Magazine
'Clinging Hopelessly to the Past'

May 29, 2006

In his determination to cling, however hopelessly, to Utah’s past, Canyon Country Zephyr founder Jim Stiles has taken on miners, ranchers, developers, mountain bikers and – most recently – some of his fellow environmentalists. Also in this issue: "Divine Strake" — a proposed weapons detonation at the Nevada Test Site — has stirred up fears of radioactive contamination and the possibility of a new nuclear arms race.

Feature

'Clinging hopelessly to the past'
In his determination to cling, however hopelessly, to Utah’s past, Canyon Country Zephyr founder Jim Stiles has taken on miners, ranchers, developers, mountain bikers and – most recently – some of his fellow environmentalists

Editor's Note

Nostalgia is a moving target
Curmudgeons like Jim Stiles – owner/editor of Moab’s Canyon Country Zephyr – have a lot to teach us about why it is so important for us to cling to the West that we love

Uncommon Westerners

Craig’s excellent adaptive adventures
Craig Kennedy, who hasn’t let a wheelchair keep him from skiing, doesn’t believe physical disabilities should keep anybody out of the backcountry

Essays

Dust and Snow
In Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, Tom Painter and other scientists study the dust in the snow and ponder its implications for future drought and weather conditions, especially in the era of global warming
Science vs. science fiction — get it straight
The decision of the Association of Petroleum Geologists to give novelist Michael Crichton its "Journalist of the Year" award for his anti-global warming thriller State of Fear can only increase public cynicism about science and scientists
Between the body and the world
The creepy glamour of the scientific exhibit Body Worlds 2 – which showcases actual preserved sections of human bodies – never answers the question of how – and where– these people lived

Dear Friends

Dear friends
Welcome, new interns Stephanie Paige Ogburn and Allison Gerfin; Southwest Research and Information Center celebrates 35 years; Wendell Duffield wants to know what happened to the U.S. Geological Survey

News

Bomb test stirs up fear in Nevada desert
"Divine Strake" — a proposed weapons detonation at the Nevada Test Site – has stirred up fears of radioactive contamination and the possibility of a new nuclear arms race
The Latest Bounce
Navajo Nation opens arms to coal-fired Desert Rock power plant; plan to trade public lands for schools is pulled off table; EPA has new Homeland Security position
Montana court acknowledges water linkage
Montana’s Supreme Court rules that groundwater and surface water are connected, in a ruling that will affect water rights and development across the state
Good Samaritan bill could clean up old mines
A bill introduced by Colorado Rep. John Salazar could make it easier for environmental groups and others to clean up pollution at thousands of orphaned hardrock mines
Lion plan draws heat from scientists, enviros
The Oregon state Department of Fish and Wildlife wants to cut mountain lion numbers by as much as 40 percent over the next five years

Book Reviews

Dinosaur bones and dastardly deeds
Douglas Preston’s fast-moving thriller Tyrannosaur Canyon is perfect summer escape reading for anyone who loves adventure, intrigue and romance – especially served up with dinosaur fossils
Saving water from the sky
In Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands, Tucson author Brad Lancaster gives a hands-on inspirational guide for how to harvest the desert Southwest’s rare moisture
The life of an enigmatic seabird
In Rare Bird, author Maria Mudd Ruth pursues the mystery of the Pacific Northwest’s elusive marbled murrelet

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
The strangest town in America; wolf vs. elk vs. anti-wolf fanatic; commuting without tears in Portland; tractor gas; energy boom humor; shooting coyotes from flying ATVs

Letters