Items by Rocky Barker

Obama picks a moderate
Obama picks a moderate
Some are disappointed, but Rocky Barker thinks Ken Salazar is a good choice to head Interior.
Who will be the West’s new boss?
Who will be the West’s new boss?
The Interior secretary is the nation's top wildlife manager and federal landlord, managing 507 million acres, 600 dams and 68 percent of the nation's energy reserves.
The roadless issue rambles on through the courts
The roadless issue rambles on through the courts
Rocky Barker on the endless struggle over protecting the national forests’ roadless areas.
A Western woman redefines the presidential race
A Western woman redefines the presidential race
Rocky Barker thinks Republican vice presidential pick Sarah Palin has a good shot at winning the West for John McCain.
The next fires will be anytime, all the time
Rocky Barker remembers the Yellowstone fires of 1988, and warns that in today’s hotter, drier West, gigantic, uncontrollable blazes are going to become an everyday occurrence.
Tribes make a controversial deal on salmon
Rocky Barker says four Northwestern tribes stopped fighting the federal government over dam-breaching on the Snake River largely because they could read the political writing on the walls.
A deadly Western myth rides toward the sunset
Rocky Barker wants to bury the Marlboro Man, whose myth did much to glamorize smoking, killing millions of people, including his parents.
The inevitable fires next time
Rocky Barker warns us that the new West is a world of inevitable, long-lasting and increasing forest fires.
Delisting wolves won’t change much in the West
Rocky Barker says wolves are protected by public sentiment -- even in Idaho, where the governor wants to shoot one.
Interior's new secretary — general or footsoldier?
Newly appointed Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has a chance to use his deal-making abilities to bring change to the way Western public lands are managed
A bullet for the bearer of bad news
After Michele DeHart of the Fish Passage Center in Portland, Ore., publicly supported a plan to protect salmon, angry lawmakers led by Sen. Larry Craig yanked the center’s funding
Are we ready to learn the lessons of fire and flood?
Sen. Larry Craig’s suggestion that New Orleans’ 9th Ward be restored as a wetland may represent a newfound respect for the power of nature and the limits of the human ability to control it
Are we ready to learn the lessons of fire and flood?
The writer says fire and flood teach us about our weak control of nature
Dam breaching gets a surprise endorsement
A longtime consultant to the hydropower industry, biologist Don Chapman, shook the Northwest this summer when he declared that four dams on the Lower Snake River should be breached to save the salmon
Northwest’s dam breaching gets a surprise endorsement
The writer says longtime industry biologist Don Chapman shocked everyone when he came out against dams
Idaho gets smart about water
Idaho is weathering the drought by taking a new, scientific approach to managing water use among its farmers
For salmon, a crucial moment of decision
A judge has thrown out the Bush administration’s salmon protection plan, setting the stage for dramatic changes to the federal hydropower system
A lesson in consensus from contentious Idaho
The writer says that once ranchers and environmentalists found common ground, they started to cooperate to protect the wild Owyhee
Wilderness deals held hostage in salmon struggle
When Idaho salmon advocates challenged the state’s farm-irrigation system, Norm Semanko held them off by taking a couple of wilderness deals hostage
In Boulder-White Cloud mountains, another wilderness compromise
A compromise brewed by Republican Rep. Mike Simpson would designate wilderness in the Boulder Mountains and White Cloud Peaks of Idaho
Idaho’s Sen. Larry Craig should butt out of the whole dam business
Rocky Barker says hydropower-dam operators don’t need the too-helpful hand of Idaho Sen. Larry Craig
Once more unto the breach: Dams could fall in the Northwest
In the Northwest, a legal decision resurrects the idea of breaching four dams on the Snake River to save endangered salmon
Once more into the breach: Dams could fall in the Northwest
Rocky Barker says dam-breaching is back on the table in the Northwest
If wolves can return to the West, why not New York?
Writer tells the government: Restore wolves to New York
The Bush administration is doing something right on fire policy
Writer hails the Bush administration for not giving federal firefighters a blank check
Compromise can take more courage than taking a stand
Sometimes opponents have to work together to deal with thorny issues, as environmentalists and ranchers are trying to do in Idaho’s Owyhee County.
Idaho seeks a reputation - and a reality - free of hate
As Boise celebrates the opening of its Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, the late Bill Wassmuth is remembered as the activist who helped lead the charge against Idaho's neo-Nazi extremists.
'I respect wolves. I still don't like them killing oursheep.'
In her own words, Margaret Soulen Hinson explains that wolf predation is minimal compared to other animals that kill her family's sheep.
Predator politics gets ugly in Idaho
Under pressure from ranchers, Gov. Dirk Kempthorne and other conservatives, Rod Sando resigns from his position as director of Idaho's Department of Fish and Game.
Transforming powers
The Bonneville Power Administration has long provided the Northwest -- especially its aluminum industry -- with some of the cheapest public power, but drought, endangered salmon and the deregulated electricity market may just change all that.