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High Country News November 05, 2001

Wyoming's powder keg


Wyoming's powder keg

In Wyoming's Powder River Basin, the coming energy boom in coalbed methane gas has local ranchers and environmentalists worried.


Welcome to (your name here), Wyoming

An auction to sell the former Wyoming boomtown of Jeffrey City leads the writer to muse about other energy boomtowns, such as Gillette and Wright, and how they have become true communities over the years.

My ghost town

The writer remembers childhood vacations spent in the Utah ghost town of Grafton, and mourns a vanishing personal and regional history.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends

Lead story shows one "lord of yesterday" still lives; visitors; Jean Hocker retires from Land Trust Alliance; HCN's board meeting and potluck in Bozeman, Mont.


Wasting disease spreads in Colorado

In Colorado, Chronic Wasting Disease has spread from infected elk at the Elk Echo Ranch to seven elk ranch herds around the state, and some are afraid it could spread further and infect wild deer and elk.

The Latest Bounce

Native American Rights Fund wants Interior Secretary Gale Norton charged with contempt; Bitterroot grizzly reintroduction supported by public; Bonneville Power Administration ends power emergency; BLM sued by ORVers; fee demo extension in the works.

Cattle make way for tortoises in the Mojave

In California's Mojave Desert, local ranchers are angry at the BLM's decision to set aside land in eight grazing allotments, closing them to cattle part of the year to protect the threatened desert tortoise.

Navajo-Hopi dispute persists

Hopi officials angered Navajos when they destroyed a Navajo Sun Dance site on Big Mountain, a part of the Hopi Reservation some Navajos lay claim to.

Utah's Grand Staircase turns 5

In Utah, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument no longer provokes the noisy protest that attended its founding, but some locals are still waiting to see if tourism will boost the economy.

Agencies tangle over Hells Canyon dams

In the Northwest, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is fighting with the National Marine Fisheries Service over relicensing three dams in Hells Canyon on the Snake River that the fisheries service says are killing salmon.

Ferrets weasel onto public lands

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved a BLM plan to release endangered black-footed ferrets on 900 acres in Montana.

The Arctic: A slave to luck

In ordinary times, Interior Secretary Gale Norton's lack of honesty about the impact of oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would make headlines.

Book Reviews

Pedal where Lewis and Clark paddled

The Adventure Cycling Association plans to celebrate the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark journey by mapping a bicycle trail through 11 states, from Illinois to Washington.

All's fair in smog and waste?

A new Web site created by the Oakland, Calif., nonprofit Environmental Defense gathers information about environmental and health dangers in any community in the U.S.

Utah's flower child

Utah native Paul Ames gathers and sells native wildflower seeds to encourage people in arid places to garden with indigenous plants.

Buying into salmon recovery

"The Chinook Book" directs Northwestern consumers to make use of the region's salmon-friendly restaurants, recreation, food and household products.

Curriculum for a desert classroom

"Red Rock Adventures" is a new, free teacher's guide designed to educate students grades 1-5 about the ecosystems of Utah's canyon country.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

Defining "organic" salmon; "honest city manager" raises ruckus in Central City, Colo.; champion squash in Harrisburg, Ore.; suggested names for Wal-Mart wine; Olympic rings to light up Salt Lake City.

Related Stories

Patricia Clark, Wyoming rancher

In her own words, rancher Patricia Clark talks about coalbed methane drilling on her ranch.

Miles Keogh, Wyoming rancher

In his own words, rancher Miles Keogh talks about how he deals with the coalbed methane industry.

Defending the Red Desert's desolation

Mac Blewer of the Wyoming Outdoor Council fears the impact coalbed methane drilling could have on the remote, wild landscapes of southern Wyoming's Red Desert.

Mickey Steward, coordinator for the CoalBed MethaneCoordination Coalition

In her own words, Mickey Steward talks about seeking consensus on coalbed methane drilling in Wyoming.

Montana gets a crash course in methane

A brief moratorium on drilling is giving coalbed methane-rich Montana a chance to prepare for the coming boom in Gallatin County and the northern part of the Powder River Basin.

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