Magazine
What Happened to Winter?

April 18, 2005

Scientists are struggling to understand winter in the West: the effects of the unusual weather on water and wildlife, and whether the changes are linked to global warming Also in this issue: Recently released e-mails show that federal employees falsified information about the safety of the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nev.

Feature

What happened to winter?
An unusual winter sends ripples through the West's water and wildlife systems, and leaves scientists wondering whether global warming is the cause.

Editor's Note

On the trail of global warming
This winter’s weird weather has everybody talking, but nobody wants to tackle the big question: Is global warming finally hitting the West?

Uncommon Westerners

A mountain of books becomes a library of the land
Jeff Lee and Ann Martin of Denver are working to turn their huge personal library into a "land-study" center and residential library, the Rocky Mountain Land Library

Essays

Montana tells the federal government to butt out
Montanans are rebelling against the federal government, angry at the Recreation Enhancement Tax, the Patriot Act, and the loss of their National Guard to Iraq
Death Valley wakes up with a bang
The greatest wildflower bloom of a generation hits Death Valley, and people come from all around in search of the beauty of "Bloomstock"

Dear Friends

Dear friends
Dave Foreman on "Nature’s Crisis" and what HCN is doing wrong; kids these days; visitors; clarifications

News

Follow-up
EPA will investigate allegations that bunk science led to approval of hydraulic fracturing; racketeering lawsuit against environmentalist dismissed; ACLU sues over BLM’s decision to Wyoming’s Martin’s Cove historic site to Mormon Church
A chemical cocktail pollutes Western water
A recent study from the U.S. Geological Survey finds traces of pharmaceuticals, pesticides and personal care products in Colorado’s streams and groundwater
Skiing, or wheeling and dealing?
Ski resorts become a tool for real estate speculation and development across the West.
Surprise bequest to protect Columbia Gorge
The Friends of the Columbia Gorge, a small conservation group based in Portland, Ore., has received a $4 million bequest from Norman Yeon
Climate model may help farmers know what to grow
A high-tech climate model will give farmers in Washington’s Yakima Valley a kind of crystal ball for predicting weather, choosing which crops to plant, and dealing with drought and global warming
D-Day for dam decommissioning approaches
Preparations have begun to bring down a century-old dam on Fossil Creek in central Arizona
Farmers and ranchers say city is stealing water
In New Mexico, Alamogordo’s plan to build a desalinization plant and tap the Tularosa Basin aquifer has area ranchers and farmers worried
'Sound science' in doubt at Yucca Mountain
Recently released e-mails show that federal employees falsified information about the safety of the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nev.

Book Reviews

The artist, her caretaker, and eight years of letters
Maria Chabot – Georgia O’Keeffe: Correspondence 1941-1949 tempts with its glimpse into the life of a famous painter but finally fascinates with its portrait of Chabot and her life in Abiquiu, N.M., during World War II
No room for democracy on California farms
In The Conquest of Bread, Richard Walker takes a sweeping, skeptical look at the history of agriculture in California
The World's Water 2004-2005: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources
The World’s Water 2004-2005, edited by Peter Gleick, is the fourth installment of an annual report that covers water issues that span the globe
Cronies: Oil, the Bushes, and the Rise of Texas, America's Superstate
In Cronies, Robert Bryce takes on the state of Texas and its enormous political power, tracing the network of "cronies" that brought both George Bushes to the White House
The Western Confluence: A Guide to Governing Natural Resources
In The Western Confluence, Matthew McKinney and William Harmon try to find practical ways to solve the West’s endless struggles over water and resource management

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Strange tales from the California Highway Patrol; "Foo Foo Coffee" vs. gas prices; tumbleweed chic; advice for migrants; dumb laws; Gov. Dave Freudenthal is a colorful maverick

Letters

Related Stories

Drought and spring rains portend an explosive summer
The Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies brace for a fierce fire season, and desperately seek the resources to fight it.
Troubled — and shallow — waters on the West's largest river
The Columbia River Basin's serious drought means a hard choice between fish and hydropower