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Planting time May 12, 2003

Planting time

The native-seeds business is thriving, as more Westerners realize the value of a restored and healthy rangeland, but the current unfriendly political climate in Washington, D.C., may bring an untimely frost. Also in this issue:The Clinton-era Sierra Nevada Framework is being dismantled under the Bush administration, and California spotted owls, denied protection as endangered species, may pay the price.

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Indian Power April 28, 2003

Indian Power

Fueled by money from casino gambling, New Mexico’s Indian pueblos and reservations are throwing their political weight into the state’s water tug-of-war. Also in this issue:Starting in Utah, Interior Secretary Gale Norton has slammed the door shut on new BLM wilderness proposals and inventories and wilderness study areas.

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Change comes slowly to Escalante county April 14, 2003

Change comes slowly to Escalante county

Just as it seemed the local communities were starting to accept the BLM’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the rise of conservative national politics has helped to revive old grudges and stir up opposition. Also in this issue: Conservationists say it’s too soon for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to declare that wolves are no longer endangered.

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Tinkering with Nature March 31, 2003

Tinkering with Nature

Predator control may have a small place in saving endangered species, but it makes a lot more sense to bring back an ecosystem’s keystone species – as can be seen in Yellowstone, since wolves have returned. Also in this issue:Fallon, Nev., is home to the fastest-growing cancer cluster in U.S. history, and some researchers suspect that the seemingly harmless metal tungsten may be to blame.

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Bracing against the tide March 17, 2003

Bracing against the tide

On the coast of British Columbia, tribes, fishermen and environmentalists are fighting the spread of Atlantic salmon farms, which they fear could have catastrophic effects on already endangered native salmon runs. Also in this issue: Westerners are becoming more concerned about incidents of cruelty to wildlife, but laws against such acts remain inconsistent in the region.

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The Wild Card March 03, 2003

The Wild Card

As the Wilderness Act nears its 40th birthday, it takes a new kind of wheeling and dealing to protect wild lands, and there’s no better place to see the new face of the movement than Las Vegas, Nev. Also in this issue: The Border Patrol wants to erect 249 miles of fences along the Arizona-Mexico border, and some environmentalists are worried about their impact on desert wildlife.

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Wyoming at a crossroads February 17, 2003

Wyoming at a crossroads

Wyoming’s new governor, Democrat Dave Freudenthal, may have a chance to turn the stagnant state around economically and environmentally, by reducing its dependence on energy and mineral industries. Also in this issue: Some residents of Los Lunas, N.M., say the planned expansion of the wastewater treatment plant is designed to benefit the mayor, who wants to build a subdivision.

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The death of the Super Hopper February 03, 2003

The death of the Super Hopper

The disappearance of the Rocky Mountain locust -- which once swarmed the Plains like a biblical plague, only to die out entirely within decades --- holds serious lessons for humanity. Also in this issue: The Bush administration rolls back a Clinton-era moratorium on RS 2477, a controversial old statute that some Western counties have used to claim designated roads in wilderness areas, parks and monuments.

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A breath of fresh air January 20, 2003

A breath of fresh air

For over 30 years, the Northern Cheyenne have stood firm against energy development and its environmental impacts, but now, faced with crushing poverty, some are starting to think about developing the reservation’s coal and methane resources. Also in this issue: At midnight on New Year’s Eve, Interior Secretary Gale Norton astonished California by it cutting off from the "surplus" Colorado River water it has long been using, after the state failed to come up with promised water transfers.

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In search of the Glory Days December 23, 2002

In search of the Glory Days

Twenty years after its longtime mainstay, the Climax Molybdenum Mine, closed, Leadville, Colo., is still groping for a secure economy and a new identity. Also in this issue: The Forest Service has announced a major overhaul of the forest planning process that some fear may cut out both environmental oversight and public involvement, and lead to even more legal gridlock.

