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High Country News August 14, 2000


Meth invasion

As methamphetamine moves into the small, isolated towns of the rural West, the waste left by its manufacture pollutes the environment while the drug's abuse and the traffic in it strain the resources of local law enforcement and social services.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends

Why HCN is writing about meth; good news from HCN's Writers On The Range and online archives; two HCN parties coming up: September board meeting in Boise and 30th anniversary in Boulder.

Uncommon Westerners

Farewell, Marc Reisner

With the recent untimely death of Marc Reisner, the West loses a man of independence and integrity, as well as a writer whose book "Cadillac Desert" helped to change the nation's view of Western water and water projects.


Telluride tackles ski town sprawl

The ski town of Telluride, Colo., is fighting a developer's plans to build up the Valley Floor, 857 acres of pasture and wetlands that are currently open space on the highway leading into town.

The Wayward West

Western wildfires rage; Rosebud Sioux Tribe cuts its planned giant hog farm by half; Dick French is ousted from job in charge of cleaning up Hanford Nuclear Reservation; Clinton withdraws support for a Great Sand Dunes National Park.

Reform school for wolves

At Ted Turner's Montana ranch, biologists are trying to train wolves to stay away from cattle by using shock collars that jolt the animals when they get too close to a cow or calf.

A leaky mine must get in line

Idaho's Grouse Creek Mine was once hailed as environmentally friendly, but now the mine is closed, and environmentalists fear the company's plans for draining a leaking tailings pond may harm fish in the Salmon River.

Condors back in captivity

Due to lead poisoning, Grand Canyon California condors have been recaptured until officials can track down the source.

Farm it or mine it?

Local farmers are fighting a proposed gravel mine on 550 acres of fertile farmland near the Willamette River north of Eugene, Oregon.

No recreation fees - for now

Visitors to the Snake River in Wyoming avoid the fee-demo program by donating to the Snake River Fund; the Forest Service gets the money only after local river-users approve the agency's river projects.

Dumping diesel

Southern California is trying to reduce diesel emissions by turning to cleaner-burning energy sources for public vehicles.

Small mines stay under the radar

Near Virginia City, Mont., and throughout the West, small mines face minimal regulation and oversight, and private landowners and the state are often left with huge cleanup costs and polluted streams.

Subdivision approved in owl habitat

The federal Fish and Wildlife Service is allowing a Tucson, Ariz., developer to build in habitat critical for the endangered cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl.

Composting takes out the trash

California has cut its landfill waste by 40 percent, and some give composting the credit.

Who speaks for the sheep?

On Arizona's Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, managers are caught between desert bighorn sheep advocates, who say the animals need human-made waterholes, and others who say that hauling water by authorized motorized vehicles harms the wilderness.

Forests on a forced diet

National forests across the country are cash-strapped and hard-pressed to get everyday work done because a greater percentage of the agency's budget is staying in Washington, D.C.

Whirlybirds will fly over Jackson

The Jackson Hole Airport near Grand Teton National Park has decided to allow some helicopter flights, despite fierce local objections.

Tee off for salmon

The owners of a golf course at the base of Oregon's Mount Hood are trying to restore endangered salmon to the stream that runs through it, the Wee Burn.

Book Reviews

Critter-watching etiquette

Mary Taylor Young's book, "On the trail of Colorado Critters," teaches children about how to watch and understand wild animals.

Farm workers' kids exposed to pesticides

An EPA report reveals that some children of Washington state farm workers show elevated levels of pesticide exposure.

Migrating with the monarchs

Robert Michael Pyle's book, "Chasing Monarchs: Migrating with the Butterflies of Passage," follows the colorful insects from Canada, down to Mexico, and back up to the California coast on their amazing yearly migration.

Environmental education takes a ride

Mike Kahn is riding his bike from California to Maine, and using his laptop computer along the way to educate children about the natural world that he sees on his journey.

After Lewis and Clark: Explorer Artists and the American West

The journals and paintings of four artists who explores the West after Lewis and Clark will be featured in Idaho.

14th Annual National Forest Reform Rally

Forest activists gather for a rally Sept. 15-17 in Romayor, Texas.

Learning from the Monument

Land protection is the focus of a conference about the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah on Sept. 15.

Nature Writers Retreat

Northwest authors will teach their secrets at the Nature Writers Retreat in Leavenworth, Wash., Sept. 24-27.


Native American wannabes: Beware the Weasel Spirit

A Telluride, Colo., woman, irked by the way some New Age whites cannibalize Indian spirituality, has taken on the name of "White Dork" and the totem animal weasel.

The next great adventure: Stay home

In all the hoopla of magazines touting "adventure travel" and ecotourism, the writer wonders why folks don't consider just staying home for a change.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

Narcisse, Canada: home to 70,000 snakes; man regrets climbing into outdoor potty; Indian tribe plans bowling alley instead of casino; unscrupulous photographers use technology to track wolves and bears; Sequim, WA, elk wear collars to alert m

Related Stories

'There's not much to do out there'

In his own words, Erec Hopkins describes how he started injecting - and selling - methamphetamines.

The makings of a meth lab

Mike LaScoula, the Spokane County Health District's chemical and physical hazards advisor, describes the toxic hazards created when a house is turned into an illegal methamphetamine lab.

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