Magazine
Confessions of a Methane Floozy

December 25, 2006

An environmentalist who owns royalty interest in New Mexico oil and gas wells heads down to the San Juan Basin to talk to rancher Tweeti Blancett, driller Tom Dugan and others about the moral complexities inherent in Americans’ energy use. Also in this issue: Kern County, Calif., is trying to prevent Los Angeles sludge from entering the county, where it is used to fertilize farmland, and the resulting stink is raising all kinds of questions about how we handle human waste.

Feature

Confessions of a Methane Floozy
An environmentalist who owns royalty interest in New Mexico oil and gas wells heads down to the San Juan Basin to talk to rancher Tweeti Blancett, driller Tom Dugan and others about the moral complexities inherent in Americans’ energy use

Editor's Note

Slipping into the holidays
This issue’s cover essay on New Mexico’s gas fields – and our publisher’s adventures during a recent snowstorm in Paonia – reveal the complex links that bind Westerners together for better or worse

Uncommon Westerners

Tequila-fueled tunes
The music Roger Clyne writes and performs with his band, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, is inspired by the Arizona desert

Essays

Shear Pleasure
A photo essay follows Matt Smith and the other New Zealanders who make up the company Shear Pleasure as they travel Montana, visiting sheep ranches, shearing sheep, and drinking hard at the end of the day
I fell into a burning ring of fire
There’s nothing like a campfire to soothe and lift the soul

Writers on the Range

Of salvage logging and salvation
If we truly want to "salvage" our forests – and the rest of our environment – we need to think beyond salvage logging, and acknowledge that the value of dead trees cannot be measured in board-feet alone
Chickens are roosting on private property in Oregon
Buyer’s remorse is strong in Oregon, where Measure 37 has sparked a developer’s feeding frenzy that has Oregonians’ heads spinning

Dear Friends

Dear friends
HCN takes a holiday break; Betsy Marston and Jon Christensen on TV; HCN hosts discussion and film in San Francisco; a note from Steve Wilent of indy paper The Mountain Times; correction.

News

Excremental gains?
Kern County, Calif., is trying to prevent Los Angeles sludge from entering the county, where it is used to fertilize farmland, and the resulting stink is raising all kinds of questions about how we handle human waste

Book Reviews

A corps of visitors, not discoverers
In Lewis and Clark Through Indian Eyes, the late historian Alvin Josephy Jr. has assembled essays by nine Indian writers who examine the Corps of Discovery from the other side of the cultural looking glass

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Is it a grolarbear or a pizzly?; garage doors vs. homeland security; hermaphrodite deer; Park Service fees; the drilling rig next door; school buses become billboards in Colorado

Letters

Two Weeks in the West

Two weeks in the West
Supreme Court to consider use of mobster law to sue federal employees; water to return to California’s Owens River; Timothy B. Sundles confesses to wolf poisoning; drilling banned on Rocky Mountain Front; Western religion or lack thereof; Christmas tree