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High Country News June 24, 1996


Catron County's politics heat up as its land goes bankrupt

Catron County, N.M., the home of the county independence movement, is a study of contrasts - its people heavily dependent on the federal government and its land and rivers dying.

The County Attorney

Catron County Attorney Jim Catron, in his own words, on the "rural Western resistance to the federal empire."

The Businessperson

An anonymous Catron County businessperson, in his words, on the tensions between factions in the county.

The Forest Ranger

Forest Service District Ranger Mike Gardner, in his own words, on dealing with the tensions in Catron County.

The Psychologist

Psychologist Melinda Garcia, in her own words, on working with people in Catron County's "war zone."

The Country Doctor

Reserve, N.M., Dr. Mark Unverzagt, in his own words, on the often overlooked middle ground in Catron County.

Dear Friends

Dear friends

HCN's summer break, odds and ends, summer interns Greg Hanscom and Jared Farmer, Paul Larmer visits Utah rancher Hardy Redd.


Marvel ups the ante

Conservationist Jon Marvel bid against rancher Mike Ward over a 10-year lease, raising the fee to $12,050, then folded and declared victory.

Fire sweeps through the Southwest

The Southwest's drought brings an early and ferocious forest fire season.

Wyoming climbers win equal footing

A federal judge rules that Devils Tower National Monument cannot prohibit commercial climbing in June to accommodate Native American religious practices at the tower.

State lands: money isn't everything

Colorado Gov. Roy Romer drafts a ballot initiative to force the state land board to consider long-term stewardship and protection of state-owned lands.

Ranger charges ranchers with assault

Forest Service Range Conservationist Chuck Oliver is physically assaulted when he tries to attend a meeting in Eagle, Ariz., between public-lands ranchers and wise-use attorney Karen Budd-Falen.

Ski industry masters the sneak attack

The ski industry seeks to slip a bill through Congress that would preserve the current low Forest Service fees resorts pay and let them renew 40-year leases without environmental review.

Twenty-something takes Sierra Club's helm

The Sierra Club elects 23-year-old Adam Werbach as its new president.

Proposed hatchery breeds conflict

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's plan to build the $4 million Grandy Creek steelhead hatchery faces stiff opposition from fishing groups, scientists and conservationists.

Predator control: more pain than gain

A survey in Montana shows that predators account for just 2.2 percent of all cattle losses in the state in 1995.

Idaho air base guns for more space, again

Idaho opponents assail Mountain Home Air Force Base's latest training-range expansion plans.

Clean air victory in Colorado

The polluting, coal-fired Hayden Power Plant in northeastern Colorado agrees to reform, to activists' delight.

No pay for pooches

Defenders of Wildlife, which compensates ranchers for livestock killed by wolves, says it cannot compensate for pets killed by wolves.

Pact promises cleaner canyon air

The Grand Canyon Visibility Transport Commission issues an ambitious proposed air-quality cleanup blueprint for the Colorado Plateau.

Development plan breaks consensus on grizzlies

A pact between Plum Creek Timber Co., Montana state and federal agencies, to preserve some land for grizzlies falters when Plum Creek decides to sell some of the land to developers.

Book Reviews

Lessons of Lewis and Clark

Daniel Botkin's book, "Our Natural History: the Lessons of Lewis and Clark," describes the Western wilderness the explorers saw in 1804-1806 and compares it to the West of today.

It's the pits

Summo USA Corp. plans to mine 34 million pounds of copper each year for 10 years in the Lisbon Valley southeast of Moab, Utah.

Can the silence be unbroken?

Transportation Secretary Federico Peûa proposes a ban on commercial scenic overflights in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park.

Making history on the prairie

The Prairie Plains Resource Institute in Nebraska seeks to preserve and celebrate the prairie.

Living with wildlife

The Colorado Division of Wildlife's guide, "Developing With Wildlife in Mind," hopes to educate people about the possible conflicts with wildlife in suburbia.

Still stealing trees

A report, "Unindicted Co-Conspirator," says that since the Forest Service disbanded its special timber-theft task force last year, investigations of large-scale timber stealing have ground to a halt.

Mountain outposts of empire

A review of Tom Wolf's "Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Mountains."


Canyonlands is a park in name only; in truth only highly organized chaos reigns

A river trip through Utah's Canyonlands National Park leads a winter-naturalist to muse about the geologic chaos inside the park's human-imposed boundaries.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

High Country Shopper, Rocky Mountain News scorns rural Colorado cows, low wages for Wyoming women, husband wife team of wilderness rangers needs money in Montana, quips from Myles Rademan, New York Times' Freemen blooper.

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