Magazine
Gold from the Gas Fields

November 28, 2005

Energy companies are reaping billions in the West today, but few states are making sure that enough of that wealth stays at home and is invested wisely. Also in this issue: The long and carefully planned campaign to protect the Ojito Wilderness in New Mexico holds useful lessons for wilderness activists across the West.

Feature

Gold from the Gas Fields
Energy companies are reaping billions from the West, but few states outside Wyoming are making sure that wealth stays at home and is invested wisely.

Editor's Note

Storing fat from the feeding frenzy
Westerners need to prepare for the next economic bust by saving money from today’s energy boom, just as black bears store calories in the form of fat in order to get through the winter

Uncommon Westerners

'Sticking around' for an alpine valley
Attilio Genasci has devoted himself to preserving land in Sierra Valley, Calif., where he has lived and farmed for 96 years

Essays

In Washington, the most outrageous sins are legal
Given the incestuous nature of politics and lobbying in Washington, D.C., and the corruption inherent in the gambling industry, the rise of an opportunist like Jack Abramoff was all but inevitable
‘Death is stingless indeed and as beautiful as life’
Writer and activist Michael Frome looks back on more than 80 years of a life filled concern for the environment and social justice

Dear Friends

Dear friends
HCN Holiday Open House; People’s Choice Awards for HCN stories; thanks to Mark Lellouch and Alison Davis; visitors

News

The little wilderness that could
The long and carefully planned campaign to protect the Ojito Wilderness in New Mexico holds useful lessons for wilderness activists across the West
The Latest Bounce
Richard Pombo wants new offshore drilling; Nevada gold mines spew mercury across West; grazing fees don’t pay for program; judge slams Forest Service over refusal to look at environmental impacts of fire retardant
Trouble on the Valles Caldera
The Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico was supposed to be a grand experiment in collaborative management, but the current board’s push to expand grazing and curtail public input has led to clashes with local environmentalists
Public-lands agenda turns more radical, urgent
Rep. Richard Pombo has inserted a provision in the House budget bill that will reform United States mining law to allow for the selling off of public lands
Congress loosens organic standards
Large-scale organic food producers have beaten back an attempt to strengthen national organic standards
Agriculture gets a half-step greener
Protected Harvest is a nonprofit that offers certification to farmers who are interested in more eco-friendly practices, but not willing to become organic

Book Reviews

Yellowstone fires still ignite controversy
In Scorched Earth, journalist Rocky Barker describes firsthand the chaos and consequences of the Yellowstone fires
Life — and death — in grizzly country
Werner Herzog’s new documentary, Grizzly Man, takes a thoughtful look at the life and death of Timothy Treadwell, an amateur bear biologist who was killed and eaten by an Alaskan grizzly
Buffalo Calf Road Woman
In Buffalo Calf Road Woman, Rosemary and Joseph Agonito give a fictionalized account of the only woman warrior to fight at the Battle of the Little Bighorn
The Ardent Birder
The Ardent Birder, written by Todd Newberry and delightfully illustrated by Gene Holtan, salutes the "lovely madness" of bird-watching
Hear Him Roar
Andrew Wingfield’s tensely told novel, Hear Him Roar, describes what happens when Puma concolor, the mountain lion, collides with Homo dingus dongus, the suburban homeowner

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Oscar Goodman sounds off; Tom Chapman vs. the Yankee Girl; LeRoy Becker loved Montana; Andrew Bisharat vs. baby boomers; cats vs. electricity; miners vs. bloomers in the Old West

Letters

Related Stories

Energy companies plow some profits back into Western ground
Raymond Plank, chairman of Apache Corp., says responsible companies like his prove that the energy industry can reduce its environmental impacts and give more back to local communities