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High Country News April 26, 2004




The Bush administration is outsourcing to private contractors jobs formerly done by employees of federal agencies, among them the job of the Forest Service Content Analysis Teams (CATs) – the people who receive and report the comments of the public. The

Editor's Note

The other bottom line

In trading our public servants for government contractors, we're cutting the heart out of a public-trust ethic, and showing there's no faster way to demolish an institution than by parting it out to the lowest bidder.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends

Visitors Knox Williams, Vince Matthews, Bill and Molly Pochciol, Randy Cracroft, John Trotter; recognition for John Horning with Conservation Leadership Award from Seatlle’s Wilburforce Foundation; condolence to the Sylvain family in Paonia, on the death

Uncommon Westerners

Green investor Hal Brill: Bringing the Money Home

Investment advisor Hal Brill has found a way to help investors follow their conscience, succeed as socially responsible people, and get a return on their dollars.


Senate rejects Energy Bill – again

Controversial energy bill, to increase domestic oil and gas drilling and force federal agencies to expedite permits for energy projects on public lands, came back yet again, but was defeated in the Senate, 50-47


Duwamish Indian Tribe, still fighting U.S. government over recognition, has bought its first piece of "owned" land near Port of Seattle, Washington

Fish farms take to the high seas

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Department is plotting a massive expansion of the U.S. fish-farming industry – but concerns are high among Indian tribes, health advocates and environmentalists

Water holes awash in controversy

Game managers and environmentalists disagree on the usefulness of artificial water holes for game; environmental groups say they spread disease, attract killer bees, and give predators a convenient spot to ambush prey. The Arizona Game and Fish Department

Drought forces Las Vegas to reach deeper for water

Lake Mead has dropped to about 58 percent of its capacity, and the quality of the water has changed, causing more expensive production and increased danger of not meeting health standards

Greenhouse gases go underground

Plans for permanently storing carbon dioxide in oil fields will benefit energy companies who already use carbon dioxide injection to boost output.

Book Reviews

Songs in the key of life

Earthjustice, best known for legal service for environmental causes, has released a CD with a message of making tomorrow better


Making rivers work

Rivers for Life: Managing Water for People and Nature, by Sandra Postel and Brian Richter is deceptively wonky-looking, but sparkles. It drives home the necessity of reconsidering the ways we manage water, and is full of good ideas


The West's mythmakers are now its newcomers

Montana "characters" may be more a creation of newcomers who feed on and then in turn feed our Western myths than a real reflection of Montana’s character and past

Look for the best — and keep it

Safeguarding special places should come from those already settled in such places, but usually we fall into self-righteousness and apathy. A positive vision for local action requires setting priorities for the natural landscape that gives a place its spe

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

In Colorado, a legislator’s faux pas slams Kansas and Texas; dog lover in California worries about stranger’s dog and gets trespassing charge; Idaho’s Legislature worries little about consistency; in Nevada, burglar caught by his DNA signature in yellowed

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