Items by Ray Ring

Tiny stream invaders may harm Western trout
The tiny New Zealand mud snails that are rapidly invading the West’s waters may pose a threat to the region’s trout
Time for a little outrage
It’s time for hunters to rally on behalf of wild lands and wild animals – beginning with the bison in Yellowstone
Forest Service shuts down 'three old geezers'
Armed law enforcement officers prevented three environmentalists, including 83-year-old Stewart Brandborg, from attending a Forest Service press conference in Hamilton, Mont.
Bipartisan uprising sinks public-lands selloff
Reps. Richard Pombo’s and Jim Gibbons’ controversial proposal to sell off public lands was pulled after both Republican and Democratic lawmakers and citizens rallied against it
Energy companies plow some profits back into Western ground
Raymond Plank, chairman of Apache Corp., says responsible companies like his prove that the energy industry can reduce its environmental impacts and give more back to local communities
Gold from the Gas Fields
Energy companies are reaping billions from the West, but few states outside Wyoming are making sure that wealth stays at home and is invested wisely.
Oil and gas drilling clouds the West's air
Air pollution from oil and gas drilling is on the increase in the Rocky Mountain West, and environmentalists and energy companies are trying to prevent it from getting any worse
Handling griz: How much is enough?
Increasing numbers of the West’s grizzly bears wear radio collars, and some environmentalists question the necessity of the practice
Strange bedfellows make a grazing deal in Idaho
Anti-grazing activist Jon Marvel makes a deal with ranching magnate J.R. Simplot, allowing cattle to continue to graze on federal land in Idaho
Horn hunters face hard times
The rising popularity of Viagra has cut into the profits of Western antler-hunters, including Wyoming Boy Scouts
As Washington waffles, Western states go green
Western state legislatures boost wildlife and green energy, even as Washington, D.C., remains hooked on fossil fuels
Dear friends
Skipped issue; corrections and clarifications to Write-Off on the Range and other stories; our mailbox runneth over
Write-off on the Range
In Montana’s Madison County, Reid Rosenthal uses conservation easements to help the land — and make his investors rich
How to Examine Conservation Easements
Conservation easements are often a closed book if you're not one deal makers. Here are a few tips on how to examine a conservation easement in your area.
Colorado tax credits make easements work for working people
Conservation easements are considered the domain of the wealthy, but in Colorado, tax credits are helping farmers like Dorothy and Norman Kehmeier preserve their family’s land.
Congress looks to reform a system with no steering wheel
A proposal to overhaul the tax rules around conservation easements has private-land conservationists worried, but recent financial scandals show the need for some reform
Biohazard lab takes shape
A Biosafety Level 4 lab is being added to the National Institutes of Health Rocky Mountain Laboratories campus in Hamilton, Mont.
Tribe close to sharing federal bison refuge
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes will begin sharing management of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Bison Range Complex in Montana
Small tribe in Idaho weighs big water deal
The Nez Perce tribe is close to a major water-rights settlement with Idaho and the federal government, but not everyone thinks it’s a good idea for the tribe or for endangered salmon.
Libby tested environmentalists, who came up short
The writer says environmentalists cared so much about wildlife and public lands that they missed a deadly mess in Libby, Montana
Where were the environmentalists when Libby needed them most?
The story of Libby, Montana, where hundreds have died from mining pollution, raises questions about the environmental movement itself.
Rulings keep the West open for business
Recent decisions not to list as endangered the white-tailed and black-tailed prairie dogs and the greater sage grouse open the door to increased energy exploration and development in the West
Whatever happened to the environmental movement?
The writer says the environmental movement has stalled: He proposes a Green March on Washington to wake people up
A New Dialogue for Idaho
Rick Johnson of the Idaho Conservation League is working with Republican Congressman Mike Simpson on a wilderness bill for the Boulder and White Cloud mountains, but not everybody in "Planet Idaho" is happy
Udall patriarch laments startling changes
Stewart Udall talks about his years as Interior secretary, and criticizes the Bush administration’s environmental policy
State judges get political
In Western states where judges are elected, an increasing amount of special-interest group money is being spent on hotly contested state judge campaigns
Wamsutter Profiles
Some of Wamsutter’s citizens are briefly profiled: a Baptist preacher, a couple of real estate entrepreneurs, a café owner, the deputy sheriff, a bar owner, an oil-field worker, the town librarian and a local Democrat
When a Boom is a Bust
Wamsutter, Wyo., is a boomtown these days, but the town is struggling to be a real community, instead of just a barracks for the natural gas industry
Supreme Court reins in citizens' right to sue
A recent Supreme Court ruling in a Utah wilderness lawsuit will limit the ability of citizens to sue the government over how its agencies manage natural resources
Property-rights lawyers score one against wild salmon
NOAA Fisheries is drafting new regulations that will allow hatchery-raised fish to be counted along with wild salmon and steelhead, a move that property-rights lawyers hope will take the species off the endangered list