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High Country News March 05, 2012

Feature

Unfinished zombie housing developments haunt the rural West

Lack of planning rules and the housing bubble led to dead subdivisions plaguing the West, especially in Teton County, Idaho, where locals are trying to deal with the impacts of the real estate bust, yet still arguing if planning even works.

Current

Wilderness bills languish in legislative limbo

Even Republican sponsors can't seem to break their party's determined stonewalling on wilderness bills in the House of Representatives.

Of cowboys and Indians: Ravi Malhotra helps rural businesses

An Indian-born progressive applies social entrepreneur techniques gleaned from the developing world to struggling communities in Colorado through his nonprofit, iCAST.

The BLM struggles to get ahead of oil and gas development in the West

Master leasing plans, or MLPs, are a new tool designed to help the Bureau of Land Management better coordinate energy leasing and development in areas that may need special treatment or protection.

Going down in flames

Today, the mountain and Pacific states have the highest collective cremation rates in the U.S.

Editor's Note

The paradox of the housing boom and bust

Outside Delta, Colo sits yet another rural subdivision that was never completed -- a sign of the West's housing bust and of the difficulty of regulating rural growth.

Dear Friends

HCN subscribers and writers meet in New Zealand

An HCN writer meets some longtime subscribers on Ulva Island in New Zealand; new books from former intern Emily Jeanne Miller, Writers on the Range contributor David Feela and freelancer Louise Wagenknecht.

Book Reviews

Interior Landscapes: A review of The City Beneath the Snow

The short stories in Marjorie Kowalski Cole's posthumous collection The City Beneath the Snow take readers deep into the subarctic melting pot of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Two degrees warmer and rising: A review of A Great Aridness

Books about climate change tend to be grim reading, but William deBuys' love for the American Southwest makes his new nonfiction book A Great Aridness beautiful as well as disturbing.

Essays

Watching the weather in California

A Californian becomes a volunteer weather-spotter, in part to heal the memories of the storm that destroyed her house when she was a teenager.

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