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Hydrogen Highway Revisited July 23, 2007

Hydrogen Highway Revisited

Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to save the planet through hydrogen power, but critics say the notion is just hot air

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Predator hunters for the environment June 25, 2007

Predator hunters for the environment

The group Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife has helped to protect a lot of Western land and wildlife – while doing its best to kill off as many predators as possible.

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Brave New Hay June 11, 2007

Brave New Hay

Monsanto’s genetically modified Roundup Ready alfalfa may take over the West, as the company re-engineers the world to conform to its business plan.

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Problems In Paradise May 28, 2007

Problems In Paradise

The brutal murder of a Japanese tourist shines an unwelcome spotlight on the social problems plaguing Arizona’s beautiful but troubled Havasupai Reservation.

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Two Views of the Verde May 14, 2007

Two Views of the Verde

Prescott and the Verde Valley fight out the future of one of the West's last free-flowing streams. Also in this issue: New Mexico looks to build its border industry by attracting suppliers for Mexican manufacturers across the border in Juarez.

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Rural Education 2.0 April 30, 2007

Rural Education 2.0

Tiny Vilas, Colo., thought it was a great idea to open an online school and enroll at-risk students from far-away Denver – but neither the students nor the school district ended up scoring well at report card time. Also in this Issue: Global warming spurs calls for new dams in the West – but where will the water come from to fill them?

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Phoenix Falling? April 16, 2007

Phoenix Falling?

Craig Childs lifts the rug of modern-day Phoenix, Ariz., to examine the remnants of the civilization that preceded it -- the Hohokam people, who also built a great city in the middle of the desert, and flourished until the day they ran out of water. Also in this issue: Just over the Arizona-Sonora border, Tohono O'odham traditionalists have joined environmental groups in fighting a proposed Mexican hazardous waste landfill.

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Disposable Workers of the Oil and Gas Fields April 02, 2007

Disposable Workers of the Oil and Gas Fields

Without a college degree, work on the oil and gas fields is the best job you can get in the rural West – unless, of course, it kills you. Also in this issue: Thirsty Santa Fe, N.M., considers an innovative law requiring all new buildings to install rainwater-harvesting systems.

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The Silence of the Bees March 19, 2007

The Silence of the Bees

Migratory beekeeper John Miller hauls his hives back and forth across the West, pollinating everything from almonds to apples, but a nasty little parasite called the varroa mite and the mysterious, deadly Colony Collapse Disorder are making life much harder for him and his buzzing business partners.

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Wish You Weren’t Here March 05, 2007

Wish You Weren’t Here

Quagga mussels – an extraordinarily prolific and costly invasive species – have appeared in Lake Mead, and no one is sure how to keep these unwanted newcomers from infesting the West. Also in this issue: Condor 134’s harrowing experience with lead poisoning exemplifies these endangered birds’ greatest challenge – which some advocates hope to ease by banning lead bullets in California.

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One nation, under fire February 19, 2007

One nation, under fire

The Sonoran Desert homeland of the Tohono O’odham Nation has become a nerve-wracking police state, caught in the crossfire between drug and immigrant smugglers and the U.S. Border Patrol. Also in this issue: The Forest Service has overhauled its cumbersome forest-planning process, but many experts say the agency may have gone too far.

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The Efficiency Paradox February 05, 2007

The Efficiency Paradox

Water efficiency has long been touted as a silver bullet for the West?s water problems, but too much efficiency can cause problems of its own, especially in the fragile Colorado River Delta. Also in this issue: In Idaho and Wyoming, old eminent domain laws allow private entities to condemn landowners? property ? as Peter and Judy Riede discovered when J.R. Simplot Co. announced plans to expand its phosphate mine and build a road across their ranch.

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Salmon Justice January 22, 2007

Salmon Justice

Judge Jim Redden has given the Bush administration an ultimatum: Submit a viable plan for salmon restoration, or face the possible removal of four dams on the lower Snake River. Also in this issue: Homeless families aren’t found only in urban areas. They’re also struggling to survive in the rural West, as shown by the story of Barbara Trivitt and her two children, who lived in a Jeep in Coos Bay, Oregon, this fall.

