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High Country News March 04, 2002

Seed in the ground


Seed in the ground

On South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation, some Oglala Lakota are defying the federal government to grow industrial hemp, hoping that it can help to revitalize both the tribe's economy and its government.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends

Greg Hanscom writes from the Winter Olympics in his home town, Park City, Utah, and predicts an Olympic-sized hangover for the state; red-tailed hawk or northern goshawk? And a heart-warming letter from Dave Catterson about his late father, Paul.

'His courtroom was a classroom'

Judge William L. Dwyer, the man behind the 1991 spotted owl ruling and a lifetime friend of the environment, dies at the age of 72.

Writers on the Range

You can call mine Mortgage Manor

A new database that allows one to register the fancy names of luxury homes for $75 a house will not get a lot of use by those who live in houses with names like Sagging Floor and Mortgage Manor.

Westerners share a different reality

A "time" magazine column about satellite radio that described the New Jersey Turnpike as "the middle of nowhere" provides unintentional humor to Westerners who know the real meaning of nowhere.


Klamath Basin II: The saga continues

A controversial National Academy of Sciences report on Oregon's Klamath Basin states that federal biologists had no scientific basis to withhold water from farmers to protect endangered fish.

The Latest Bounce

Nevada sues over Yucca Mountain; lawsuit against Enron involves Taylor Ranch in Colo.'s San Luis Valley; Blackfeet Tribe's wind-power project stalls; Mark Warren Sands sentenced for torching homes in Ariz.; Steve Huffaker heads Idaho Fish and Game.

Is a coal mine pumping the Hopi dry?

Hopi Indians fear that Peabody Western Coal is draining the aquifer that provides their water even as the company's royalties bring money to the reservation.

Ghost of the Selkirks fading fast

The last herd of mountain caribou in the U.S. is down to 30-some animals, and biologists and conservationists say lack of funds stalls rescue work.

Tug-of-war over water

The Colorado Legislature is mulling over a bill that would allow farmers and cities to retain rights to any water they leave instream for fish and boaters.

EPA wants to supersize Idaho Superfund site

State and federal officials fight over how to clean up Idaho's Silver Valley, where mining pollution has spread past the Bunker Hill Superfund Site into Lake Coeur d'Alene and a huge swath of northern Idaho.

Bull trout get some help

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agrees to designate critical habitat for the threatened bull trout.

Development threatens historic town

Critics say that Washington's Growth Management Act failed to do its job in protecting small towns like Roslyn, which will soon see its population quintupled by the development of the MountainStar Resort.

Lawsuit is for the dogs

The Montana Shooting Sports Association is fighting a BLM ban on prairie dog hunting intended to save habitat for the endangered blackfooted ferret.

Colorado oil shale gets a second look

Royal Dutch/Shell wants to take another crack at producing petroleum from oil shale in northwestern Colorado's Piceance Basin, but local towns such as Parachute are wary, remembering the last energy boom and bust in the region.

Montana revved up about snowmobile agreement

Snowmobilers and wilderness advocates come to an agreement on motorized access in Montana's Flathead National Forest.

Who's bringing home the bacon?

The Environmental Working Group has put together a Web site that lists the amounts of federal subsidies farmers have received since the 1996 Farm Bill was passed.

Book Reviews

A wing and a genius grant

Tucson pilot Sandy Lanham wins a MacArthur "genius grant" for her work flying scientists and conservationists while charging no more than the cost of fuel and airport fees.

BLM's coalbed methane plan disappoints enviros

The federal government plans to allow gas companies to drill nearly 40,000 new coalbed methane wells in Wyoming's Powder River Basin over the next 10 years.

Bush administration wall hanging

Earthjustice's free 2002 calendar, "(Dis)Appointments: Bush Officials and the Administration's Environmental Record," offers discouraging words about, and unflattering photos of, the Bush administration's appointees.


In the grip of Ungulate Fever

Life in western Colorado leads to many close encounters with deer and elk, both living and dead.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

Gas masks at Yellowstone; don't say "New Jersey"; thrifty woman fends off bank robber; California water absurdities; unintentionally funny headlines; sand-skiing; Albee or Abbey?; Damien Hirst's "art" accidentally tidied away.

Related Stories

Marijuana's boring sibling

Agricultural or industrial hemp lacks the psychoactive qualities of marijuana, but the DEA refuses to make a distinction.

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