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High Country News May 07, 2001

Back into the woods


Back into the woods

In the wake of last summer's devastating Western wildfires, the Forest Service is trying to figure out how to restore the unhealthy, doghair, fire-prone forests created by a century of fire suppression and indiscriminate logging.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends

Feedback from readers' surveys; Jon Margolis apologizes for booboo; the many lives of Mark Matthews.


Tribes scale salmon harvest

The Yakama, Nez Perce, Umatilla and Warm Springs tribes have agreed to a new system, under which their annual take of salmon will be based on a sliding scale that adjusts to wild salmon returns.

Can Mr. Nice Guy lead the Forest Service?

Newly appointed Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth is generally liked and respected by agency colleagues, timber advocates and environmentalists, although some greens worry that he may not stand firm in the face of pressure from the Bush administration.

The latest bounce

Neal McCaleb to head BIA; Bush won't challenge Yellowstone's ban on snowmobiles; Jet Skis may be banned from 21 national parks; Utah joins legal challenge to roadless plan; Telluride condemns land to save it from development.

Shoring up wetlands protection

The Bush administration says it will stand by Clinton's "Tulloch Rule," which requires a permit for using earthmovers to excavate wetlands.

County unveils pioneering protection plan

Tucson's innovative Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan will protect hundreds of thousands of acres of virgin desert while still allowing newcomers to build on less environmentally sensitive land.

Drought drains the West

A look at the weather throughout the West shows lower-than-usual snowpacks and a lot of drought, making life hard for farmers and fish, and leading to fears of another fierce wildfire season.

Debate rages over fish poisoning

Controversy is raging over the practice of poisoning water -- such as New Mexico's Canones Creek -- in order to kill non-native fish and restore natives such as cutthroat trout.

Kayakers seek water rights

Golden, Colo., wants to obtain the water rights necessary to keep the rapids on Clear Creek flowing for the city's throngs of kayakers.

Fruita draws the line against sprawl

A small rural town on Colorado's Western Slope, Fruita is fighting to save its agriculture and avoid the sprawling growth of nearby Grand Junction, using innovative planning and the transfer of development rights to keep a three-mile open-space buffer.

Reform for dumpster-diving bears

Pitkin County, Colo., now has a new "bear ordinance," which requires that every trash can be "wildlife-proof" to discourage scavenging bears and other wildlife.

The year it rained money

A Forest Service employee talks about the intoxicating influence and "cargo cult" side effects of Forest Service firefighting money on small Western towns like hers.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

Naming Larry Craig's dog; Alaskan dog-owners beware; Anchorage guy shoots ravens; tumbleweeds spread nuclear contamination; cooking chicken in Yellowstone's hot pots; condor lays eggs; mailing May in 1914.

Related Stories

The West's fire survivors

A look at the Intermountain West's trees notes how the different species adapt to and even profit from periodic fires.

Making forests safe again won't be a walk in thepark

On Arizona's Coconino National Forest outside of Flagstaff, foresters are working to thin the overgrown, doghair woods to prevent catastrophic wildfires.

A modest chief moved the Forest Service miles down theroad

In an interview, former Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck talks about the changes the agency saw during his tenure, and his hopes for the continuing restoration of the forests.

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