
Cheering the return of salmon to the Elwha River after the dam came down
Singing about a land where free rivers flow on
Singing about a land where free rivers flow on
Woody Guthrie's long history of writing about dams and hydropower.
Another chance emerges for salmon
Another chance emerges for salmon
Pat Ford reminds us that sockeye salmon face enormous hurdles – especially if they’re trying to return to Redfish Lake.
Jim Thrash: A solid man
A eulogy for conservationist Jim Thrash, who died in the Canyon Creek fire.
A guide to the players
A guide to federal agencies involved in salmon issues.
Should the 'Frank' be one forest?
An influential congressman's proposal to create the nation's first all-wilderness national forest in central Idaho has the Forest Service scrambling.
The Snake's imperiled salmon: A personal call to act
I want to tell you about a fish, a place named for it, and a recent weekend there that I will not forget.
And now -- the Last Salmon Ceremony?
The big hydroelectric dams stand as symbols of the crossroads now confronting the Pacific Northwest's salmon and steelhead. A century ago these wild fish numbered some 16 million. Now their annual count is dropping below 1 million.
How the basin's salmon-killing system works
The Columbia Basin's eight mainstem dams account for nearly all of the Northwest's annual salmon slaughter, and could be modified.
Old-growth forests fight global warming
Three Northwest forest researchers conclude that converting old-growth to young forests won't slow down global warming. Their results may help settle one question in the Northwest's intense debate over its remaining ancient forests.
Is the Forest Service changing?
A former timber sale planner says "it's all talk."
Idaho points the way to stream quality
For a variety of reasons, Idaho is the first Western state to seriously attempt to control nonpoint source water pollution.
Idaho wilderness issue is tied in knots
Conservationists haven't yet figured out how to blow the whistle on McClure without also appearing to be attacking Andrus.
INEL puts Idaho's political hypocrisy to a rough test
The Idaho National Energy Lab is the biggest blind spot in Idaho politics. Politicians who rail against the evils of big government while pulling every string for INEL projects are faithfully reflecting those who elect them.
Idaho: The political winds have shifted
Statewide, conservation and outdoor issues played a key role only in the race won by Rep. Richard Stallings.
Balkanized, atomized Idaho
A combination of technological change and free market ideology has led the nation to abandon not just railroad and bus lines but its long-held commitment to universal transportation and communication. The article describes the Balkanization process and its consequences for the rural West.
Now Idaho wants national parks
In theory, wild, beautiful and lightly populated Idaho should be bursting with national parks. In fact, its ranching, logging and mining roots have kept it totally free of parks.
During the boom, Idaho succumbed to good sense
Lest you think that the entire West succumbed to the hypnotic beat of boom, boom, boom, here is an account of how the conservative state of Idaho behaved conservatively -- resisting the lure of a coal-fired power plant that was to carry the state to the land of milk and honey.
McClure-Andrus wilderness bill is worse than nothing
The McClure-Andrus package is obviously superior, statewide, to McClure's 1984 proposal. But the transformation of public perceptions that we require has not occurred. Now the exigencies of substantially improving or fighting this legislation will dominate our time.
Idaho debates public land access
The Idaho Conservation League joins a battle to regain access to a part of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
Rancher-lawmaker takes on the establishment
Idaho's John Peavey proves that a legislator can win major fights against the West's power triangle -- big business, utilities and the farm-ranch establishment.
BuRec looks anew at the Teton Dam site
Ten years after the collapse of the Teton Dam, irrigators and city officials in eastern Idaho are beginning a campaign to rebuild it.
Idaho enters the nuclear weapons business
The Idaho National Engineering Laboratory near Idaho Falls is preparing for its first major nuclear weapons project.
New powerline could electrocute salmon
The Northwest's energy surplus is the latest battleground in the decades-long trench warfare between salmon and steelhead advocates and the Bonneville Power Administration.
In the West: Sen. James McClure and the Forest Service are big losers
Among Western Republicans, McClure is the biggest loser from the Senate shift. For six years he has kept Forest Service timber and roadbuilding budgets high and Bureau of Land Management grazing fees low.