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  • The Last Ride

    Longtime hitchhiker Dev Carey tells Michelle Nijhuis about some of his best – and worst – adventures on Western highways.

  • ‘Men standing in the shadows began to weep’

    Writers John N. Maclean and Mark Matthews look closely at two famous – and deadly – Western wildfires in their new books, The Thirtymile Fire and A Great Day to Fight Fire.

  • Bad moon rising

    Back in the '70s, Montana led the way in progressive environmental legislation, but now with its economy faltering, those laws are being eviscerated, and environmentalists need to find a new strategy.

  • Las Vegas: Images in light, images in stone

    Looking for petroglyphs and then watching a light show in Las Vegas, Nev., leads the writer to think that people haven't changed so much over the millennia.

  • 'You can't say no to mining'

    In an interview, former Department of Interior attorney John Leshy talks about the long battle for reform of the 1872 Mining Law, and how the Bush administration has helped to set back that reform.

  • The fractured states of mining reclamation

    A comparison of mine reclamation in Western states shows the specifics of reclamation very widely in each state.

  • Reclamation's mixed bag

    The art and science of mine reclamation is very complicated, and so far there have not been enough long-term successes to learn from.

  • Go west, fruit picker

    Disappearing jobs in the hard-hit apple orchards of eastern Washington have led to a flood of displaced migrant workers moving west toward Seattle.

  • A struggling mountain town looks for a lift

    The former mining town of Silverton, Colo., has put its economic hopes in plans for a new but old-fashioned small-scale, low-key ski area, but some worry the area is too avalanche-prone to be safe.

  • Cooperating on the Valles Caldera

    The Valles Caldera National Preserve in northern New Mexico will not be managed by any government agency, but by a president-appointed board of nine trustees, who are still trying to figure out their new job.

  • Church aims to purchase public land

    The Mormon Church is working to purchase a national historic site along the Oregon Trail in Wyoming, where nearly 200 Mormon pioneers died in the winter of 1856.

  • Stargazers defend darkness in Arizona

    The Flagstaff Dark Skies Coalition's struggle to keep the stars visible has led to the city's designation as the first "International Dark-Sky City."

  • The Latest Bounce

    Sierra Nevada Framework upheld; Rebecca Watson, Interior Dept., land and minerals mgmt; lawsuit on president's authority to create new monuments dismissed; Bureau of Indian Trust Assets Mgmt.; Torres-Martinez Band of Cahuilla Indians, Salton Sea.

  • Ruling ripples through salmon country

    A judge's ruling has removed Oregon coastal coho from protection under the Endangered Species Act, and sent the National Marine Fisheries Service scrambling to rethink its hatchery policy.

  • Rocky Mountain Front saved again - but...

    An industry suit is rejected, upholding - at least for the moment - former Forest Service Supervisor Gloria Flora's ban on drilling in Montana's Rocky Mountain Front.

  • Closing the wounds

    If the 1993 New Mexico Mining Act is allowed to work, it could usher in a new era of mine reclamation in which mines actually have to clean up and pay for the messes they leave behind.

  • The importance of being nowhere

    The writer muses about his good fortune in falling in love with an Arizona landscape that nobody else seems to have noticed.

  • We are the Oil Tribe

    Within the American Oil Tribe, oil matters so much and yet means so little that we refuse to even think about the fact that we are going to run out of it.

  • Mining reform gets the shaft

    Environmentalists say the Interior Department yanked the teeth from Bruce Babbitt's new set of hard-rock mining regulations when it decided to go with a much-watered-down version.

  • Will the circle be broken?

    The state of Washington is considering logging circles of land set aside in 1997 as habitat for endangered spotted owls.

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