High Country News May 30, 2005
In Montana’s Madison County, Reid Rosenthal uses conservation easements to help the land — and make his investors rich
The time is ripe for moderate reform of the conservation easement system
Welcome to summer interns Tony Barboza and Patrick Farrell; visitors; Grist wins Web site award
Montana paleoecologist Cathy Whitlock studies the recent geological past and looks for clues to the future of the West
Facing severe budget cuts, the Forest Service is selling off property, and considering closing some recreation sites it considers too expensive to maintain
Fish farms spread sea lice to wild salmon; Intermountain Rural Electric Association votes to exempt itself from Colorado’s renewable energy standard; New Mexico rancher Kit Laney is leaving the country
Some of the residents of the Moab, Utah, area are losing patience with out-of-control off-highway recreation, and looking to the BLM to bring things under control
In the North Fruita Desert of western Colorado, the BLM has come up with a plan to enable motorized and non-motorized recreationists to share the outdoors
Fish populations are plunging in the California Delta even as the CalFed Bay-Delta Authority considers exporting yet more water
The Utah Recreational Land Exchange Act would give the BLM some prime recreation areas in the southeastern part of the state in exchange for oil-rich land in the Uintah Basin
The National Park Service has agreed to explore opening some of the parks to mountain biking
Archaeologists are worried that a plan to upgrade the 16-mile gravel road to Chaco Canyon in New Mexico could lead to more tourism and possibly harm the park’s fragile ruins
The U.S. Treasury Department has given $50 million in tax credits to Ecotrust to help depressed Northwestern timber towns carry out sustainable logging
In Decade of the Wolf: Returning the Wolf to Yellowstone, biologist Douglas Smith and nature writer Gary Ferguson seek to separate myth from reality in the long and turbulent saga of the wolf
In his essay collection Dragons in Paradise, George Sibley reminisces about his years in the funky mountain ski town of Crested Butte, Colorado
The Singing Life of Birds by Donald Kroodsma explores the varieties of birdsong, and even includes a CD of nearly 100 songs
In Little Things in a Big Country, Hannah Hinchman shares a beautifully hand-drawn, hand-lettered journal of her adventures in Montana with her dog, Sisu
In Wild Echoes, Charles Bergman describes his up-close experiences with endangered creatures that range from black-footed ferrets and California condors to the manatees of Florida
Why do newcomers to the West need to build such obnoxious entrance gates to their brand-new ranchettes?
When it comes to perfect starry nights, the West is always the winner
Heard Around the West
Snowmobiling sans snow; Las Vegas "condiments"; wacky weather in Washington; burritos, bears and school lockdowns; wrapping glaciers in Switzerland; Salazar takes on the Family; good manners ease highway screw-up
Reid Rosenthal responds to HCN's story on conservation easements.
Statistics from the Land Trust Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service
A proposal to overhaul the tax rules around conservation easements has private-land conservationists worried, but recent financial scandals show the need for some reform
Conservation easements are considered the domain of the wealthy, but in Colorado, tax credits are helping farmers like Dorothy and Norman Kehmeier preserve their family’s land.
Conservation easements are often a closed book if you're not one deal makers. Here are a few tips on how to examine a conservation easement in your area.