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High Country News June 27, 2011



Hydrofracked: One man's quest for answers about natural gas drilling

A Wyoming farmer battles industry and bureaucracy trying to find out whether hydraulic fracturing -- used in natural gas drilling -- polluted his drinking water.


The 'Utah solution' to immigration

Utah religious, business and political leaders suggest an immigration compromise, but the state's lawmakers are terrified of being caught voting for "amnesty."

A fee-dodging retiree forces a national forest to rethink access charges

A retired geophysicist named Jim Smith successfully challenges Arizona's Coconino National Forest on access fees.

For steelhead, dirty water might be better than clean

A wastewater treatment plant provides nutrients that help endangered steelhead thrive in an Idaho stream.

Wildfires burn big in Arizona and New Mexico

Arizona's Wallow Fire has now out-burned the gigantic Rodeo-Chediski Fire of 2002.

Significant -- and nutty -- quotable moments in the state legislatures

Western legislatures slash spending, confront budget gaps, attempt environmental rollbacks and propose a few silly laws.

Editor's Note

A lonely crusade

A Wyoming farmer's long struggle to find out what's polluting his water gets the attention of the EPA - and inspires reporter Abrahm Lustgarten of ProPublica.

Dear Friends

See you in July

HCN skips issue; summer visitors; Jonathan Thompson becomes a Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism; correction.

Book Reviews

A land of subtle beauty: A review of Llano Estacado

The photos and essays gathered in this collection of photographs and essays celebrate the austere beauty of a vast dry landscape.

It's not just a job, it's an adventure: A review of Permanent Vacation

The 20 essays in this collection take us into the wacky and wonderful lives of some of the many people who work in the country's national parks.


River Town

Flagstaff, Ariz., may not really have its own river, but to many of its residents it is a true river town.

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