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Ray Ring

  • Saving the Platte

    Environmentalists, farmers and state and federal agencies try to find some kind of consensus even as each reaches for a share of the overused Platte River as it flows from Colorado, through Wyoming and across Nebraska.

  • Can tailings piles be historic artifacts?

    Some say the often-picturesque ruins of mining create a historical landscape that has value whether there is pollution or not.

  • Summitville: an expensive lesson

    The story of Colorado's Summitville Mine is a story of spectacular failures.

  • A few plants love mine waste

    Plant physiologist Ray Brown works to help mining-damaged ecosystems recover - with the help of a few hardy plant species.

  • This heavy-metal collection includes a shovel that dug the Panama Canal

    Lloyd Harkins, who spent his early years working in Montana mines, now devotes himself to salvaging and collecting the industrial paraphernalia of hardrock mining, from ore cars to a 78-ft. tall head frame.

  • All the king's horses and all the king'smen...

    The reclamation of Montana's hardrock mines will cost billions, and is complicated by the fact that no one really knows how to do it, or who should foot the bill.

  • A radical approach to mine reclamation

    The Sunnyside Mine near Silverton, Colo., is an unusual example of a community working together with miners and environmentalists to find a strategy to heal the damage.

  • Turning the Old West into the New West

    The old mining town of Anaconda, Mont., has turned a mine dump into a designer golf course.

  • Jell-O and suicides

    A look at odd statistics in the West includes a few surprises.

  • If a town is more dead than alive, it's the Old West

    Musing on the gravestones in Anaconda, Mont., a writer theorizes that one can tell whether a town is Old West or New West by the ratio of the buried to the currently alive inhabitants.

  • Chet Huntley's legacy includes suppression of a free press

    The preferential treatment Big Sky gives the pro-resort Lone Peak Lookout over the independent Big Sky Bugle is an ironic legacy for a hard-hitting journalist like Chet Huntley to leave.

  • Armies of skiers are coming to Yellowstone

    Seven ski resorts ring Yellowstone National Park and add to the pressure on a fragile ecosystem.

  • Touring the future on Insta-Teller Road

    A computerized key-pad locked road in Big Sky epitomizes a ski resort where the "haves" are carefully kept from the trespassing "have nots."

  • How Huntley sold Big Sky to Montana

    Big Sky founding father and famous TV newsman Chet Huntley started the resort but did not live to see what he created.

  • Big Sky above, private land below

    Former Big Sky ski patrolman J.C. Knaub in his own words describes the difficulties faced in trying to bring neighborhood parks and trails to Big Sky.

  • Big Sky, big mess in Montana

    A Montana ski resort originally created by newsman Chet Huntley and intended to be a model of free-market, unconstrained development, is today a morass of lawsuits, environmental degradation and inefficiency.

  • The bigger the mine, the better the deal

    Land swaps, like the one planned to save land near Yellowstone National Park from mining, are a bad habit with a bad history in Montana's national forests.

  • He stuffs what they kill

    Taxidermist John Stevenson discovers the art and craft of taxidermy.

  • Unarmed but dangerous critics close in on hunting

    Hunting in the West faces public relations problems as well as questions about ethical and biological issues.

  • The West's fisheries spin out of control

    The story of whirling disease in Western trout is a story of human "improvement on nature" gone wrong.

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