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High Country News December 20, 1999


Unleashing the Snake

In Washington, conservationists, farmers, and federal and state agencies are passionately debating whether four dams on the lower Snake River should be breached in an attempt to restore endangered salmon and steelhead runs.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends

Skipped issue, books by Ruth Mary Lamb and Malcolm Wells; Altair to underwrite Radio High Country News.

Uncommon Westerners

All you can eat at Pueblito del Paiz

In the western Colorado town of Olathe, Ted Medina's Pueblito del Paiz serves as boarding house, dining hall and occasionally tense meeting ground for the Mexican and Indian workers who labor in the area's farm fields.


GASP! Some greens are grinning

As the year 1999 ends, environmentalists can point to some victories, particularly in roadless area protection, dam dismantling and hardrock mining control.

WTO limps home from Seattle

Protesting environmentalists and labor unions seem to be the only winners at the end of the tumultuous meeting of the World Trade Organization in Seattle, Wash.

Westerners take sides on road ban

Around the West, Forest Service "listening sessions" get an earful from environmentalists and offroad vehicle fans at odds over President Clinton's plan to protect roadless forests.

The Wayward West

Babbitt proposes new nat'l monuments in AZ and CA; Nev.'s Paiute Tribe can control water from Truckee River; N.M. charges illegal hazardous waste sent to WIPP; North Fork at ID's Payette River stays free-flowing; NPS lays off 700 law-enforcement workers.

Counties grab for control of national forests

Environmentalists are worried by a new House bill that will strengthen county control of national forests and their budgets.

New resort in the San Juans?

Local activists led by 77-year-old Betty Feazel plan to fight a proposed resort in the San Juan Mountains near Pagosa Springs, Colo.

Desert development raises dust

In Phoenix, Ariz., cases of "Valley Fever" are rising as rapid development stirs up pathogens in the area's dust.

An upscale development divides a town

In western Idaho, locals are at odds over the proposed "WestRock Resort at Lake Cascade."

Buy land now, says Udall

Rep. Mark Udall, D, is battling a Colorado Department of Resources moratorium on buying land for wildlife habitat.

Hanford leaves a surprising Cold War legacy

Area farmers are unhappy that the Wahluke Slope, a buffer zone for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, may now be protected as a wildlife refuge.

Bulldozers roll in Tucson

In Tucson, conservationists are angry and the Amphitheater school distrct is rejoicing over the decision to build a new high school in endangered pygmy-owl habitat.

Clean-air program may suffocate

In Washington, a tax-slashing ballot initiative is going to hurt the state's clean-air program.

Book Reviews


Photographer Celia Roberts' bilingual Year 2000 calendar "Gracias" celebrates the Latino migrant workers who harvest western Colorado's fields.

Snow surfers with a mission

The "Mountain Surf" chapter of the Surfrider Foundation in Bozeman, Mont., has started the Snowrider Project to protect water quality at ski areas.

Treasure Valley's housing not so golden

A report in the Idaho Press-Tribune documents the trouble Latinos have getting home mortgages in southwest Idaho's Treasure Valley.

Barely there

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies has launched the "Great Grizzly Search" to scour Idaho and Montana's Bitterroot-Selway ecosystem for a remnant grizzly population.

Free, four-hour tour of his ranch

New Mexico rancher Jim Winder offers tour of his ranch Jan. 15.

Our Environment and Our Health

The fourth annual "Mission Possible" conference, "Our Environment and Our Health," will be held Jan. 22 in El Paso, Texas.

A Hunter's Voice

A new organization, "A Hunter's Voice, has been formed by activist George Wuerthner.


Salmon crisis is a kaleidoscope of complexity

A National Marine Fisheries Service policy advisor says the questions raised by endangered salmon and dam-breaching are complicated and cannot be answered solely in deference to ecological theory.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

Souvenirs of "battle in Seattle"; Seattle newspaper spoof; zealots attack wrong plants at WSU; car drives into Sante Fe apartment; Cliff Notes founder endows chair; sexy store mannequins in Salt Lake City; buckled-up Utahns; "Big Pig Gig" in Cincinnati.

Related Stories

'The science pushed me'

Jim Baker, the Sierra Club's point man on Columbia salmon, offers his ideas on breaching dams to save fish.

Tribes cast for tradition, catch controversy

The treaty rights of Indians from the Umatilla, Yakama, Nez Perce and Warm Springs tribes to fish for salmon in the Columbia River are coming under attack from non-Native fishermen and other river users.

A 700th generation fisherman

Umatilla Indian Donald Sampson, director of the Columbia River Intertribal Fisheries Commission, defends Indian rights to fish for salmon.

'Dams made the modern Northwest'

Historian Keith Petersen talks about how Columbia and Snake River dams have made the Pacific Northwest what it is today.

'People are important'

Potlatch Corporation employee Frank Carroll explains why he thinks dam-breaching is a poor idea.

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