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Back into the woods May 07, 2001

Back into the woods

In the wake of last summer's devastating Western wildfires, the Forest Service is trying to figure out how to restore the unhealthy, doghair, fire-prone forests created by a century of fire suppression and indiscriminate logging.

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The Big Blowup April 23, 2001

The Big Blowup

A historian of fire recalls the "Big Blowup" of 1910, an explosion of wildfire in Idaho that took 78 lives, made a hero of ranger Ed Pulaski, and helped to share a century of fire policy on the national forests.

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The water empress of Vegas April 09, 2001

The water empress of Vegas

Patricia Mulroy, general manager of Las Vegas Valley Water District and Southern Nevada, Water Authority, has kept water coming to her booming desert city, but environmental concerns and water-quality problems are signs that her water empire can't last forever.

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Teach the children well March 26, 2001

Teach the children well

In the West's public schools, corporations and conservationists quietly compete to control what students will learn in the largely unregulated field of environmental education.

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Divided Waters March 12, 2001

Divided Waters

El Paso, Texas, is dependent on the underground waters of the Hueco Bolson, but as the population grows and the bolson declines, both the city and its sister across the border, Ciudad Juarez, are turning to the already overtaxed Rio Grande.

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Return of the natives February 26, 2001

Return of the natives

In Idaho, the Nez Perce have become the first tribe to oversee the statewide recovery of an endangered species, the gray wolf, an experience that is energizing the tribe's own political and spiritual recovery.

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Mr. Babbitt's wild ride February 12, 2001

Mr. Babbitt's wild ride

In eight years as Interior Secretary, Bruce Babbitt has known some failures but more successes: reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone, halting the New World gold mine, and creating many national monuments, starting with the Grand Staircase-Escalante.

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Power on the loose January 29, 2001

Power on the loose

Electric utility deregulation and California's energy crisis hold promise and peril for the rest of the West, as conservationists seek to ensure that new energy systems are both efficient and easy on the land and water and air.

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Plains sense January 15, 2001

Plains sense

Ten years after Frank and Deborah Popper first proposed turning depopulated Great Plains counties into a 'Buffalo Commons,' their once-controversial ideas are getting more respect in the region as the population continues to decline.

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Still here: Can humans help other species defy extinction? December 18, 2000

Still here: Can humans help other species defy extinction?

A writer considers the philosophical questions that underlie endangered species protection, and how it is that one predator - the human kind - now finds itself assisting other predators, and also trying to help their prey.

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Road Block December 04, 2000

Road Block

When residents of the village of Tome, N.M., challenged plans for a nearby four-lane highway and bridge to facilitate the commute from Albuquerque to the suburbs, they took on New Mexico's huge "sprawl machine" - and won.

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Water pressure November 20, 2000

Water pressure

At the 10-year anniversary of William Reilly's veto of Colorado's proposed Two Forks dam, the continuing growth of Denver's sprawling suburbs leads some to worry that the dam might well be brought back to life.

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'Re-inhabitation' revisited November 06, 2000

'Re-inhabitation' revisited

The environmental and community challenges brought to Washington's Olympic Peninsula by runaway sprawl and development have some 're-inhabiting locals' almost nostalgic for the clear-cut timber companies of 30 years ago.

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Stalking Slade October 23, 2000

Stalking Slade

An unprecedented, informal coalition of angry Indian tribes, environmentalists and Democrats are going after Washington Republican Sen. Slade Gorton's seat in November, and Gorton's opponent - Democrat Maria Cantwell - may have a chance for victory.

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The hunters and the hunted October 09, 2000

The hunters and the hunted

As illegal immigration from Mexico increases, more people risk their lives crossing the desert into Arizona, while government agencies, anti-immigration vigilantes and human rights activists argue over how to handle the influx.

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Backyard boom September 25, 2000

Backyard boom

Clean, 'green' gas burns its neighbors as methane wells dominate the land.

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Holy water September 11, 2000

Holy water

A pastoral letter being prepared by the Catholic bishops of the Northwest calls Catholics and others to a new environmental, economic and spiritual relationship with a sacred river - the Columbia.

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The mine that turned the Red River blue August 28, 2000

The mine that turned the Red River blue

Though the economic future of the area is uncertain, activists welcome a possible Superfund listing for the huge Molycorp molybdenum mine in Questa, N.M., as a way to save the town and the Red River from yet more mine-waste pollution.

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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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