Magazine
The War on Wildfire

April 17, 2006

Four years after President Bush launched his Healthy Forests Initiative, the Western woods are abuzz. Also in this issue: "Nevada style" wilderness bill comes to Utah and Citizens unite against gas field chaos.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Letters

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