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High Country News January 23, 2012


Billboard corporations use money and influence to override your vote

In Salt Lake City and other Western communities, billboard companies battle local democracy by fighting attempts to regulate the giant signs.


Detente in the rancher v. environmentalist grazing wars?

Buying out grazing permits from willing ranchers could help solve conflicts over grazing on public lands.

Shadow Wolves track down smugglers on the Arizona-Mexico border

An elite team of Native American customs agents, the Shadow Wolves use their tracking skills to find drug smugglers on the U.S.-Mexico border.

A mom-and-pop oil company prospects for gas in central Wyoming

Wold Oil Properties is a wildcatter - a small company that explores for oil and gas in areas where the fuels aren't known to exist in valuable quantities.

The logging town of Darrington, Wash., fights to save a fire lookout

A lawsuit raises questions about how far environmentalists should go to keep wilderness 'untrammeled.'

How much time does Congress spend discussing the issues you care about?

Capitol Words, a visualization tool, tracks the contents of the Congressional Record, storing frequently used words as searchable data.

Editor's Note

Billboard corporations and other big industries make their own rules

Burning down billboards isn't a good idea, but can a citizen fight the corporate power behind the big signs?

Dear Friends

Welcome, Eric and Kati

High Country News hires Eric Strebel as Web developer and Kati Johnson as circulation assistant; visitors; Holiday Open House; and corrections.

Uncommon Westerners

Richard West Sellars' accidental but distinguished National Park Service career

Historian Richard West Sellars didn't intend to spend a career in the Park Service. But after 35 years, his impact still resonates.

Writers on the Range

Beauty and the Beast

Photographers and artists -- and scientists, too -- discover that a terrible beauty can be found in ravaged industrial regions.

Book Reviews

From the Old World to the Old West: A review of The Little Bride

Anna Solomon's fascinating first novel follows a young Jewish woman from Odessa, Russia, to the hardscrabble prairie of South Dakota in the late 1800s.

A second chance at love: A review of Liberty Lanes

Liberty Lanes, Robin Troy's second novel, tracks the lives of a group of senior citizens in a small Montana town.


Residents of Montana's High Plains are angry - but not at the real threats

Though climate change and the economy are the issues threatening their livelihoods, many of the High Plains people are angry at almost everything else.

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