Items by Tom Bell
In an early "High Country News" editorial, reprinted here, Tom Bell took on then-Governor of Wyoming Stanley K. Hathaway.
In theory, every U.S. citizen has an equal say in the management of public lands. In fact, residents of small towns dotted across the rural West exert a disproportionate control over those lands.
Tom Bell reflects on HCN's move from Lander, Wyo. to Paonia, Colo., saying that HCN is a useful voice, still needed, wherever it's situated.
A curious thing is happening on the way to energy independence: an east-to-west shift in coal production is actually going to be putting western coal into power plants in West Virginia and Ohio.
Digesting human, animal and vegetable wastes to produce methane is sure to become and important source of energy in the future.
Water -- the lack of it and the need for it -- looms ever larger in the West's developing energy situation. Water is used in huge amounts to generate electricity in coal-fired plants, to gasify coal, to liquify coal, and to develop oil shale.
The re-design and re-building of the Wyoming Governor's mansion was a chance to celebrate energy efficiency and alternative energy, but the selection panel chose the conventional option.
In Wyoming and eastern Montana, plans for harnessing the Powder River Basin's coal to ease the energy crisis are running into the realities of limited water supply.
As the energy crisis deepens, the clear skies of Wyoming's Bighorn Mountains are threatened by the extraction of vast deposits of coal.
Viewed in historical perspective, the disruption of our western landscape by second home developments may be of far greater importance than any other factor -- more even than strip mining for coal, oil shale and uranium.
A hearing slated for Lander could determine how much of the Popo Agie Primitive Area in Wyoming's Wind River Mountains will be set aside as future wilderness.
In a hearing concerning Wyoming's Teton National Forest, environmental groups argued that the U.S. Forest Service had not complied with the National Environmental Policy Act or its own regulations in awarding timbering contracts.
What has happened to High Country News this month is nothing short of miraculous: new subscribers and donations have put High Country News on strong footing.
As Montana and Wyoming struggle to enact protective legislation in the face of ever-expanding strip mining, landowners, environmentalists and an awakening public are being pitted against the energy lobby.
The Multiple Use and Sustained Yield Act of 1960, the Wilderness Act of 1964 and a string of court cases during the past decade have laid the groundwork for preserving the West's wild lands -- but the next few years will be a critical time of decision-making.
The coming energy crunch will cause a frenzied battle over the West's coal, gas and oil in the name of sustaining America's oversized appetite for energy and economic growth.
Blizzards across Wyoming's Red Desert in the early winter of 1971 pushed antelope herds against impenetrable fences, and thousands of antelope perished.
A highway proposed for a scenic canyon stretch of Wyoming's Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River could drastically alter the canyon environment.
In the Forest Service's ranger districts, President Richard Nixon's order to harvest 300 million board feet of timber through thinning and salvage operations could easily be interpreted as an order to increase the cut of timber.
Earlier this year the Sierra Club won a major victory for air quality based on the Clean Air Act of 1970, but ambiguities in the ruling leave open the possibility of worsening air pollution.
The Bureau of Land Management has pleased conservationists by enacting management policies that will protect many of the natural resources of Wyoming's Red Desert, a unique geologic area.
Nebraska Public Power District's proposed 600-megawatt coal-fired power plant is another example of proliferating energy demands upon a land unmarked and unsullied by the march of "progress."
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