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High Country News August 05, 2002

Feature

Land or money?

After generations of struggle, the Western Shoshone decide in a divisive election to accept land settlement payments from the federal government in lieu of the tribe's ancestral lands, which one spanned the Great Basin.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends

Delta County, Colo., says mostly "no" to coalbed methane; summer visitors; Radio HCN update; Jon Christensen wins Stanford fellowship.

Writers on the Range

Montana's governor is a poor choice to lead the West

The Western Governors Association made a serious mistake when it selected as its leader Montana Gov. Judy Martz, R, the least qualified member in terms of experience, personality and results.

Don't proclaim the West is dead until you've met a Mexican motorcyclist with a wooden leg

The best way to meet the true West is to explore its small towns and especially its smoky bars, and listen to the stories of the folks who gather there.

News

Sound science or red tape?

Conservationists say the "Sound Science Planning Act" - a proposed amendment to the Endangered Species Act - could weaken the roles of U.S. wildlife agencies in deciding which species receive federal protection.

L.A.'s rivers get some respect

A new bill may turn the lower Los Angeles River and the San Gabriel River in Los Angeles into one of the country's few urban national parks.

Yucca heads for the courts

The Senate's approval of a nuclear waste dump at Nevada's Yucca Mountain means the struggle moves on to its next phase, in the courts.

Wasting disease sneaks south

Chronic wasting disease has appeared in an isolated herd of mule deer on southern New Mexico's White Sands Missile Range.

Who speaks for the farmers?

In southern Oregon's Klamath Basin, some local farmers are upset with the Klamath Water Users Association for helping to kill a Farm Bill amendment that would have made it easier for them to sell their land to the federal government.

The Latest Bounce

Water-hungry Idaho power plants are turned down; wind power project on the Nevada Test Site is canceled; livestock-eating wolves on Idaho's Sawtooth Nat'l Recreation Area are protected; USFS plans to log 72,000 acres burned in AZ's Rodeo-Chediski fire.

River town gets into fish business

Glendive, Mont., is rebuilding its economy on the paddlefish in the nearby Yellowstone River and the caviar that comes from their eggs.

Land plan attracts an anti-grazing gorilla

A draft plan by Moffat County, Colo., commissioners to turn over control of 1.7 million acres of federal land to local trustees draws the ire of environmentalist Jon Marvel of the Western Watersheds Project.

N.D. court ruling rescinds tribal authority

North Dakota farmer Roger Shea hoped to prevent a dam on the Maple River by giving the Chippewa Indians title to his land, but the state Supreme Court rules that the state may condemn tribal land.

It's the dog days for prairie dogs

Conservation groups petition to list the white-tailed prairie dog as endangered, but the species is unlikely to be listed because the agency is laready backlogged.

Lewis and Clark revisited

The Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition plans to commemorate the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with a get-together examining the connections between the explorers, Native Americans and salmon.

Book Reviews

A kick in the grass for restoration

The Eastern Nevada Landscape Coalition works to restore the Great Basin landscpae that has been ravaged by cheatgrass-induced wildfires.

Utah gases up

Veritas DGC Inc. has released a draft EIS proposing oil and gas exploration in Utah's Book Cliffs.

When good tax-evaders go bad

In "Lone Patriot: The Short Career of an American Militiaman," Jane Kramer profiles wannabe-Patriot John Pitner, who was commander in chief of the Washington State Militia until his group began to unravel and the FBI arrested him.

She left the ranch to save her soul

In her fine new memoir, "Breaking Clean," Judy Blunt describes how she had to break away from the Western ranching culture that had defined her whole life in order to find out who she was.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

CPR for salmon; driver harasses Yellowstone buffalo; Moscow, ID doesn't condone topless carwashes; protecting firefighters from their testosterone; 82-yr.-old flight attendant; man returns money in hamburger bags; new wheat brings pests; signs.

Related Stories

Can money buy happiness?

Some Native Americans warn that the unexpected arrival of money in the form of claim payments can have harmful impacts on impoverished tribes.

Another way to win back land

The Timbisha Shoshone have won control of 314 acres with water rights in California's Death Valley National Park, and have gained shared management responsibilities for another 300,000 acres in the park, along with 7,400 acres of nearby federal land.

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