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High Country News April 17, 2006

The War on Wildfire

Feature

The War on Wildfire

President Bush says the Healthy Forests Restoration Act and Initiative were needed to fight wildfire, but several years into the new rules, critics question whether the changes they brought were helpful or even necessary

Dear Friends

Dear friends

Matt Jenkins leaves the HCN office to become California-Great Basin correspondent; Western Slope Environmental Resource Conference and North Fork River Improvement Association hold annual meetings; visitors; "secretary" Bruce Babbitt

Uncommon Westerners

Pete McCloskey rides again

Former California Rep. Pete McCloskey says the need to defend the environment is behind his decision to run against Richard Pombo in the Republican primary

News

Enviros wary of 'Nevada-style' wilderness bill

A controversial proposed wilderness bill for Utah’s Washington County includes utility corridors, motorized-vehicle trails, and public-land sales designed to accommodate urban growth

The Latest Bounce

Sens. Max Baucus and Ron Wyden want to raise money for rural schools by closing tax loopholes; Yates Petroleum won’t drill in Bitter Lake Wildlife Refuge; Montana wants to keep Wyoming’s coalbed methane from harming rivers’ water quality

Dam removal considered for Klamath

Farmers, environmentalists, fishermen and tribes are talking with PacifiCorp officials about the possible removal of four dams on the Klamath River

Citizens unite against gas field chaos

In western Colorado, the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance is trying to work with industry to set protections for landowners before more drilling gets under way

City makes desperate bid for watershed

Grand Junction and Palisade, Colo., try unsuccessfully to bid on oil and gas leases to protect their water supply from contamination by drilling

Valle Vidal Coalition gathers momentum

As drill rigs get closer to New Mexico’s Valle Vidal, the coalition seeking to protect the area is attracting more support

Norton eases road claims

Outgoing Interior Secretary Gale Norton has opened the door for counties and states to claim control of roads crossing federal lands

Mass wolf kill rests on shaky science

Idaho’s Fish and Game Department wants to boost dwindling elk numbers by killing wolves in the Lolo management zone

Book Reviews

A law born from the ashes

In George W. Bush’s Healthy Forests: Reframing the Environmental Debate, authors Jacqueline Vaughn and Hanna Cortner demonstrate that under Bush, "there has been a rollback of environmental standards and regulations."

On the wing again

In Condor: To the Brink and Back, science reporter John Nielsen surveys the life and times of "one giant bird."

Legend of the Eagleman

Wayne Parrish’s Legend of the Eagleman is a suspenseful and engaging novel set in the world of tribal casino gambling

Communities and Forests: Where People Meet theLand

Communities and Forests: Where People Meet the Land, is a collection of essays, edited by Robert G. Lee and Donald R Field, examining changing styles of forest management

Essays

Eco-terrorism and the Trial of the Century

The upcoming trial of 11 alleged "eco-terrorists" may not be the Trial of the Century, but it reminds the writer, a longtime activist, of the Boston Tea Party

Mute, riven, blessed

All over the West, white roadside crosses and spontaneous, humble shrines mark the holy sites where the souls of human beings have left this world

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

Driving a little too far off-road in California; HOV Lane is not for dummies; scrap metal thieves get creative; dream home turns nightmare; St. George, Utah, gets expensive; military recruiters get desperate

Related Stories

Slim margins

Loggers say forest-restoration work, which involves the thinning and cutting of small, skinny trees, doesn’t bring in much money

National Fire Plan vs. the Healthy Forests rule changes

The National Fire Plan, the Healthy Forests Initiative and the Healthy Forests Restoration Act are explained and compared

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