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The Tamarisk Hunter June 26, 2006

The Tamarisk Hunter

In the desert Southwest in 2030, with "Big Daddy Drought" in full swing and California claiming all the water, a "water tick" named Lolo ekes out a rugged living removing tamarisk. Also in this issue: With the Interior West’s national parks facing an increase in haze and air pollution, Rocky Mountain National Park is working with government agencies to improve air quality.

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The Perpetual Growth Machine June 12, 2006

The Perpetual Growth Machine

Phoenix, Ariz., is determined to disprove the idea that the West will someday run out of water and that every boom has to come to an end. Also in this issue: Newly appointed Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has a chance to use his deal-making abilities to bring change to the way Western public lands are managed.

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'Clinging Hopelessly to the Past' May 29, 2006

'Clinging Hopelessly to the Past'

In his determination to cling, however hopelessly, to Utah’s past, Canyon Country Zephyr founder Jim Stiles has taken on miners, ranchers, developers, mountain bikers and – most recently – some of his fellow environmentalists. Also in this issue: "Divine Strake" — a proposed weapons detonation at the Nevada Test Site — has stirred up fears of radioactive contamination and the possibility of a new nuclear arms race.

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The Immigrant's Trail May 15, 2006

The Immigrant's Trail

This special issue of High Country News takes an on-the-ground look at the human landscape of illegal immigration in the West.

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Magic Valley Uprising May 01, 2006

Magic Valley Uprising

An unusual grassroots coalition of citizen activists stops a coal-fired merchant power plant from being built in Idaho’s Magic Valley. Also in this issue: Despite the promises of the Healthy Forests Act, the Bush administration has proposed sweeping cuts to community fire programs in the West.

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The War on Wildfire April 17, 2006

The War on Wildfire

Four years after President Bush launched his Healthy Forests Initiative, the Western woods are abuzz. Also in this issue: "Nevada style" wilderness bill comes to Utah and Citizens unite against gas field chaos.

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Land of Disenchantment April 03, 2006

Land of Disenchantment

A native New Mexican tries to understand the heroin epidemic that is destroying the Hispano community of the Espanola Valley, Also in this issue: Interior Secretary Gale Norton’s decision to resign prompts a look at Interior’s conservative counterrevolution during her tenure, along with its unintended consequences.

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Town Shopping March 20, 2006

Town Shopping

With all the formerly cool, "undiscovered" small towns now caught up in the New West’s booming real estate frenzy, it’s getting hard to find an affordable place to call home. Also in this issue: A working group of 23 experts convened by the nonprofit Keystone Center could not reach consensus over how to reform the Endangered Species Act’s critical habitat provisions.

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Save Our Snow March 06, 2006

Save Our Snow

Faced with rising temperatures and a passive federal government, Western towns such as Aspen, Colo., are beginning to work out a local approach to combating global warming. Also in this issue: President Bush revives a proposal to sell off public lands managed by the BLM and the Forest Service as part of his 2007 budget.

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High Noon for Habitat February 20, 2006

High Noon for Habitat

In Riverside County, Calif., the conflict between the Endangered Species Act’s critical habitat rule and the West’s booming, sprawling, growth-driven economy comes to a head. Also in this issue: The seven states of the Colorado River Basin have come to a groundbreaking agreement that, among other things, will allow cities such as Las Vegas to lease water from out-of-state farms during times of drought.

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The Killing Fields February 06, 2006

The Killing Fields

The first bison hunt in 15 years was supposed to offer hope for a reasonable solution to Yellowstone’s ‘buffalo problem,’ but a lifelong hunter who watched it says the senseless slaughter continues. Also in this issue: A group of scientists at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry publish a controversial study saying salvage logging may actually slow forest recovery.

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Timberlands up for grabs January 23, 2006

Timberlands up for grabs

As the West’s privately owned timberlands go up for sale, small towns like Glenwood, Wash., are working to buy local forests and manage them for the good of the community. Also in this issue: The closing down of the Mohave Generating Station and the Black Mesa Mine are both a victory for environmentalists and Indian water activists, and an economic catastrophe for the Hopi and Navajo nations.

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A New Green Revolution December 26, 2005

A New Green Revolution

In Montana’s dying farm country, "vanguard agriculture" is putting people back to work on the land. Also in this issue: Concerned citizens overflow a meeting in Delta, Colo., as a crucial deadline for protecting roadless areas in national forests nears.

