Items by Tim Westby

Southwestern farmers, lawmakers seek solutions to worker shortages
The Western Growers Association says its farmers need another 20,000 workers to harvest this winter’s crop, and President Bush endorses the idea of a guest-worker program to make it easier for migrant workers in the U.S.
The Great Divide
A writer takes a 1,600-mile Greyhound bus ride from Salt Lake City into Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, and listens to the stories of the Westerners he meets
The road to nowhere
Utah’s attempt to take over backcountry roads begins to unravel, largely because of problems stirred up by the attempt to claim the remote Weiss Highway in Juab County as an R.S. 2477 road
Defending the West Desert: Utah activist Jason Groenewold
Jason Groenewold didn’t set out to be an environmental activist, but now he directs the Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah, which is fighting toxic waste disposal in the West Desert
Pink Floyd and the Great Salt Lake
The writer delights in the exotic flamingo that has made the Great Salt Lake its home — yet he says one is enough
King coal is back
With a natural gas shortage looming, and the encouragement of the Bush White House, energy companies are looking to coal again, and coal-fired power plants are being planned in Sigurd, Utah, and across the West
Utahns beat back radioactive waste
In the face of noisy opposition, Envirocare of Utah pulls its federal application to dump high-level radioactive waste in the desert
Backcountry road deal runs over wilderness
Utah has dropped its threatened lawsuit over the control of backcountry roads, but the agreement the state made with the federal government casts a cloud over future wilderness protection
Off-roaders torpedo a wilderness alternative
Emery County Commissioner Randy Johnson thought he could come up with a local alternative for protecting Utah’s San Rafael Swell, but angry ORVers attacked his proposed monument.
State's big nuke waste fight takes a hit
A federal judge has struck down a series of Utah laws meant to block a planned high-level nuclear waste storage facility on the Skull Valley Goshute Reservation.
Utahns could kill radioactive dump
In Utah, an initiative that would triple the cost of disposal at Envirocare's radioactive waste dump in Tooele County and it from taking hotter wastes is being fiercely fought by the company.
Hansen pops a wheelie
Utah Rep. Jim Hansen has introduced a bill that would allow ATV riders access to 300 miles of existing roads and allow the creation of more access trails for ATVs in Utah.
Lake stops sprawl in its tracks ... for now
Environmentalists and SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson denounce the Legacy Highway, a disputed 14-mile road that would connect Salt Lake City to Farmington, arguing that it would destroy wetlands, encourage sprawl, and degrade the Front's already murky air.
The Great Salt Lake Mystery
The brine-shrimp industry of Great Salt Lake has helped put that misunderstood ecosystem under a microscope; can the lake be saved from its history of abuse and a rapidly increasing population around it?
Wheeling and dealing
Utah environmentalists fear a secret deal between the BLM and the governor's office will give counties control over dirt roads and trails and prevent the designation of future wilderness.
Nuclear storage site splinters Goshutes
A proposed high-level nuclear waste storage area on the Skull Valley Goshute Reservation in western Utah is coming under attack from some tribal critics as well as other opponents.
A maverick mayor takes on sprawl
Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson delights anti-sprawl activists and angers Legacy Parkway supporters by personally joining a lawsuit to kill the controversial highway.
Demonstrating for the delta
The Glen Canyon Action Network toured part of the West to promote basic conservation measures for the Colorado River, along with a proposal to send 1 percent of the river's water downstream to restore the delta.
Downwinders fight for their due
Protesters in Salt Lake City charge that the federal government has yet to fully compensate people in Utah, Nevada and Idaho whose health was harmed by the nuclear-bomb testing that started 50 years ago.
Legal woes for Legacy Parkway
A coalition of environmentalists and smart-growth advocates, including Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, has filed lawsuits to stop construction of the Legacy Parkway along Utah's Wasatch Front near the Great Salt Lake.
Saving some of Utah
A coalition of environmentalists has raised the money to protect a historic ranch in Utah's Wasatch Mountains from the sprawling development of nearby Park City.
A party for the people
A group of unrelated Utah activists who first came together as the "Bastille Family" during anti-war protests in 1969 celebrates its 30th anniversary with a family reunion in Salt Lake City.
Another compromise plan falls flat
In Utah, a huge swap of state and federal lands in the western part of the state falls through when environmentalists and anti-wilderness locals object.
Tug-of-war continues over trust lands
Arizona Gov. Jane Hull's Growing Smarter Commission would preserve as open space some of the state's trust lands, but critics say those acres are undevelopable anyway, and that the plan caters to rural lawmakers.
Nonstop service to the Mojave Desert?
The Park Service says that a new Las Vegas airport, planned for a site 10 miles from California's Mojave National Preserve, will ruin the "solace and quiet" of the desert.
Babbitt looks for support on his home turf
Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt would like to see a national monument for the Arizona Strip, a little-known region of the Shivwits Plateau northwest of the Grand Canyon.
The Cowboy State's next boom
A boom in coalbed methane gas development in Wyoming's Powder River Basin could have the strange side effect of bringing more water to the surface than the ecosystem can cope with.
Grand Canyon development sparks debate
Canyon Forest Village, a development near the south entrance of the Grand Canyon, has been approved, but some environmentalists plan to appeal the project.
Making the land pay
A new report, "Incentives for Conserving Open Lands in Greater Yellowstone," offers suggestions for farmers and ranchers to make land pay without selling out to developers.
Judge halts nine timber sales
Federal Judge William Dwyer has blocked nine major timber sales, saying that the Forest Service and the BLM have failed to protect rare animal and plant species in old-growth forest, as required under the Northwest Forest Plan.