Items by Patrick Farrell

Going Big
Mountain bikers are finally winning respect, along with increased access to trails, but a growing breed of gonzo riders with heavy, fast, high-tech bikes -- and a thirst for riding in wilderness – could threaten all that.
Pete McCloskey rides again
Former California Rep. Pete McCloskey says the need to defend the environment is behind his decision to run against Richard Pombo in the Republican primary
Contaminated water can't stop Californiasprawl
Perchlorate, a toxic chemical used in rocket fuel, has been found in drinking water wells, but that won’t stop the development of West Creek, a planned community northeast of Los Angeles
Methamphetamine fuels the West's oil and gas boom
In Craig, Colo., Moffatt County Sheriff Buddy Grinstead fights an epidemic of methamphetamine use on the oil and gas rigs
An honest take on a tough land
Ordinary Wolves, Seth Kantner’s extraordinary debut novel, is the coming-of-age story of a young man on the remote Alaskan tundra
Drilling leases slowed by paper jam
Assistant Interior Secretary Rebecca Watson blames environmental protests for hobbling gas drilling in the Rocky Mountains, but much of the delay comes from problems with the industry’s applications
Birds get a break from blades
More than half the windmills on California’s Altamont Pass will shut down for two months this winter so migrating birds can pass safely through the area
Domenici clobbers cooperation on the RioGrande
New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici says he wants to give more money to the Middle Rio Grande Endangered Species Act Collaborative Program – if the program will trim its membership and put itself under federal authority
Primrose focus of legal dustup
Environmentalists and ORV groups accuse the BLM of dragging its feet over implementing a plan to protect an endangered flower in California’s Clear Creek Management Area
The Great Salt Lake's dirty little secret
Utah’s Great Salt Lake is loaded with mercury, and scientists are trying to figure out whether Nevada’s gold mines are part of the problem
Highway plans aim to keep habitat — and wildlife — in one place
The Washington State Department of Transportation is planning to build innovative wildlife passages and over-crossings on a 15-mile section of I-90 east of Seattle
Hungry sea lions put salmon-savers in a bind
California sea lions ate so many chinook salmon at Bonneville Dam this year that some fishermen are calling for the removal and even killing of the protected mammals
Pueblo happily hangs on to mustard gas
The aging chemical weapons stored at the Army’s Pueblo Chemical Depot will stay in Colorado and be destroyed on site
Mountain bike association wheels into national parks
The National Park Service has agreed to explore opening some of the parks to mountain biking