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The Final Energy Frontier December 12, 2005

The Final Energy Frontier

The end of the oil and gas era may be in sight, but the current energy boom in the West means that a rough and wild ride is still ahead. Also in this issue: After Michele DeHart of the Fish Passage Center in Portland, Ore., publicly supported a plan to protect salmon, angry lawmakers led by Sen. Larry Craig yanked the center’s funding.

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Gold from the Gas Fields November 28, 2005

Gold from the Gas Fields

Energy companies are reaping billions in the West today, but few states are making sure that enough of that wealth stays at home and is invested wisely. Also in this issue: The long and carefully planned campaign to protect the Ojito Wilderness in New Mexico holds useful lessons for wilderness activists across the West.

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Back On Track November 14, 2005

Back On Track

Denver, Colo., one of the West’s most sprawling, traffic-choked cities, has become a champion of mass transit with FasTracks, its ambitious light-rail project. Also in this issue: A provision in the new energy bill promises funding to speed up the oil and gas permitting process in BLM offices – without costing the industry an extra penny.

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The Public Lands' Big Cash Crop October 31, 2005

The Public Lands' Big Cash Crop

Elaborate marijuana gardens created and managed by Mexican drug lords are turning California’s public lands into a dangerous, illegal, industrial-style landscape. Also in this issue: The Forest Service’s claim that a recent court order would suspend routine activities – such as cutting Christmas trees or picking mushrooms – has been dismissed by the judge as the agency’s attempt to blow the issue out of proportion.

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The Ghosts of Yosemite October 17, 2005

The Ghosts of Yosemite

Modern-day scientists, retracing the path of Joseph Grinnell in Yosemite National Park, document conspicuous changes in the natural world and find a culprit unimagined by biologists 100 years ago: global warming. Also in this issue: On his 12th attempt, Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., succeeds in pushing a bill through the U.S. House designed to reform the Endangered Species Act and end critical habitat protection.

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Out of the Four Corners October 03, 2005

Out of the Four Corners

Susan Ryan, a young archaeologist, has some unusual ideas about why the Anasazi left their homes in the Southwest, 700 years ago. Also in this issue: In the city of Albuquerque, underdog candidate Eric Griego, a critic of sprawl, challenges incumbent Mayor Marty Chavez, a pro-growth booster.

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Squeezing Water from a Stone September 19, 2005

Squeezing Water from a Stone

With only a tiny share of the Colorado River available to it, Las Vegas decides to get the water it needs from elsewhere in the state – underneath the rural high-desert Basin and Range country. Also in this issue: The Park Service lands in hot water when Deputy Assistant Interior Secretary Paul Hoffman secretly rewrites the agency’s management manual, and the revision is leaked to the press.

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Rangeland Revival September 05, 2005

Rangeland Revival

The Quivira Coalition wants to bring peace and prosperity to the West’s public grazing lands, but some critics question whether the collaboration-based group can accomplish its goals. Also in this issue: The Navajo Nation is wrangling over the benefits – and dangers – of the proposed Desert Rock Power Plant in northwestern New Mexico.

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A Military Town Fights for its Life August 22, 2005

A Military Town Fights for its Life

The Air Force wants to close Cannon Air Force Base, but the nearby town of Clovis, N.M., is not ready to let go of its main economic engine. Also in this issue: California Republican Rep. Richard Pombo holds a hearing in New Mexico on the National Environmental Policy Act, and it’s up to Rep. Raul Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat, to defend the law against its conservative attackers.

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The Gangs of Zion August 08, 2005

The Gangs of Zion

In Mormon Country, young Polynesians search for identity -- and for an escape from a seemingly unstoppable cycle of violence. Also in this Issue: The BLM lets the gas industry sit behind the desk and The Great Salt Lake is loaded with mercury.

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The Many Faces of Richard Pombo July 25, 2005

The Many Faces of Richard Pombo

California Republican Rep. Richard Pombo made his mark blasting the Endangered Species Act, but now, he says, he’s learning to compromise on environmental issues. Also in this issue: The Bureau of Land Management rewrote a scientific report critical of its new grazing rules, and two veteran scientists have quit the agency in protest.

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Reflections on a Divided Land June 27, 2005

Reflections on a Divided Land

A writer takes a 1,600-mile Greyhound bus ride from Salt Lake City into Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, and listens to the stories of the Westerners he meets. Also in this issue: The Bureau of Land Management is tightening its standards on what it considers worthwhile, "substantive" public comments from citizen activists.

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