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Meth invasion August 14, 2000

Meth invasion

As methamphetamine moves into the small, isolated towns of the rural West, the waste left by its manufacture pollutes the environment while the drug's abuse and the traffic in it strain the resources of local law enforcement and social services.

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Out of the darkness July 31, 2000

Out of the darkness

When Paonia, Colo., resident Richard Rudin challenged a local mine's plans for expansion, the town was painfully divided, until the efforts of the North Fork Coal Working Group brought miners, environmentalists and agencies together for a solution.

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A river resurrected July 03, 2000

A river resurrected

On the California-Mexico border, environmentalists from two countries are working to restore the Colorado River Delta.

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Accidental refuge: Should we save the Salton Sea? June 19, 2000

Accidental refuge: Should we save the Salton Sea?

The Salton Sea became the Salton Sea in 1905, when human accident flooded the desert; now its survival is uncertain, as demand for scarce water continues to grow in Southern California.

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Change on the Plains June 05, 2000

Change on the Plains

The Great Plains ranchers who have long grazed the national grasslands face a growing push by the Forest Service to take over management and try to restore the prairie landscape.

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Save Our Sagebrush May 22, 2000

Save Our Sagebrush

In the wake of the huge fires that swept across the Great Basin in August 1999, the BLM is seeking ways to restore the sagebrush landscape and to control the fire-prone cheatgrass that now infests it.

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After the fall May 08, 2000

After the fall

RBM Lumber in Columbia Falls, Mont., is a small, family-owned mill that is a pioneer in a brand new kind of timber economy, one that would restore rather than deplete forests and create low-volume, high-value wood products in a sustainable way.

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At your service: Unions help some Western workers serve themselves April 24, 2000

At your service: Unions help some Western workers serve themselves

In Las Vegas, strong unions help service workers achieve the kind of prosperity and security seldom reached by the working-class people of the West's non-union resort towns.

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Beyond the Revolution April 10, 2000

Beyond the Revolution

In the Interior West, politicians must work with federal agencies and let go of fading extractive industries, if the region is to thrive as part of the nation and not be overrun by Bruce Babbitt's new national monuments.

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The last wild river March 27, 2000

The last wild river

The Yellowstone River is the longest undammed river in the West, but Montana's rapid growth is affecting it, as property owners afraid of floods lay huge amounts of riprap along its banks.

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Libby's dark secret March 13, 2000

Libby's dark secret

Asbestos-laced dust from a vermiculite mine near Libby, Mont., has caused illness and death among locals for decades, but it is only recently that the media - and victims - have called W.R. Grace & Co. to account.

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Acre by acre February 28, 2000

Acre by acre

The land trust movement is bigger than the earliest groups imagined, but the challenge the 250 Western groups face is even bigger, as development swallows the last open space.

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Land of the fee February 14, 2000

Land of the fee

While cash-strapped land managers praise the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program, some recreationists and activists rail against it, and others point out that the program isn't producing as much money as was hoped for.

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Searching for pasture January 31, 2000

Searching for pasture

Lyle McNeal revived the Churro sheep, a dying breed, and helped the Navajos who once depended on them, but now the professor is locked in a bitter battle over the sheep and other issues with Utah State University, which once supported the project.

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STOP January 17, 2000


Recreationists of every kind have long used Colorado's White River National Forest as a playground, and the Forest Service's proposed new plan, which would limit some activities in an attempt to help the forest, is being met with a lot of anger.

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Unleashing the Snake December 20, 1999

Unleashing the Snake

In Washington, conservationists, farmers, and federal and state agencies are passionately debating whether four dams on the lower Snake River should be breached in an attempt to restore endangered salmon and steelhead runs.

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Peggy Godfrey's long, strange trip December 06, 1999

Peggy Godfrey's long, strange trip

In Colorado's San Luis Valley, Peggy Godfrey works hard raising sheep, writing cowboy poetry, helping neighbors at calving time and living what she describes as the life of a free woman.

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Go tell it on the mountain November 22, 1999

Go tell it on the mountain

While Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt considers greater protection for Oregon's Steens Mountain, local ranchers and environmentalists argue over whether the land should become a cow-free national monument or a conservation area that would allow grazing.

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A new road for the public lands November 08, 1999

A new road for the public lands

President Clinton and Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt have a new strategy for protecting and managing the public lands, encouraging citizens and politicans to implement national conservation values in a regional and local way.

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Monumental chaos October 25, 1999

Monumental chaos

New Mexico's Petroglyph National Monument is threatened by problems that include the runaway growth of the neighboring city of Albuquerque, disagreements over how to manage the resource, and a controversial, embattled superintendent, Judith Cordova.

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A home-grown Water War October 11, 1999

A home-grown Water War

In northern New Mexico, the small, family-owned Sipapu Ski Area is battling the little farming town of Dixon over water rights to the Rio Pueblo and Rio Embudo, tributaries of the Rio Grande. Plus, the endangered silvery minnow is forcing the water users of the Middle Rio Grande in New Mexico to reconsider the ways cities, towns, pueblos and farms have always made use of the river.

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The Millworker and the Forest September 27, 1999

The Millworker and the Forest

A hike through the old growth of Olympic National Park with former millworker Jim Podlesny reveals more than one way to look at a giant Douglas-fir, and also at the life of a one-time logging community.

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Troubled Oasis September 13, 1999

Troubled Oasis

In Nevada, Walker Lake is slowly disappearing, as local farmers, an Indian tribe and conservationists battle over the rights to the water that once filled the lake.

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Who's stopping sprawl? August 30, 1999

Who's stopping sprawl?

In this special issue: city-dwellers' usual support for the Endangered Species Act can be severely tested when an endangered species is found in or near their own backyards.

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Standing up for the underdog August 16, 1999

Standing up for the underdog

After a century of poisoning and shooting the black-tailed prairie dog at will, ranchers are up in arms over the push by conservationists to have the animal listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

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