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High Country News February 04, 2002

Last dance for the sage grouse?


Last dance for the sage grouse?

Across the Interior West, as the sagebrush sea recedes under the environmental stress of human impacts, its emblematic bird, the sage grouse, is also in decline, and no one seems to know what to do about it.

Writers on the Range

Indian trust is anything but

Blackfeet tribal member and banker Elouise Cobell writes about her legal battle to make the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Interior Department accountable for millions of dollars missing from Indian trust funds.

Why the bad rap for Mormons?

A Utah resident wonders why so many non-Mormons have such weird ideas about members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends

Spreading the News; more opinions; HCN meeting in Las Cruces, N.M., hears about life on the border; new interns Julie Elliott and Sarah Wright.

A Great Old Broad

Legendary wilderness advocate Celia Hunter dies at the age of 82 in her Fairbanks, Alaska, log cabin.


No game plan for the public lands

Both environmental critics and Bush supporters complain that the Republican administration is neglecting, even ignoring, the West.

The Latest Bounce

Utah's Skull Valley nuclear storage site; Wyoming Game & Fish bails on black-tailed prairie dog plan; lynx-hair fracas continues; Arizona wants to sell power to New Mexico; La Verkin, Utah, repeals anti-U.N. ordinance.

Snowmobilers rev up for roadless riding

In Montana's Centennial Valley, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge forest is delaying a decision to manage as wilderness Mount Jefferson, an area increasingly popular with, and impacted by, snowmobiles.

Sparring over elk imports

The Colorado Wildlife Commission wants to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease by requiring all elk imports to be certified as disease-free for 60 months.

Scoot over, farms - ducks are moving in

In Boundary Creek, Idaho, locals are at odds over the flooding of good farmland to create wetlands for the new Boundary Creek Wildlife Management Area.

Grand Canyon plan relaunched

A revision of Grand Canyon National Park's River Management Plan is back on track after former superintendent Robert Arnberger dropped it in 1997 because of the controversy it aroused.

Yucca Mountain debate goes nuclear

The battle over storing nuclear waste at Nevada's Yucca Mountain is heating up in Congress as well as in Nevada and the West.

Book Reviews

The West can govern itself

In his new book, "This Sovereign Land," Daniel Kemmis argues that it is time for the national government to give local governments more power over public lands in the West.

Looking for the Language of Red

In "Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert," Terry Tempest Williams creates an unusual, poetic pocket guide to the redrock wilderness of southern Utah.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

Shipping bee queens; red whine and the gnome project; Area 51 guards on strike; nicer employers in Mexico; Las Vegas showgirls wear even less; mnemonic for Grand Canyon geology; plane spotters unpopular; Utah subs for Mars.

Related Stories

Chick-a-boom-boom at the lek

Male sage grouse gather at leks to dance in front of females in elaborate mating displays.

Can cows and grouse coexist on the range?

Colorado rancher Brad Phelps believes that cattle and sage grouse can live together, but biologists, environmentalists and other ranchers continue to argue over exactly what impact grazing has.

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