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High Country News July 31, 2000

Feature

Out of the darkness

When Paonia, Colo., resident Richard Rudin challenged a local mine's plans for expansion, the town was painfully divided, until the efforts of the North Fork Coal Working Group brought miners, environmentalists and agencies together for a solution.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends

Paonia, Colo., and HCN; visitors from near and far.

News

A party for the people

A group of unrelated Utah activists who first came together as the "Bastille Family" during anti-war protests in 1969 celebrates its 30th anniversary with a family reunion in Salt Lake City.

Kicking and screaming in Nevada

The Jarbidge Shovel Brigade's July 4 rally failed to reopen a controversial closed road along Nev.'s Jarbidge River, but the Forest Service's proposal to rebuild the road in a slightly different place so far has satisfied neither wise-users nor enviros.

The Wayward West

Clinton administration delays dam-breaching decision; critics call Army Corps of Engineers' Los Alamos, NM, dam unnecessary; W.R. Grace repurchases vermiculite mine in Libby, MT and revokes EPA access; Californians vie to get $ for their polluting cars.

Government writes wolf success story

The federal government wants to downlist the gray wolf from "endangered" to "threatened" status, a move conservationists say could endanger the whole wolf recovery program.

Buddhist temple hits a snag

A California environmental group says that building a Buddhist retreat center in Morse Canyon near Rancho Cucamonga would harm endangered species, especially the California gnatcatcher and the kangaroo rat.

Water district has identity crisis

The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, until recently thought to be part of New Mexico's state government, is actually a federal agency, and could be forced to keep enough water in the river to protect the endangered silvery minnow.

Neighbors oppose land trade

A proposed land swap by the Colorado State Land Board would trade the Little Cochetopa Creek School Section near Salida to a Kansas developer, a move critics say would harm elk and deer habitat and end local access.

Loggers win one

A county jury says the state of Washington must pay SDS Co., a logging company, to protect endangered spotted owls on the company's private land.

The snail that stands like a dam

Future human-made floods from Glen Canyon Dam, designed to help restore the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, are on hold until scientists find a way to protect and recover an endangered subspecies, the Kanab ambersnail.

Up in smoke: Hanford fire releases plutonium

A recent wildfire on Hanford Nuclear Reservation, Wash., released plutonium into the air, and watchdog groups are not satisfied by the Department of Energy's claim that there is no cause for worry.

In New Mexico, a surprising proposal rises from the flames

For the first time ever, the environmental group Forest Guardians has recommended thinning and prescribed burning in the dense pine forests on Santa Fe's watershed.

Colorado blazes fuel forest restoration efforts

In the wake of forest fires, mountain communities along Colorado's Front Range are working with agencies to protect homes and watersheds from storm-caused floods that could race over burned and eroded ground.

Book Reviews

One big bighorn

The National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center in Dubois, Wyo., will display the skull of the biggest bighorn ever known, a 15,000- to 22,000-year-old relic.

Barberry bush beats bacteria

A compound from the Fremont barberry bush on Colorado's Western Slope is helping researchers fight antibiotic resistance.

Help search for snakes

Biologist Nikolle Brown is seeking photographs and information on any reptiles seen in the Grand Canyon for her Snakes of the Grand Canyon Identification and Distribution Project.

Saving some of Utah

A coalition of environmentalists has raised the money to protect a historic ranch in Utah's Wasatch Mountains from the sprawling development of nearby Park City.

The bees' needs

Golfers are working with conservationists to encourage bees and other native pollinators to inhabit golf courses.

Vulgar yet valiant

"Jumping Fire: A Smokejumper's Memoir" by Murry A. Taylor tells the story of the sometimes "irreverent, vulgar, uncouth and crass" folks who parachute in to fight forest fires in the West.

Killing Coyote

Doug Hawes-Davis' new video documentary, "Killing Coyote," goes inside the battle waged by humans against one of the most resilient predators, the coyote.

Raging river, quiet mind

"Raging River, Quiet Mind: Field Notes from the Grand Canyon" wonderfully reproduces the illustrated journal writer Teresa Jordan kept on a 12-day river trip through the Grand Canyon.

Sacred Buffalo Conference

The third annual Sacred Buffalo Conference is held Aug. 13-15 in Santa Fe, N.M.

Riparian Ecology and Management in Multi-Land Use Watersheds

A conference on Riparian Ecology and Management in Multi-Land Use Watersheds is held Aug. 28-31 in Portland, Ore.

National Mountain Conference

Hiking and mountaineering clubs are sponsoring a National Mountain Conference Sept. 14-16 in Golden, Colo.

Volunteer Stewards

Volunteers are sought for Colorado's Natural Areas Program.

Communities Directory: A Guide to Intentional Communities and Cooperative Living

A new directory features maps, cross-references charts and an index of various communities.

Musicians United to Sustain the Environment

A Michigan-based nonprofit, Musicians United to Sustain the Environment, is giving away CDs in drawings.

Society for Human Ecology

The Society for Human Ecology is sponsoring a conference for scientists, educators and urban planners Oct. 18-22 in Jackson, Wyo.

National Land Trust Rally

Open-space advocates will gather at a National Land Trust Rally Oct. 19-22 in Portland, Oregon.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

San Francisco vs. tourists; "Billionaires for Bush (or Gore)"; camping at Wal-Mart; Yellowstone Web site pulls ads begging for corporate money; lawn ornament bandits in Oregon; lawn mowers vs. people.

Related Stories

Mining out the middleman

In Montana, the Stillwater Mining Co. and local citizens' groups have signed a legally binding "good neighbor" agreement that holds the palladium mine to strict environmental standards in exchange for environmentalists agreeing to drop a lawsuit.

Rural Green: A new shade of activism

Ed Marston interviews Steve Hinchman, former HCN staffer and director of the Western Slope Environmental Resource Council, about the different kind of environmental activism and consensus-building needed in rural Western communities.

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