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High Country News August 16, 1999


Standing up for the underdog

After a century of poisoning and shooting the black-tailed prairie dog at will, ranchers are up in arms over the push by conservationists to have the animal listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends

HCN's new Web page; summer visitors; a no-no on names; books and more books; George Ochenski correction; MANAS.


An island becomes a protest ground

On La Framboise Island in Pierre, S.D., Sioux Indian activists have been protesting since March against the Army Corps of Engineers' plan to return most of Missouri River bottomland it once managed to the state, rather than giving all back to 7 tribes.

The Wayward West

Burlington Northern to pay for toxic dumping; vandalism of Escalante enviro homes; Vail ski resort road crosses protected wetlands; Telluride ski area expansion; strontium 90 found by chinook spawning area at Hanford; Sen. Orrin Hatch runs for president.

Judge halts nine timber sales

Federal Judge William Dwyer has blocked nine major timber sales, saying that the Forest Service and the BLM have failed to protect rare animal and plant species in old-growth forest, as required under the Northwest Forest Plan.

Reviving a refuge

California's Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge has been managed to benefit agriculture, not wildlife, critics say, but if water is given to the wetlands before it goes to irrigation, that could change.

Never underestimate a working majority

The working majority in Congress enforces or ignores Rule 16 as it pleases - the rule that prevents policy-making amendments being added to appropriations bills.

Taylor Ranch sells

The remaining 54,000 acres of Colorado's Taylor Ranch - called La Sierra by the Hispanic locals - have been sold to Western Properties Investors, and no one is sure what the fate of the land will be.

Book Reviews

America's Redrock Wilderness

The Utah Wilderness Coalition has reinventoried BLM lands for a proposed wilderness bill that would protect 9.1 million acres, and the beautiful paperbound book "America's Redrock Wilderness" showcases some of those lands.

Day of 6 billion

The 6 billionth human may have already been born, and the U.N. recommends two Web sites that deal with overpopulation, one from the National Wildlife Federation and the other from the Audubon Society.

Native Americans gather to defend homelands

More than 1,000 Native Americans met at Mount Taylor in New Mexico to celebrate the 10th birthday of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

Waterton-Glacier International Writers Workshop

The 1999 Waterton-Glacier International Writers Workshop takes place Sept. 16-18 in Alberta, Canada.

All That Glitters

A beautifully illustrated book about Native American micaceous pots is reviewed.

Summit to Envision Colorado's Future

A summit is planned for Sept. 24 and 25 at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, Colo.

Making the land pay

A new report, "Incentives for Conserving Open Lands in Greater Yellowstone," offers suggestions for farmers and ranchers to make land pay without selling out to developers.

Dams must go

The Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition has produced a new report, "Returning Salmon by Restoring Rivers: The Case for Partially Removing Four Dams on the Lower Snake River."

The river rules a hidden canyon

"The Hidden Canyon: A River Journey" pairs a diary by Ed Abbey with photos by John Blaustein to document a river journey down the Grand Canyon.

Beaver and Common Sense Conflict Solutions

A beaver conference will be held Sept. 7-9 in Estes Park, Colo., sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States, Wildlife 2000 and Rocky Mountain National Park.

Effective Forest Road Management Workshop

A workshop for foresters and woodlot owners is offered at Oregon State University's College of Forestry, Sept. 20-21.

Water Issues and Partnerships for Rural Arizona

The Arizona Hydrological Society will hold a symposium Sept. 8-11 in the White Mountains.

A Guide to Land Exchanges in the Northern Rockies

American Wildlands has produced a brochure to explain what exchanges are in the works.

Building on Leopold's Legacy: Conservation for a New Century

The 50th anniversary of "A Sand County Almanac: by Leopold will be held Oct. 4-7 in Madison, Wis.


An ugly message marches down an Idaho street

Watching as members of the Aryan Nations parade down a Coeur d'Alene street, the writer worries that, in northern Idaho, the distance between Nazi and native is not a comfortable one.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

Endangered plane in UT; Mysterious captions and news items; rotting apples in George, Wash.; hog manure in Wheatland, Wyo.; bombs on Gold Dust Peak in Colo.; signs of the times; AZ gov. vs. owls; Margaret Mead and Nazis; Air Force reassigns Ryan Berry.

Related Stories

Facts about prairie dogs

Facts about prairie dogs

Prairie dogs found in pet stores and pounds

Connecticut resident Rebecca Fischer organized Prairie Dog Rescue to deal with the many prairie dogs adopted as pets on the East Coast and later unwanted by their owners.

Craig Knowles, scientist caught in the middle

Wildlife biologist Craig Knowles - the point man for prairie dog conservation in Montana - doesn't think the animal needs to be listed as threatened.

Shooting: It's not a hunt per se

Prairie dog shooting is a profitable sport that many conservationists would like to see banned, or at least controlled, on public lands.

One grassland grows prairie dogs

On Wyoming's Thunder Basin National Grassland, prairie dogs thrive along with a host of other wildlife.

Do prairie dogs steal grass?

For a century, ranchers have believed that prairie dogs compete with cattle for grass - a notion contemporary biologists are debunking.

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