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High Country News March 27, 2000

The last wild river


The last wild river

The Yellowstone River is the longest undammed river in the West, but Montana's rapid growth is affecting it, as property owners afraid of floods lay huge amounts of riprap along its banks.


Homesteaders sue over ancestral land

Over 50 years after the Manhattan Project and Los Alamos National Laboratory were built on land owned by Hispanic farmers, descendents of those farmers have sued the Dept. of Energy, saying they were illegally evicted.

The Wayward West

Judge upholds drilling ban on Rocky Mtn. Front; Rep. Tom Udall is for breaching Snake River dams; GAO says Baca Ranch, N.M., is overpriced; Louisiana-Pacific fined for toxic dumping; Albuquerque Mayor Jim Baca supports Mexican wolves in Gila Wilderness.

Parks rev up to ban snowmobiles

The Park Service says that snowmobiles will likely be banned from Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks by 2002-2003.

Forest chief steers agency down a rocky road

Tension is high in the Forest Service over Chief Mike Dombeck's plan to decommission unnecessary and unauthorized roads in the national forests.

Agency torpedoes canyon planning

The Park Service has ended consensus efforts among private boaters, environmentalists and commercial rafting companies over access to the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, saying the talks had become polarized and contentious.

Greens call snowmaking a snow job

Colorado Wild, an environmental group, is appealing the Forest Service's decision to let Arapahoe Basin Ski Area divert water from the North Fork of the Snake River for use in snowmaking.

Mine proposal stumbles

The BLM is told it can turn down mines that harm environmental or cultural resources after critics say Glamis Imperial Corp.'s planned open-pit gold mine in southeastern California will hurt Quechan Indian sacred sites and the threatened desert tortoise.

Guides may get guidelines

Sen. Larry Craig's proposed Outfitters Policy Act would standardize outfitter operations on the public lands, but private users and other critics say the law would tie up the resource for commercial benefit.

Whirling disease keeps spreading

Whirling disease has been found among trout in three state fish hatcheries in New Mexico.

HCN at 30: 'On faith alone'

In the early 1970s, Tom Bell's "High Country News" tackled the killing of eagles by Wyoming sheep ranchers, and when the paper's environmental stand caused subscriptions to drop, loyal readers sent in money to keep it going.

High Country

In an early "High Country News" editorial, reprinted here, Tom Bell took on then-Governor of Wyoming Stanley K. Hathaway.

Book Reviews

Oh, give me a home...

A new documentary, "Subdivide and Conquer: The New West," takes a sobering look at the rapid development and sprawling subdivisions in the West.

Tax-averse Wyoming hurts itself

The Equality State Policy Center, a nonprofit public-policy group, says taxes are an overlooked source of revenue and offers suggestions in its report, "Putting Together the Pieces... Wyoming's Budget Crisis."

Preserving the westward way

The National Park Service wants to preserve the wagon ruts, campsites, graves and scenery along 13,000 miles of historic trails in the West.

What's in your organic burrito?

The Department of Agriculture has released its new, proposed national organic standards for food in the U.S.

Off-road vehicle use

A national conference will discuss off-road vehicle use and its threat to public lands, April 7-11, in Washington, D.C.

Nature in Fragments: The Legacy of Urban Sprawl

Unplanned growth and its consequences for North American biodiversity are the focus of the American Museum of Natural History in New York's April 13-14 symposium.

Resource Advisory Councils (RACs)

Colorado's office of the Bureau of Land Management is seeking nominations for positions on its Resource Advisory Councils.

Western Small Acreage Expo

A free Western Small Acreage Expo is offered to farmers, livestock owners and fruit growers, April 29, in Grand Junction, Colo.

Energy Ideas Clearinghouse

Sign up for a biweekly e-mail newsletter to keep abreast of developments in energy-efficient agriculture.

Commons or Commodity? The Dilemma of Federal Land Exchanges

A 104-page report discusses history, policy and laws surrounding land exchanges.

Missouri River Natural Resources

A conference on Missouri River Natural Resources is set for May 21-24 in Bismarck, N.D.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

Old West shoot-out in Las Vegas; saying howdy with a staplegun; killed wolf becomes Idaho high school mascot; Franken-fish in New Zealand; ideas on refrigerators and houses made from airplanes; Las Vegas plans its own Grand Canyon; Telluride dog trouble.

Related Stories

A family encounters a conservation quandary

Andrew Dana, who went to the Army Corps of Engineers for a permit to stabilize the Yellowstone River's banks on his land, describes the permitting process as "a bad dream."

Property owners call the shots

The unregulated development of private property along the banks of the Yellowstone River is the greatest threat to the river.

An opportunity lost to politics

Landowner opposition helped shoot down President Clinton's Heritage Rivers Initiative, which Yellowstone River activists believe could have helped the river greatly.

A river divided

The 670 miles of the Yellowstone River cross a varied landscape and face an equal variety of problems along the way.

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