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High Country News June 05, 2000

Change on the Plains


Change on the Plains

The Great Plains ranchers who have long grazed the national grasslands face a growing push by the Forest Service to take over management and try to restore the prairie landscape.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends

Visitors from Los Alamos; Albuquerque potluck; Michael Medberry mending; obituaries of Lynn Dickey and Ken Parks; HCN's lawn-mowing team.


Hanford executive quits in protest

Mike Lawrence, manager of the cleanup effort on Hanford Nuclear Reservation, resigns, saying the project is financially out of control.

Nuclear waste needs new backyard

The Save Ward Valley Coalition closes its office, saying the group has made "tremendous steps toward victory," in fighting a proposed nuclear-waste dump in Ward Valley, California.

The Wayward West

David Brower quits Sierra Club; White River Nat'l Forest plan gets avalanche of mail; judge says Army Corps of Engineers has been ignoring environmental laws on Yellowstone River; acting grizzly Bart dies.

The West's hottest question: How to burn what's bound to burn

The forest fire that ravaged Los Alamos, N.M., stemming from a Park Service prescribed burn that swept out of control, has everyone debating the whole concept of prescribed burning in the West.

More trouble waits in the wings

The Cerro Grande fire is only the beginning of trouble, forest managers say, warning that summer monsoons on the burned hillsides could cause floods that send toxic and radioactive wastes into the Rio Grande.

Supreme Court upholds Babbitt's grazing reforms

The Supreme Court upholds Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt's grazing reforms, and allows non-ranchers to qualify for grazing permits.

Mining tops toxic list

Hardrock mining tops the list of industrial polluters in the EPA's annual Toxics Release Inventory.

Can 'property rightsniks' stop a popular bill?

The Conservation and Reinvestment Act of 2000, which would guarantee permanent funding for 15 years for buying land for conservation, has broad support but still faces an interesting dance through a complicated Congress.

Seattle passes on greenhouse gases

Seattle wants to meet future electricity needs without increasing greenhouse gases through coal and other fossil fuels.

The roadless tour begins

Environmentalists and the timber industry both oppose the Forest Service's plan for protecting roadless areas.

Book Reviews

Shakespeare in Montana

Montana State University's Shakespeare in the Park program brings plays to little towns across the state.

Grizzlies: going, going ...

People and the development they bring pose the greatest threat to grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park.

Arizona adds sunshine

Electricity providers in Arizona will have to increase the amount of renewable energy resources that they use.

Painting the prairie

"Crowded Prairie: Four Painters" presents the work of Chuck Forsman, Karen Kitchel, John Hull and James Lancel McElhinney in an exhibit at the Ucross Foundation Art Gallery.

'A natural calamity'

"Mount St. Helens: The Eruption and Recovery of a Volcano" by Rob Carson paints a compelling picture in words and photos of the 1980 eruption and its consequences.

Mining is forever

"Wounding the West: Montana, Mining and the Environment" by David Stiller highlights the dangers posed to Westerners by more than a half-million abandoned hardrock mines.

Hispanics have a new voice

"El Valle," a new monthly newspaper in the Four Corners area, combines English and Spanish to focus on the lives and concerns of Hispanic people in the area.

Help Hells Canyon

The public can comment on the Forest Service's proposed new 10-year management plan for Hells Canyon National Recreation Area on the Idaho-Oregon border.

Latin American Festival in the Mountains

Volunteers are needed at the 7th annual festival that celebrates Latin American culture.

Western Issues Conference

Family histories will be told at the Western Issues Conference, June 23-24.


The annual writers' gathering, Fishtrap, features Ursula K. LeGuin, Luis Alberto Urrea and others, July 10-16.

839 Ways to Move Colorado in the Right Direction

The Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado wants people to repair trails, plant trees and take on other tasks this summer, and has put out a directory.

The Continental Divide Trail Alliance

Volunteers can choose from 33 projects to work on the Continental Divide Trail.

Gold at What Price? The Need for a Public Debate on National Gold Reserves

A 24-page study by three environmental groups talks about national gold reserves being harmful both economically and environmentally.

Governor's forum on Environment and Natural Resources

Government officials, environmentalists and ranchers will meet to discuss how collaborative processes work, June 19-20.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

"Monster" is pussycat in Penn.; farmer plows over snowmobiles in Canada; Arizona Republic condemns vigilante approach to illegal immigration; Psychic Network welcome to bring jobs to Santa Fe; wanna-be doctors face acting "patients"; PETA in Wyo.

Related Stories

A dissident speaks up for the Badlands

Maverick rancher and part-time ranger John Heiser is a rare voice for conservation on the North Dakota plains.

Elk find no home on the grasslands

North Dakota State law prohibits elk outside Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and so far attempts by ranchers and environmentalists to create an "elk cooperative" on the plains have come to naught.

Invisible roads block wilderness

Attempts to create wilderness areas in the North Dakota grasslands bump into a 19th century state law that designated every one-mile section line in the state as a public highway.

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