High Country News January 15, 2001
Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first proposed turning depopulated Great Plains counties into a 'Buffalo Commons,' their once-controversial ideas are getting more respect in the region as the population continues to decline.
January board meeting in Phoenix; Beyond the (political) revolution; HCN for politicians; new interns Kirsten Bovee and Matt Jenkins; contradistinguishing cows.
President-elect George W. Bush has nominated former Colorado Attorney General Gale Norton to head the Interior Department, and some environmentalists are worried about her ties to industry.
West's population is booming; Summitville's Robert Friedland to pay cleanup penalties; national standards for organic foods set; Molycorp mine in Questa, N.M., must stop dumping in Red River; Babbitt proposes three more national monuments.
Some environmentalists fear that a proposed land exchange involving Oregon's Clatsop State Forest will lead to the logging of an intact forest ecosystem.
The Clinton administration's final Northwest salmon plan is tougher than earlier versions, but still stops short of dismantling four federal dams on the Snake River.
In Idaho, the Winter Coalition has brought together snowmobilers and Nordic skiers to zone winter recreation uses in the Sawtooth National Forest.
Republicans are trying to undo the Clinton administration's planned phase-out of snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.
Rocky Flats, a former nuclear bomb factory, is caught between Denver's rapidly growing suburbs, which covet the open space, and conservationists who want the cleaned-up area to become a national wildlife refuge.
Len Ackland's book, "Making a Real Killing: Rocky Flats and the Nuclear West," gives a comprehensive and often scary history of the Rocky Flats nuclear bomb factory near Denver, Colo.
The National Park Service's Artist-in-Residence program invites artists, writers and musicians to live and work in some of the West's most beautiful national parks.
The Red Feather Development Group works to bring to Indian reservations low-cost, efficient housing, using straw-bale construction.
James S. Griffith's "Hecho a Mano" uses photos and language to explore the creative folk arts of the Mexican-American residents of Tucson, Ariz.
Heard Around the West
Cattle vs. motorists; Mont. Gov.-elect happy to be industry's lap dog; bumper stickers; ORVers superior to hikers?; legumes more valuable due to mad-cow disease scare; do fish feel pain?; when good sea otters go bad; guerilla bumper stickers on SUVs.
In the Great Plains, some buffalo ranchers are trying to make the animals pay without turning them into beef cattle clones.
A bibliography offers more information on the Buffalo Commons idea and the ecology and economics of the Great Plains.