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High Country News September 15, 1997

Feature

Yellowstone at 125: The park as a sovereign state

As Yellowstone National Park celebrates its 125th birthday, it continues to struggle with the surrounding states over wildlife management and other questions.

Is nature running too wild in Yellowstone?

Maverick ecologist Richard Keigley believes Yellowstone's policy of "natural regulation" is not working and, in fact, is harming the park - especially with the park's elk herds, which he says are overgrazing their ranges.

Dear Friends

Dear friends

"Depressing ... diligent" among comments on the returned 1997 HCN readers' surveys; our readers are "no shrinking violets."

News

Heavy metals move

One hundred years of heavy metals left from mining in Idaho's Silver Valley are migrating through Lake Coeur d'Alene and entering Washington via the Spokane River.

Wet summer a bust for firefighters

An unusually wet summer in the West has meant a very tame fire season, which is good news for taxpayers but bad news for the firefighters - many of them Native Americans - who depend on firefighting paychecks for a living.

The Wayward West

Helen Chenoweth, Barbara Cubin, Jim Hansen and Rick Hill give Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey and Tom DeLay a tour of the West; Bruce Babbitt, Sen. Slade Gorton on Elwha dam removal; convicted Fife Symington resigns; Jane Dee Hull is Ariz. gov.; Ricky Denesik

Wolves take heavy toll in Montana

Wolves have killed at least 30 sheep in six weeks in Montana's Tobacco Valley, and despite being compensated by Defenders of Wildlife, some sheep ranchers are furious.

For sale: a Colorado water district - maybe

An attempt by the federal government to sell a small irrigation project, the Collbran Project, to local water conservancy districts runs into trouble because the public is not consulted first.

Maps may save lives

A mapping project is set up in Oregon to identify sites at risk for landslides, in an attempt to discourage both logging and home building in dangerous areas.

Bigger might be better for Utah's parks

In Utah, Canyonlands park officials and conservationists are saying that an area slated for oil drilling, Lockhart Basin, which is right outside the park boundaries, should be included in the park and protected.

Rid-a-Bird works too well

A small pest control company's product, Rid-a-Bird, is blamed in the deaths of two protected birds, a hawk and an owl, after Weyerhaeuser uses it to kill starlings at its Longview, Wash., paper mill.

New facts about old fish

Scientists in the Pacific Northwest have launched a study of the white sturgeon in the Columbia River - North America's largest fish.

Agencies dunk endangered songbird

Biologists and conservationists protest BuRec's plan to drown habitat of the southwestern willow flycatcher by raising the waters of Arizona's Roosevelt Lake and by leaving other sensitive habitat areas off the list of designated critical habitat.

Feds take on a sneaky species

One of the problems facing the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher can be found in the bird's nest, where the opportunistic cowbird sneaks in its own eggs, hatching offspring that out-compete the flycatcher's nestlings.

Jackson Hole tries "unnatural' elk management

Some wildlife managers and environmentalists say the National Elk Refuge at Jackson Hole, Wyo., should end its policy of feeding elk every winter.

Essays

The buffalo underground: Now it can be told

A bison which found refuge in Vickie Dyar's barn in West Yellowstone, Mont., was protected and fed by her last winter, to save it from the notorious slaughter of escaped Yellowstone bison considered at risk for brucellosis.

Will Wyoming warm to wolves?

A Montana conservationist travels to Wyoming to talk about wolves to often-hostile Wyomingites.

Keep America green: Hire an illegal alien

A Forest Service employee remembers the hard work of illegal aliens in planting trees in the Klamath National Forest.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

Good news for cows; "Baywatch breakout" in NM; river guides defend urine integrity; activist Delyla Wilson at fault for hurling bison guts; flying reptiles in NM; Slick Rock Cafe beats Hard Rock Cafe in lawsuit; Bill Gates' Seattle mansion.

Related Stories

One scientist's forbidden fruit

Scientist Richard Keigley studies Yellowstone's trees to back up his contention that the park's elk herds are out of control and need regulation.

Politics tangles with science

In their own words, ecologist Charles Kay denounces Yellowstone's policy of "natural regulation," while ecologist Mark Boyce defends it.

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