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Confessions of a Methane Floozy December 25, 2006

Confessions of a Methane Floozy

An environmentalist who owns royalty interest in New Mexico oil and gas wells heads down to the San Juan Basin to talk to rancher Tweeti Blancett, driller Tom Dugan and others about the moral complexities inherent in Americans’ energy use. Also in this issue: Kern County, Calif., is trying to prevent Los Angeles sludge from entering the county, where it is used to fertilize farmland, and the resulting stink is raising all kinds of questions about how we handle human waste.

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Old but Faithful December 11, 2006

Old but Faithful

Former Park Service supervisors Bill Wade and Ron Arnberger formed the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees to defend the national parks from what they see as the Bush administration’s ill-conceived changes. Also in this issue: Six decades after Friant Dam killed off the San Joaquin River’s spring-run chinook, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Friant Water Users Authority are working with the federal government to restore both the fish and the river.

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The West: A New Center of Power November 27, 2006

The West: A New Center of Power

Among the top 10 lessons gained from the 2006 midterm elections is that there can be no doubt now of the West’s rising importance as a center of political power. Also in this issue: A new plan to steer energy development away from cultural sites in New Mexico could streamline energy development, fund archaeological research and preserve ancient sites all at once.

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Bred for success November 13, 2006

Bred for success

The Peregrine Fund has mastered the art of breeding aplomado falcons and other endangered birds of prey, but critics say the organization is blind to the importance of wildlife habitat. Also in this issue: A recent court ruling on the ceremonial killing of eagles by American Indians collides with the Endangered Species Act, possibly sending the issue to the Supreme Court.

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Peace Breaks Out In New Mexico's Forests October 30, 2006

Peace Breaks Out In New Mexico's Forests

In northern New Mexico, the innovative Collaborative Forest Restoration Program is bringing Hispanic loggers and Anglo environmentalists together to work on creating healthy, sustainable forests and rural economies. Also in this issue: Boosters of a Western primary hope it could give the Interior West a greater voice in the politics of Washington, D.C.

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A River Once More October 16, 2006

A River Once More

In Oregon, a revolutionary community alliance is working to put water – and steelhead trout – back into the Deschutes River. Also in this issue: A federal judge has reinstated President Clinton’s roadless rule protecting forests in the Lower 48 states, but the decision seems to have only confused the issue of forest management and is likely to end up back in court.

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From the ground up October 02, 2006

From the ground up

The Crested Butte News, a successful independent newspaper in a small Rocky Mountain town, has come full circle and is once again owned by a chain. Also in this issue: The North Coast Journal has been published in Arcata, Calif., for almost 18 years by Judy Hodgson, a journalist who believes in stirring the pot.

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Going Big September 18, 2006

Going Big

Mountain bikers are finally winning respect, along with increased access to trails, but a growing breed of gonzo riders with heavy, fast, high-tech bikes — and a thirst for riding in wilderness — could threaten all that. Also in this issue: National pundits say the nation’s political parties are moving toward the extremes, but in the West, Republicans — unhappy with some far-right politicians — seem to be heading back to the middle.

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Blast from the Past September 04, 2006

Blast from the Past

As the global warming threat increases, nuclear energy enjoys a renaissance, but the industry’s own checkered past hints that nuke power will be neither easy nor cheap. Also in this issue: The BLM’s decision to lease land for energy exploration in the watersheds of Grand Junction and Palisade, Colo., reveals the way oil and gas leasing works.

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The Lure of the Lawn August 21, 2006

The Lure of the Lawn

It’s not easy to wean Westerners away from their lush, traditional, turfgrass lawns, but with drought an increasing fact of life, Xeriscape gardening is finally catching on. Also in this issue: Three compromise wilderness bills have passed the House and now await Senate approval.

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Is It or Isn't It (Just Another Mouse)? August 07, 2006

Is It or Isn't It (Just Another Mouse)?

The science behind endangered species is extremely complicated, as seen in the clash between biologist Rob Roy Ramey II and geneticist Tim King over whether Preble’s meadow jumping mouse in Colorado is truly a legitimate subspecies deserving protection. Also in this issue: New Mexico and other Western states are eagerly vying to get into the movie business, offering film companies an assortment of tax breaks and financial incentives.

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Taking Liberties July 24, 2006

Taking Liberties

The Western states are home to a stealth campaign by libertarians who – under the guise of reforming eminent domain – are out to destroy all land-use planning through "takings" ballot initiatives. Also in this issue: Even as Western states debate the best way to look after their roadless areas, logging, drilling and mining are already happening on some formerly protected lands.

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