High Country News April 14, 2008
After conquering rocks, trails and mountains, weekend warriors have found a new hobby: Climbing the West’s big trees.
Protecting environmentally sensitive Western lands from the current oil and gas frenzy is a challenge to the conservationists who file protests with the BLM.
Ray Ring wins another award; visitors; Lynne Bama’s new book of poetry and photographs, Yellowstone Rising; and Paonia’s Mary Bear Volk celebrates 99 years.
An 86-year-old lifelong rancher named Vernon Gliko is donating his entire 1,800-acre Montana ranch as a conservation easement.
Washington’s cougar population is in serious trouble, and some trace recent problems back to a 1996 ban on hunting the big cats with hounds.
Conservationists can file formal protests when the BLM wants to auction off public land to energy companies, but the differences between regional management plans and styles make the protest game little more than a crapshoot.
Rick Bass’ memoir, Why I Came West, describes how his 20-year struggle to save Montana’s Yaak Valley held him hostage, preventing him from concentrating on writing the short fiction that he loves.
The essays in Gary Paul Nabhan’s Arab/American celebrate the landscape, culture and cuisine of two great deserts: The Middle Eastern lands from which his ancestors came and the Sonoran Desert he now lives in.
Rhonda Claridge describes a hard winter in the high mountains and points out that one seldom-acknowledged effect of climate change could be harder winters in some parts of the world.
Rebecca Clarren talks to migrant farmworker women about a threat they face every day in the fields: sexual harassment and assault by coworkers and bosses.
Kate Krautkramer ponders the ramifications when her 7-year-old son abruptly tells his best friend that he doesn’t believe in God.
Heard Around the West
No smoking onstage in Colorado; a really rotten trick; wheat field in the Big Apple; it’s hard to charge a dead man with a crime; Brian Schweitzer and Montana just say no to Homeland Security.
Two Weeks in the West
Despite a cold winter, the West is still warming; the Southern Nevada Water Authority has wild ideas about water; renewable energy is on a roll, but expensive Western resorts are not; neglected Forest Service roads make a mess in the Pacific Northwest.
Sean O’Connor and the other members of the Ascending the Giants expedition team climb, measure and photograph the West’s tallest trees.