High Country News March 29, 1999
Land swaps, in which the Forest Service and BLM trade odd parcels of public land for ecologically valuable private land, have a long history in the West, but some say the trades too often profit land spectators at the expense of the public and the land.
In Arizona, a new national park is proposed - the Sonoran Desert National Park - combining Organ Pipe National Monument, the Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge and the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range.
A California land trust will help put 500,000 acres of land linking Joshua Tree National Park and the Mojave National Preserve into public ownership.
Purple coneflower protected on N.D. state lands; federal agency says bison pose no risk to Mont.'s brucellosis-free status; endangered listing of salmon and steelhead will impact urban Seattle; Colo.'s Oil & Gas Conservation Committee may favor industry.
Two outdoor schools in Colorado's Summit County - Keystone Science School and Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center - are feeling squeezed out by the burgeoning real estate development around them.
Canyonlands Superintendent Walt Dabney has proposed to more than double the park's size by redrawing its boundaries along natural features.
A ski resort developer seeks a land swap with the Forest Service that would enable him to develop the small Grand Targhee ski resort in Driggs, Idaho, and the real estate nearby.
Republican environmentalists are making a comeback in Congress.
A bison ranch described as a "biological hotspot" that lies next to the Grand Sand Dunes National Monument in Colorado could be sold to developers if The Nature Conservancy can't come up with the money to buy it.
Idaho's Land Board turns down an environmental group's $5,000 bid in favor of the Air Force's $10 bid on the Juniper Butte area, which the Air Force seeks for a training range.
An environmental group is raising money to buy and preserve the Loomis State Forest in northern Washington state.
Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt announces plans for a new national monument on the "Arizona Strip" - the Shivwits Plateau north of Grand Canyon - but area ranchers are not pleased.
Ten years after Ed Abbey's death, a Moab writer remembers the man as complex and cantankerous - an "honest hero," with a sense of humor and a fierce love for the canyon country he so often wrote about.
Heard Around the West
No nude skiing at Crested Butte this year; boring Red Delicious apples no longer popular; potholes save wildlife; President Clinton short of cash in Park City; California's avocado cops; cross-country skiers vs. snowshoers.
Public-lands watchdog John Jolley's opposition to a controversial land swap involving Wyoming's Bighorn Mountains didn't halt the deal, but it did change the way land swaps are now handled in the state.