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High Country News November 22, 1999


Go tell it on the mountain

While Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt considers greater protection for Oregon's Steens Mountain, local ranchers and environmentalists argue over whether the land should become a cow-free national monument or a conservation area that would allow grazing.

Is the Grand Staircase-Escalante a model monument?

Superintendent Jerry Meredith has a management plan for Utah's new Grand Staircase-Escalante Nat'l Monument, the first park to be managed by BLM rather than Park Service, and many environmentalists and some locals praise the job he's doing.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends

A celebration of Gudy Gaskill, who jumpstarted the building of the Colorado Trail; corrections; adventures of a paddle and its return.


In Washington, the emperor is on Babbitt's side

In Washington, D.C., Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt battles Western Republicans over the use of the 1906 Antiquities Act to preserve Western land for the public.

Tree-sitters and timber company celebrate

A land swap set up by Plum Creek Timber Co., the Forest Service and eight environmental groups will protect some of the last old growth remaining in Washington's Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Nevadans drive out forest supervisor

Citing a climate of threatening, "irresponsible fed-bashing" that made it almost impossible for her to do her job, supervisor Gloria Flora resigns from her job overseeing Nevada's Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Hunters cry: too many predators

A new hunters' group called the Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd is blaming wolves for the recent drop in the population of the park's northern elk herd.

The Wayward West

Chronic wasting disease strikes elk in Mont.; Columbia River's Hanford Reach now part of Saddle Mtn. wildlife refuge; Puget Sound bull trout listed as endangered; a bill is passed to give $3 billion for land purchases and wildlife conservation programs.

Western environmentalists go global

As many as 50,000 protesters are expected at the World Trade Organization conference in Seattle, Wash., demanding that global trade rules must take into account environmental, labor, safety and human rights protections.

Nonstop service to the Mojave Desert?

The Park Service says that a new Las Vegas airport, planned for a site 10 miles from California's Mojave National Preserve, will ruin the "solace and quiet" of the desert.

A tired stream gains new steam

Environmentalists, federal agencies and area Indian tribes are pushing to decommission 90-year-old Fossil Creek Dam and its two small hydropower plants near Strawberry, Ariz.

Figuring out FERC

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the little-known agency that handles hydroelectric project licensing.

Book Reviews

Dirty air in the deep of winter

A new report, "Air Quality Concerns Related to Snowmobile Usage," says snowmobiles produce nearly all the air pollution in Yellowstone National Park.

Grant program gives greens GIS

The Conservation Technology Support Program is offering Geographic Information Systems grants to environmental groups.

Risks multiply for land managers

A report by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility titled "Attacks on Federal Employees" documents a rising tide of violence against Forest Service and BLM staffers.

Nevada names

Helen Carlson's book, "Nevada Place Names," is a delightful dictionary that untangles the stories behind the state's place names.

BIA told to get organized

A new report, "A Study of Management and Administration: The Bureau of Indian Affairs," gives the beleaguered BIA advice about how to get itself back on track.

Kartchner Caverns State Park

Nov. 12 was the grand opening of Kartchner Caverns State Park near Tucson, Ariz.

Tailings and mine waste

A conference on tailings and mine waste is being held Jan. 23-26 at Colorado State University.

Great Salt Lake Issues Forum

The Great Salt Lake Issues Forum will be held Feb. 25-26 by Friends of Great Salt Lake.

Cartoons from Elmer Sprunger

Friends of the Wild Swan in Montana are selling a calendar with favorite cartoons of Elmer Sprunger.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

Cherry boom in Asia; controversy over parade shootouts in Idaho; whale radio; sewage blamed for Yosemite rock falls; hunter shoots llama; hunters, cell phones and lions; "disrobe for disarmament" in San Francisco; Wyo. Gov. Geringer defends rich.

Related Stories

One proposal nearly runs aground

Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt is pushing for a new and expanded National Conservation Area along the banks of the Missouri River Breaks, a wild and scenic river corridor.

Babbitt looks for support on his home turf

Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt would like to see a national monument for the Arizona Strip, a little-known region of the Shivwits Plateau northwest of the Grand Canyon.

'Environmentalists will win'

In his own words, environmentalist lawyer Andy Kerr argues for an end to grazing on Steens Mountain.

'I see lawsuits as a last resort'

In her own words, Sierra Club volunteer Jill Workman says that grazing need not be banned on Steens Mountain.

'The more protection ... the better'

In his own words, Bill Marlett of the Oregon Natural Desert Association says that Steens Mountain needs all the protection it can get.

'I don't want to run a different business'

In his own words, rancher Fred Otley defends ranchers' stewardship on Steens Mountain.

'Multiple use is still the best concept'

In his own words, ranch manager Stacy Davies says that multiple use is best for Steens Mountain.

The secretary's must-do list for Western lands

Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt has his eye on a half-dozen other BLM territories in the West that he is considering for greater protection before he leaves office.

Ninety years of the Antiquities Act

A time line gives high points in the history of the Antiquities Act, which since 1906 has been used to designate many national parks and monuments.

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