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  • The sublime delight of backtracking

    For 20 years, David Bertelsen has been in love with the same five-mile trail up Finger Rock Canyon north of Tucson, keeping track of its animal and plant life and watching out for the well-being of a fragile landscape.

  • Will the Met wring the desert dry?

    The Metropolitan Water District's plan to tap aquifers at Cadiz, Calif., for Los Angeles could harm the fragile groundwater system that sustains the desert, including the Mojave National Preserve.

  • Living off a leaky canal

    A plan to line with concrete the border's All-American Canal would save water for California, but endanger the livelihood of 30,000 people in Mexico's Mexicali Valley, who use the "wasted" water in agriculture.

  • Wolf assassin on the loose

    At least nine endangered gray wolves have died so far in Idaho, deliberately poisoned with the banned Compound 1980.

  • High court weeds out pesticides

    Under the Clean Water Act, aquatic pesticides can no longer be used in public waterways without a federal permit.

  • Bush administration blinks on roadless rule

    Republican attacks on the national forest roadless rule, although supported by a federal judge, still may backfire in a country that shows ever-increasing environmental concern.

  • Plutonium in your potatoes?

    Tests of four wells on the site of the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory reveal that minute traces of plutonium have leaked into the Snake River Aquifer.

  • The Latest Bounce

    22,000+ communities at risk for wildfires; Sen. Wayne Allard for alternate energy sources; Craters of the Moon to become Nat'l Preserve; Nature Conservancy starts huge program in Idaho; Quinault Nation wants to undo Chinook Tribe's recognition.

  • Idaho reaches for control of the ESA

    Idaho's new Office of Species Conservation is supposed to oversee endangered species recovery in the state, but some fear the office and its first director, Jim Caswell, will be more concerned about industry's needs than wildlife.

  • Mud-boggers get mud in their eye

    Twenty Sheridan, Wyo., four-wheelers have been fined for destroying national forest land last June during their annual "Spring Run" across the Bighorn National Forest.

  • County tax collectors visit public lands

    The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that counties can now tax ski areas, park concessionaries, and others who use public lands for profit.

  • Quenching the big thirst

    Under the "4.4 Plan," California will begin a water diet, designed to reduce the state's use of Colorado River water over the next 15 years to the 4.4 million acre-feet it has long been allocated, but always exceeded.

  • The year it rained money

    A Forest Service employee talks about the intoxicating influence and "cargo cult" side effects of Forest Service firefighting money on small Western towns like hers.

  • A modest chief moved the Forest Service miles down theroad

    In an interview, former Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck talks about the changes the agency saw during his tenure, and his hopes for the continuing restoration of the forests.

  • Making forests safe again won't be a walk in thepark

    On Arizona's Coconino National Forest outside of Flagstaff, foresters are working to thin the overgrown, doghair woods to prevent catastrophic wildfires.

  • The West's fire survivors

    A look at the Intermountain West's trees notes how the different species adapt to and even profit from periodic fires.

  • Reform for dumpster-diving bears

    Pitkin County, Colo., now has a new "bear ordinance," which requires that every trash can be "wildlife-proof" to discourage scavenging bears and other wildlife.

  • Fruita draws the line against sprawl

    A small rural town on Colorado's Western Slope, Fruita is fighting to save its agriculture and avoid the sprawling growth of nearby Grand Junction, using innovative planning and the transfer of development rights to keep a three-mile open-space buffer.

  • Kayakers seek water rights

    Golden, Colo., wants to obtain the water rights necessary to keep the rapids on Clear Creek flowing for the city's throngs of kayakers.

  • Debate rages over fish poisoning

    Controversy is raging over the practice of poisoning water -- such as New Mexico's Canones Creek -- in order to kill non-native fish and restore natives such as cutthroat trout.

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