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  • California's high-speed rail is slow to gain speed

    California's high-speed rail is slow to gain speed

    The U.S. continues to trail the rest of the world in high-speed rail development, as California's long-planned bullet train is delayed yet again.

  • Not all government programs need cutting

    Not all government programs need cutting

    The Conservation Reserve Program has encouraged millions of acres of idled farmland to be used as wildlife habitat, but now it may be plowed under by a budget-cutting Congress.

  • Nature fierce and not so pretty

    Nature fierce and not so pretty

    Spend enough time around a bird feeder, and you’ll realize that nature is less like a poetic cartoon and more like a gritty crime novel by someone like Elmore Leonard.

  • Voluntary excess

    As its budget shrinks, the National Park Service relies more and more on volunteers – and critics say that is not necessarily healthy

  • Heard around the West

    Gail Kimbell and the vanishing Forest Service budget; not saying the Pledge in Mesa, Ariz.; racing old beaters in California; talkative men’s rooms; saying it (the Miranda warning, that is) with flowers.

  • Battling over ballast

    Congress has tried to regulate ballast water in ships in order to stop the spread of zebra mussels, but so far loopholes in the law and tussles over policy have made the effort ineffective.

  • Ode to a public lands experiment

    It may have lovely photographs, but Valles Caldera: A Vision for New Mexico’s National Reserve is much more than just another coffee-table book.

  • Border Patrol Whack-a-Mole

    The United States needs genuine immigration reform instead of the politically motivated shouting match that has taken the place of reasonable debate.

  • The great wilderness compromise

    Both sides of the contentious debate over a proposed Idaho wilderness bill invoke Howard Zahniser, father of the Wilderness Act -- and both sides have a point.

  • History of a decline

    An illustrated timeline charts the appearance of dams on the lower Snake River and the resulting decline of salmon, along with the so-far-inadequate response of the federal government.

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