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High Country News December 22, 2008

What a mess

Editor's Note

The Bush legacy: It's not all bad

This special issue takes a close look at the Bush administration's environmental policies and considers what can be done to repair the damage.

Dear Friends


The economic downturn is keeping travelers at home, but fortunately HCN’s readers are staying in touch.

Uncommon Westerners

John Daniel: A good animal, too

The unlikely path to becoming an environmental writer, memoirist and poet.


Not so dead on arrival

Thanks to the incompetence of the Bush administration and the tenacity of environmental lawyers, the Roadless Rule has survived for 8 years.

Dodged bullets

On several environmental issues, the Bush administration failed to push through its agenda.

Up in smoke

In the last eight years under Bush, morale – and efficiency – at the Forest Service has plummeted.

The sick and tired West

The EPA under George Bush has put the health of Westerners at risk in order to make life easier for big industry.

Western wish list for Obama

Eleven key Westerners speak with HCN about their hopes and worries for an Obama administration.

As Interior Turns

During the last eight years, Bush’s Interior Department has been embroiled in enough corruption, sex and scandal to fuel several soap operas.

(Un)clearing the air

George Bush’s BLM will leave a legacy of air pollution in oil and gas producing states, especially Utah.

Book Reviews

Life during wartime

In his new short story collection, Refresh, Refresh, Benjamin Percy explores the lives of people in rural Oregon during the Iraq War.

Fighting for forests

In Arthur Carhart: Wilderness Prophet, Tom Wolf tells the story of a prophetic Forest Service employee and early environmentalist.


Change we could believe in

How to fix the West by consolidating land agencies and charging people to build in Stupid Zones.

Trashing the earth, and the truth

Hal Herring relates the ugly story of how the Bush administration used its influence to try to kill a story about the impacts of energy development.

For the love of stuff

A decision to buy a new car spurs thoughts of a beat-up, rusty old Datsun station wagon.

Two Weeks in the West

Midnight cowboying

As Bush prepares to leave office, his "midnight regulations" are mostly gifts to big business.

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