High Country News August 27, 2001
In California, the Forest Service issues a revolutionary management plan for the Sierra Nevada's forests, putting the health of trees and wildlife before that of the timber industry.
About this issue; Paonia growth battle; Peter Chilson and other visitors; tribute to Chuck Wellner; axing the fax.
A controversial federal-state agreement seeks to share scarce Rio Grande water between the rare silvery minnow and New Mexico farmers.
The Sagebrush Rebellion smolders when the BLM impounds and tries to auction off cattle owned by ranchers Ben Colvin and Jack Vogt for refusing to pay for grazing allotments.
Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA); Interior Dept. still in mess over Indian trust accounts; law firm hired by government for Yucca Mtn. also lobbies for nuclear industry; Bush may roll back Clinton-era restriction on coal-fired power plants.
La Verkin, Utah, declares itself a "U.N. Free Zone" in a controversial ordinance that would have required U.N. supporters to identify themselves as "U.N. Agents," file "activity reports" and pay unspecified fees.
A revised and scaled-down version of Colorado's controversial Animas-La Plata water project appears poised to become reality at last.
The Forest Service's right to demand "bypass flows" - leaving enough water in streams tapped for human uses to keep fish and wildlife healthy - may not survive the Bush administration.
Four-wheel-drive recreationists protest the Forest Service's new $5 per vehicle fee to enter Canyon Creek near Ouray, Colorado.
An armed encounter erupts between environmental activist Deirdre Wolf and local rancher Alex Thal over whether a road through her property near Silver City, N.M., is public or private.
In Colorado, The Nature Conservancy begins a battle against the exotic invader tamarisk, hoping to make the San Miguel River tamarisk-free before the plant takes over entirely.
The government's General Accounting Office criticizes the $1.6 billion National Fire Plan approved by Congress last September.
Dave Foreman's first novel, The Lobo Outback Funeral Home, tackles issues like wolf reintroduction, old-boy politics, and New Mexico culture clashes in the guise of fiction.
The U.S. Park Rangers Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police lists the 10 most dangerous national parks in the country.
Jessica Sherwood's Feet First Program seeks to fight Colorado sprawl and traffic by introducing schoolchildren to the idea of alternative transportation.
The brief essays gathered in Arctic Refuge: A Circle of Testimony offer passionate arguments against drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The Colorado nonprofit Sustainable Settings wants to teach farmers about an ancient agricultural system called "alley cropping" that uses scant water wisely and protects against soil erosion.
Writer and geologist Rick Bass calls on the Senate to save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from drilling, keeping this extraordinary refuge a true and untouched refuge.
Heard Around the West
Boy Scouts vandalize dinosaur tracks; escaping Ore. bison; power plant workers camp in Las Animas, CO; James Dean loses cigarette in Utah; ORVer defends his destruction; Idaho Rep. Otter pays Clean Water fine; Wyoming has most cars per household.
The Sierra Nevada Framework seeks to protect old-growth trees where the California spotted owl lives, but some critics say the agency should aggressively thin and clear the region's fire-prone forests.
Some facts are given about the Sierra Nevada Framework and its management plans for 11 national forests in California.
A timeline traces the evolution of the Sierra Framework from 1981, when the Forest Service first tackled the impact of intensive logging on the California spotted owl.
California regional forester Brad Powell, a 32-year agency employee not known as a "bunny-hugger," put his career on the line to finish and approve the Sierra Nevada Framework.
Longtime California environmental activist Craig Thomas praises the Sierra Nevada Framework as a "landmark" document.
Forest Service fire manager Brent Skaggs worries that the Framework's new burning restrictions won't allow the amount of controlled burning he believes necessary to prevent catastrophic wildfires.
Cecil Wetsel and other mill operators and loggers in towns like El Dorado Hills, California, warn that the Framework's timber cutbacks may harm the forest as well as the local economy.
Forest Service fire specialist Berni Bahro talks about fuels management in the forest under the new Sierra Nevada Framework.
North Fork, Calif., and other struggling timber towns resent the fact that the Framework places survival of the owl above survival of the logging industry.
The Forest Service has received more than 200 appeals of the Sierra Nevada Framework, but instead of coming from environmental groups, as usual, most come from people in small towns like Tulare and Visalia, California.
California ranchers, such as Dick O'Sullivan, who graze cattle on Forest Service land, are angry that the Framework plans to reduce grazing in the Sierras by 20 percent.