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High Country News April 24, 2000

At your service: Unions help some Western workers serve themselves


At your service

In Las Vegas, strong unions help service workers achieve the kind of prosperity and security seldom reached by the working-class people of the West's non-union resort towns.


Down under: Arizona boasts the 'show cave of the century'

A tour of Arizona's recently opened Kartchner Caverns State Park reveals an extraordinary underground landscape that was undiscovered until 1974.

Do we really need the rural West?

A Las Vegas historian argues that the rural West is nothing but an anachronism that means nothing in today's New West.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends

Springtime; HCN Albuquerque potluck; BLM conference in Las Vegas; Paonia's Easter eggs; Nicholas DeVore III visits from Bisbee, Arizona.


Flashpoint in the Northern Rockies

Two backcountry huts used by cross-country skiers in Sun Valley, Idaho, were destroyed by arson, and some suspect the arsonists might have been snowmobilers irate over ORV restrictions in national forests.

The Wayward West

Two recaptured packs of Mexican wolves will be released in Gila Wilderness, N.M.; Atlas uranium tailings near Moab, Utah, kill fish in Colo. River; Enviros battle coal-bed methane wells in Mont.; Scott McInnis wants ski area in White River N.F., Colo.

Dust settles in Owens Valley

Los Angeles has agreed to return some water to parched Owens Valley and to begin restoring Owens Lake, which was turned into an empty dust bowl to quench the thirst of L.A.

One dam, two rallies

While anti-dam activists hold lively rallies calling for the demolition of Glen Canyon Dam, the pro-dam group Friends of Lake Powell stages rallies of its own, defending the reservoir and the local economy based on it.

Grass roots keeps town tiny

Tiny Stehekin, Wash., thwarts a developer's plans to build condominiums and "boom" the town.

Locked out of the public lands

In Wyoming, hunters and ORVers rally to protest the way that newly arrived corporate ranchers and rich people are blocking traditional areas of access to public lands.

Pump failure pummels salmon

Nearly 1.4 million baby chinook die after a pump fails at the Cole M. Rivers Hatchery on Oregon's Rogue River.

Fish find friends in farmers

Washington farmers are working to get into compliance with the Endangered Species and Clean Water acts to save threatened salmon.

Wildcat subdivisions fuel fight over sprawl

In Arizona, "wildcat" subdivisions such as Picture Rocks are springing up everywhere, and lawmakers and antigrowth activists are fighting over how to bring the sprawl under control.

Tug-of-war continues over trust lands

Arizona Gov. Jane Hull's Growing Smarter Commission would preserve as open space some of the state's trust lands, but critics say those acres are undevelopable anyway, and that the plan caters to rural lawmakers.

The U.S. isn't dead yet

Despite all the anti-federal talk, especially in the West, the government is still in place, and still trying to do its job.

Book Reviews

SUWA goes national

The National BLM Wilderness Campaign, a project of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, is lobbying to protect roadless lands throughout the country.

Tough but threatened

Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt has proposed a new national monument near Tucson, Ariz., to protect the ironwood trees that are threatened by development and logging.

Backpacks and quacks

Pintail ducks flying north from California's Central Valley this spring will carry transmitters to track their migration routes in an attempt to find out why pintail duck numbers are dropping.

Ludlow Massacre memorialized

Joanna Sampson's booklet, "Remember Ludlow!", tells the story of the Ludlow Massacre, when National Guard troops fired on striking coal miners and their families at Ludlow, Colo., in 1914.

Escalante Wilderness Action Gathering

The Escalante Wilderness Action Gathering will be held May 19-21 near Glen Canyon.

Management plan for the Yellowstone grizzly

The Fish and Wildlife Service has released its management plan for the Yellowstone Grizzly.

Water and Growth in the West

The University of Colorado School of Law holds its summer conference, "Water and Growth in the West," June 7-9.

Biographical profiles of American envirommentalists

Biographical profiles of American environmentalists are being sought by the editor of a reference book/CD ROM.

Then and Now, 1870-2000: The Jackson/Fielder Photos

The works of two renowned Western photographers will be on exhibit at the Colorado History Museum through Aug. 6.

An unruly river

Historian Robert Kelley Schneider's book, "Unruly River: Two Centuries of Change Along the Missouri," describes how well-meaning civic boosters and farmers almost destroyed the Missouri River's landscape and the Indian tribes that once lived along it.

A norteno champions a local environmental ethic

The essays that sociologist Devon Peûa has assembled in his book, "Chicano Culture, Ecology, Politics: Subversive Kin," argue for a homegrown Chicano environmental ethic in the changing, contested landscape of New Mexico.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

Western newspaper mottos; elk semen; outdoor bathrooms and "rock cairns"; carousers burn Boy Scouts' trail logs; fox in hospital in Sun Valley, ID; killer bees to St. George, UT; Santa Rosa, CA drive-throughs; "Nome Nat'l Forest"; political yogis; ATVs.

Related Stories

The drive to organize

Geoconda Arguello-Kline describes her work as an organizer for the Culinary Workers Union in Las Vegas, Nevada.

'Women are the backbone of the union'

In her own words, banquet server Peggy Pierce talks about life in Las Vegas and women in the union.

'Ain't no sucha thing as you can't'

Bernice Thomas talks about her job running the maids' training school for the Culinary Workers Union in Las Vegas.

Unions take a gamble on California tribes

In California, a new law opens the door to union organizing in 58 Indian-owned casinos in the state.

'There are no support networks here'

In her own words, Polish immigrant Aldona Sobiecki talks about the Polish community in Breckenridge, Colorado.

'It's my dream'

Russian-born Elena Bernlohr describes her journey from railroad construction engineering in Moscow to working as a bookkeeper for the Breckenridge, Colo., Music Festival.

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