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High Country News October 13, 1997


The land is still public, but it's no longer free

The federal government's new Recreational Fee Demonstration Program - which requires recreationists to "pay to play" in national parks, forests, BLM and Fish and Wildlife areas nationwide - receives both condemnation and kudos in its early trials.

Dear Friends

Dear friends

Research fund; fixing a glitch; September board meeting; visitors.


Paying to play in the Sawtooths

For the first time ever, it costs to hike in Idaho's Sawtooth National Recreation Area, but many users are forgetting or refusing to pay the $2 a day fee.

Mountain bikers in Moab pay to ride

The Moab area BLM started charging recreationists user fees several years ago, when mountain biking in Utah began to grow out of control.

Forest Service acts to preserve 'the Front'

Lewis and Clark National Forest Supervisor Gloria Flora decides against allowing oil and gas leasing in Montana's Rocky Mountain Front.

Borrowing courage from the past

Lewis and Clark National Forest Supervisor Gloria Flora discusses making the decision to protect Montana's Rocky Mountain Front from oil and gas drilling.

The Wayward West

Margaret Reeb agrees; Sen. Dan Young gets monument documents; Eugene, Ore., Mayor Jim Torrey gets barfed on; Charles Hurwitz gets pie in face; Reed Benson to direct WaterWatch.

Fake healers plague Navajo Nation

Navajo traditional healers are at a loss to halt the problem of charlatans claiming to be the medicine men on the reservation.

Flattened fauna need help

Western painted turtles are dying on a dangerous stretch of Montana's Route 93 through Mission Valley.

Sierra Club moves to fortify its "drain Lake Powell' campaign

The Sierra Club's endorsement of draining Lake Powell spurs controversy about dam deconstruction as well as the club's decision-making policy and whether it was violated.

Rafters vs. fish

River outfitters protest the Forest Service's policy of periodically closing Idaho's Salmon River to floaters to protect endangered salmon.

Big stink over northern pike

Determined opponents protest a California fish and game department plan to poison Lake Davis to ride it of non-native northern pike.

Book Reviews

On the road

The Montana-based Native Forest Network tours the West to educate people about threatened roadless areas in the Northern Rockies.

Least loved beasts

The anthology "Least Loved Beasts of the Really Wild West: A Tribute" salutes coyotes, tarantulas, snakes and other uncharismatic creatures.

The more remote, the better

Locals form a group, Stehekin Alert, to protect remote Stehekin Valley, Wash., from development.

Who will save our animals?

The Jehovah's Witnesses publication "Awake!" worries about wildlife.

A timber country memoir

Robert Leo Heilman's "Overstory: Zero; Real Life in Timber Country" portrays life in a logging community.

Let rivers heal

A report from the Oregon State University's Department of Fisheries says salmon and river restoration needs to focus on entire watersheds to succeed.

Forest fragmentation in the Central Rocky Mountains

Forest fragmentation in the Central Rocky Mountains is the theme of a two-day conference at Colorado State University Nov. 12-13.

Environmental, Economic and Legal Issues Related to Rangeland Water Developments

Environmental, Economic and Legal Issues Related to Rangeland Water Developments is a conference scheduled Nov. 13-15 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Federal government web site

The federal government has a Web site at

Leaning Into the Wind: Women Write from the Heart of the West

The anthology "Leaning Into the Wind: Women Write from the Heart of the West" is a mosaic of seldom-heard voices from the High Plains.


It's time for the public to pay up

User fees for Western recreationists on public lands are overdue and will create an incentive to protect these lands from exploitation.

Greens, as usual, are easy to bait

Recreational user fees would do harm by introducing the profit motive to natural resource management.

The Mountain West: A Republican Fabrication

The Republican Party controls the West because historically it has created and exploited the mythology of the Interior West to the party's advantage.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

Yellowstone's rickety sewer system; California is booming; creating salmon habitat with dump trucks; killing trees to save woodpeckers; usefulness of sheep; border collie in D.C.

Related Stories

At Mount St. Helens fees go dangerously high

Some say increased user fees at Washington's Mount St. Helens National Monument could lead to increased accidents as climbers hurry to save on fees.

No cheap thrills in the Grand Canyon

River runners in Arizona's Grand Canyon feel unfairly singled out by increasing fees to float the Colorado River.

Guy Clark: Fees draw fire from two public-land users

Colorado hunter Guy Clark, in his own words, discusses his opposition to user fees on the West's public lands.

Barbara Sutteer: Fees draw fire from two public-land users

National Park Service staffer Barbara Sutteer, in her own words, discusses Indian feelings about user fees on public lands.

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