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Life in the wasteland December 09, 2002

Life in the wasteland

Eureka, Utah, unearths a toxic legacy just at its only hope for rescue, the federal Superfund cleanup program, blows away. Also in this issue:Thousands of park and forest jobs could go to private contractors.

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Planning's poster child grows up November 25, 2002

Planning's poster child grows up

As Oregon cities hit their urban growth boundaries, some say it's time to look at the 30-year old rules that govern development. Also in this issue: Congress may have turned to the right, but enviros claim victory at the state level.

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Behind the gate November 11, 2002

Behind the gate

The "Real West" at the touch of an access code? A look into the fortified rural retreats of the West's moneyed elite. Also in this issue: Hanford bomb factory's hard-to-reach radioactive dregs might stay where they are.

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Shadow Creatures October 28, 2002

Shadow Creatures

Tenacious animals like crows and coyotes have made a home for themselves in the suburbs - and even downtown areas - of places like Seattle and Phoenix. Can we make cities friendlier for less-adaptable species? Also in this issue: Hunters turn out in record numbers as Colorado tries to figure out just how serious the chronic wasting disease outbreak is.

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Democrats kick back: The politics of growth October 14, 2002

Democrats kick back: The politics of growth

After a decade and a half without reasonable or effective leadership,Arizona has become the West's most incompetently run state, its politics propelled almost entirely by growth. This year's gubernatorial election offers a chance for change. Also in this issue: The 1994 Northwest Forest Plan was seen as a watershed move to balance logging with environmental protection. But logging companies say the plan's controversial species-management provision has put too much land off-limits, and now the Bush administration is moving to relax the rules.

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Delta Blues September 30, 2002

Delta Blues

California's sprawling San Joaquin - Sacramento river delta has been mercilessly shaped by agriculture and water-development projects. A massive $8.7 billion plan holds hope for restoring the Delta and helping sate California's growing thirst, but political infighting and a lack of funding have clouded the project's future. Also in this issue: In central New Mexico's Sandia and Manzano mountains, drought, hunting and traffic accidents have cut black bear populations in half. But for the second year in the row, the state's Department of Game and Fish has extended the bear hunting season.

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The Royal Squeeze September 16, 2002

The Royal Squeeze

For nearly a century, the Imperial Valley's wastewater has kept the Salton Sea alive. Now, the push to make California more watertight may threaten this wildlife haven - and Imperial's agricultural economy. Also in this issue: The San Juan Basin, on the New Mexico - Colorado border, has long been an oil and gas hotspot. It's about to get hotter: A new BLM management plan could add nearly 10,000 new wells over the next 20 years.

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Backlash September 02, 2002


As a new boom in coalbed methane gas drilling hits the West, some counties are taking on industry-friendly state regulating agencies and demanding that gas companies listen to local concerns. Also in this issue: EPA chief Christie Whitman and Idaho Sen. Larry Craig dipped champagne glasses in Idaho's Lake Coeur d'Alene and toasted the newly-created commission tasked with cleaning up mining waste in the lake. But the Coeur d'Alene Tribe wants the problem to be taken seriously.

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The Great Western Apocalypse August 19, 2002

The Great Western Apocalypse

The drought of 2002 has left the West blistered and burnt, scientists predict worse to come. Have we learned anything yet? Also in this issue: This year's drought has killed 10,000 cattle and ravaged the range. But corruption and resentment over earlier attempts to control grazing are stifling reform just when it's needed most.

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August 05, 2002

July 08, 2002

June 24, 2002

June 10, 2002

May 27, 2002

May 13, 2002

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  1. Rancher vs BLM: a 20-year standoff ends with tense roundup |
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  4. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  5. The future of the Sacramento Delta hangs in the balance | But few Californians seem to grasp what is at stak...
  1. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  4. Will the Colorado River reach the Gulf of California once more? | Photographs of last month's historic water pulses....
  5. Locals resist a Bakkenization of the Beartooths | South-central Montanans oppose new drilling, forew...
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