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High Country News February 12, 2001

Mr. Babbitt's wild ride


Mr. Babbitt's wild ride

In eight years as Interior Secretary, Bruce Babbitt has known some failures but more successes: reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone, halting the New World gold mine, and creating many national monuments, starting with the Grand Staircase-Escalante.

Interior view

In an interview with HCN's publisher, Bruce Babbitt looks back on eight challenging and productive years as Secretary of Interior.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends

Winter kicks in; calling all lapsed subscribers; deaths of poet and conservationist Geoffrey Platts and photographer Sherm Spoelstra.

Uncommon Westerners

Don Ewy is no timber beast

Environmentalist, logger and HCN reader Don Ewy wonders who vandalized the bulldozer he used to selectively log trees in the North Fork State Forest in Colorado.


New mining regs slip into rulebooks

Bruce Babbitt strengthens BLM mining regulations, requiring bonds to cover cleanup costs, enforcing air and water standards, and giving the agency discretion to deny mining proposals that threaten habitat or scenic beauty.

Bush hits the brakes

Right after taking office, Pres. Bush put a freeze on Clinton's last new regulations -- the USFS's roadless plan, Mexican owl critical habitat, and other environmental rules -- giving the new administration time to review and maybe overturn them.

The latest bounce

User-fee protester faces prosecution; Utah state Sen. Terry Spencer proposes four bills to stop nuclear waste storage on Goshute Reservation; Hopi tribe may be allowed to take eaglets; electric cars encouraged in California.

Critics rail against expansion project

Indians, ranchers and conservationists are fighting a plan by Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad to construct almost 300 miles of new track to haul coal in South Dakota and Wyoming.

Coyote killing continues

The Colorado Wildlife Commission has approved a nine-year coyote-killing experiment in western Colorado.

Anglers fish for solutions

Anglers and biologists warn that cutthroat trout and bald eagles on the South Fork of the Snake River are threatened when the water is saved behind dams for summer irrigators.

Silence of the clams

Scientists counting clams on the Colorado River Delta say the region has lost 95 percent of its biological richness since Hoover Dam was built in the 1930s.

Bombs make way for 'burbs

Denver-area developers are eager to get their hands on the Front Range land preserved on the former Lowry Bombing Range.

Chinook tribe recognized

At long last, the Bureau of Indian Affairs recognizes the existence of the Chinook Tribe.

Owl things considered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated 4.6 billion acres in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah as critical habitat for the Mexican spotted owl, but the Center for Biological Diversity says that is not enough and plans to sue.

Legal woes for Legacy Parkway

A coalition of environmentalists and smart-growth advocates, including Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, has filed lawsuits to stop construction of the Legacy Parkway along Utah's Wasatch Front near the Great Salt Lake.

Park photo contest comes with corporate baggage

Watchdog groups are worried that a Park Service photo contest, organized and sponsored by Kodak, sets a bad precedent of corporate entanglement with national parks.

A new plan frames the Sierra Nevada

The Forest Service has released its final plan for 11 national forests in California's Sierra Nevada, but the timber industry is already planning to appeal the Sierra Framework.

The power of love, and its opposite

Activists should be worried because President George W. Bush is surrounded by people who scorn and disdain environmentalism.

Book Reviews

Easement saves artifacts

A new kind of easement, put together by the Montezuma Land Conservancy and landowner Don Dove, will protect ruins and buried artifacts on archaeologically rich land near Cortez, Colorado.

Out of the grave

A legendary Colorado journal, the "Mountain Gazette," is being resurrected in Breckenridge, Colo., after two decades of dormancy.

Men without women

"Speaking through the Aspens: Basque Tree Carvings in California and Nevada," by J. Mallea-Olaetxe, studies and celebrates the 'arborglyphs' left on tree trunks by lonesome Basque sheepherders over the last century.

Sex-swappin' salmon

Salmon researchers are puzzled by their discovery that 84 percent of female salmon sampled tested positive for a male genetic marker, suggesting that these females began life as males.

Assessing Sunbelt sprawl

A new report by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University, "Hits and Misses: Fast Growth in Metropolitan Phoenix," takes a hard look at the rapid growth of the sprawling Sunbelt metropolis.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

Arcata, Calif., "eco-house"; metal pink pig in Joseph, Ore., gets the boot; tidying up utility poles in Portland, Ore.; fancy fruit gift boxes; sagebrush seed rustlers caught in Hanford, Wash.; Reno comedians replaced by bingo.


I am an Inuit warrior

It's not easy being a person who lives in a high mountain ski town but hates snow and winter weather.

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