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High Country News February 15, 1999

Feature

Uncommon Bounty

Western Indian reservations and former logging towns are among economically depressed communities seeking to cash in on the new market for gourmet and medicinal plants, but some worry that the boom of "wild crafting" plants may not be entirely benign.

Dear Friends

Dear friends

A very good year for HCN; January HCN board meeting in St. George, Utah.

News

Does soccer tread on open space?

Residents of King County, Wash., are fighting over whether a 112-acre farm, protected by the county's farmland preservation program, can be turned into a soccer field.

Cows conquer condos

A 32,000-acre ranch on the border of Utah and Colorado will remain a ranch rather than a subdivision, thanks to the efforts of a land trust in each state that helped the landowner place conservation easements on his land.

The last mine closes in Leadville

A 139-year history of hardrock mining ends in Leadville, Colo., as the last working mine - Asarco's Black Cloud Mine - closes down, leaving the town uncertain of its identity and its economic future.

The Wayward West

BLM acknowledges 5.7 million acres in Utah as wilderness; USFS halts hardrock mining on Mont.'s Rocky Mtn. Front; Canada lynx released in Colo. forest; Oregon drops appeal of salmon listing as endangered; Ag Dept. proposes organic label for meat/poultry.

Wolves colonize Jackson Hole

Eleven reintroduced wolves have been sighted recently near Jackson Hole, Wyo., as they migrate south from Yellowstone toward Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge.

No love for Lycra in Moab

A rash of vandalism at Moab's Sand Flats Recreation Area, which includes the famous Slickrock bike trail, seems to be directed at mountain-biking tourists.

Renegade house with a view - for now

A three-story house being built on the rim of Washington's Columbia River Gorge - in defiance of the National Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area - has become a battleground between supporters of the scenic act and property-rights advocates.

Wyoming regulators gamble on Amoco cleanup

Casper, Wyo.'s Amoco oil refinery is one of the state's most notorious hazardous waste sites, and some fear that EPA's decision to turn over responsibility to the Wyoming Dept. of Environmental Quality means that cleanup will not be complete.

Burial at Pine Ridge

The remains of 42 Oglala Indians, stored for years at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., are at last returned and buried on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Ghost town hangs on

The 20 residents of a Montana ghost town called Southern Cross are fighting eviction notices issued when the mining company that owned the land under their homes sold it to developers.

Snowmobilers booted from Montana forest

Snowmobilers and locals in Superior, Mont., who are economically dependent on them, are fuming about the Lolo National Forest's decision to close 400,000 acres, including the popular Great Burn Wilderness Area, to motorized vehicles.

Activists block bison capture pen

An activist group called Buffalo Nations has set up tripods to block the road leading to a planned bison pen near West Yellowstone, Mont., where stray bison would be held and tested for brucellosis.

Tucson draws a line on sprawl

Environmentalists applaud the Pima County Board of Supervisors' decision to kill the Canoa Ranch development, planned on the outskirts of rapidly growing Tucson, Ariz.

Book Reviews

A research resource to drown in

The background studies to the report "Water in the West: Challenge for the Next Century" are worth their considerable weight in gold to anyone seriously interested in the complex problems surrounding water in the West.

Riding the rails in Colorado

"The Colorado Railroad and Rail Corridor Guide" will be useful both to those trying to preserve existing rail lines and those seeking to turn abandoned rail corridors into trails.

Essays

The Pacific Yew: Chasing a cancer cure with a chainsaw

During the height of the boom in harvesting Pacific yew trees for the cancer-curing taxol in their bark, a logger wrestles with ambiguous feelings about the trees he is felling for money.

Yankee stay home

An East Coast writer recalls how he first fell utterly in love with the desert landscape of Tucson, Ariz., and later decided he loved it so much he would have to protect it by not moving there.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

Oldest male grizzly killed in Mont.; $3.6 million teardown near Aspen.; wolves vs. sharks in Jackson Hole; Bats in Belfry, Mont.; dart-pierced duck in Great Falls, MT; PETA vs. McDonalds in Utah school; anti-Olympics license plates; impotence in bikers.

Related Stories

Plant identification

Nine sought-after plants with descriptions and what they are used for.

Freedom of the woods

In his own words, mushroom harvester Bill Knight describes and defends his trade.

It's our tradition

In her own words, Hoopa Valley Tribal member Sherlette Colegrove describes the Indian approach to harvesting plants and mushrooms.

An entrepreneurial spirit

Yan Saeteurn, who was born in Laos and now lives in Redding, Calif., has built a life brokering matsutake mushrooms in the Oregon woods.

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