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High Country News - Current Issue

  • The BLM stabs at a tired land

    Near Farmington, N.M., some local ranchers and environmentalists are fighting a push to greatly increase oil and gas drilling in the area's San Juan Basin.

  • The Royal Squeeze

    California's Imperial Valley is under pressure to reduce the amount of Colorado River water it uses for irrigation, but some fear changes could inadvertently dry up the Salton Sea, imperiling birds and animals that depend on it.

  • When nature calls, don't follow your instincts

    For environmental as well as aesthetic reasons, parks like Grand Teton in Wyoming are doing away with wilderness outhouses, and requesting hikers to use "poop bags" to pack out human waste.

  • Bush's energy push meets unintended consequences

    The Bush administrations' push to drill and drill yet more in the West is likely to have surprising consequences, arousing even some Republicans to protest.

  • A NIMBY and proud of it

    The term "NIMBY" is used as a term of abuse, but the writer says that when it comes to things like coalbed methane drilling on Colorado's Western Slope, he is eager and proud to declare: NOT IN MY BACKYARD.

  • The other firefighters

    Fire-proofing houses is a thriving new business in Durango, Colorado's fire-prone forests, but the only real solution to the problem is to quit building in the urban-wildland interface, many say.

  • Closing the loop

    On the Navajo Reservation, Indigenous Community Enterprises is using thinned small trees from fire-prone, overgrown forests to build hogans for housing - and the tribal economy as well.

  • The Latest Bounce

    180 lynx to be released in Colorado; stricter noise rules in Grand Canyon; Bureau of Indian Affairs to create federal Indian Energy and Minerals office; bark beetles hit Arizona pinon pines.

  • EPA puts cleanup in local hands

    The planned Superfund cleanup of Idaho's Lake Coeur d'Alene is taken from the EPA and given to a controversial new local commission, although the Coeur d'Alene Tribe says it will force the EPA to take back the project, if necessary.

  • Chasing hope amid the hedonists

    At the Burning Man Festival in Nevada's Black Rock Desert, an eccentric city is created and then destroyed, and lives are sometimes changed along the way.

  • Presidential hopeful plays with fire

    Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., is in hot water over his attempt to appeal-proof a controversial thinning project in his home state, but the situation is more complicated than his gleeful Republican opponents admit.

  • Hot town, summer in the city

    Living with drought in cities such as Denver, Colo., has its challenges.

  • The sod squad wants to soak you

    In the drought-stricken West, water cops, singing governors and giant walking raindrops are just some of the odd measures spawned by water-conservation campaigns.

  • Shrinking water supply makes room for birds

    At Roosevelt Lake in Arizona, endangered southwestern willow flycatchers are actually thriving as the water level drops and willow and tamarisk take over.

  • Attack of the bark beetles

    Mercilessly hot conditions in the drought-stressed West have aggravated infestations of bark beetles that attack several species of trees -- but perhaps the best response to the epidemic is to do nothing at all.

  • Can the tide turn for Walker Lake?

    As Nevada's Walker Lake gets smaller and saltier, the Paiute tribe, local farmers and the BLM wrestle over water rights and wonder how to keep the threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout alive without destroying the area's economy.

  • Walla Walla Basin sidesteps a water war

    On the Walla Walla River In southern Washington and northern Oregon, local farmers and environmentalists have avoided a drought-sparked water war with collaboration and innovative irrigation reform.

  • New Mexico ranchers push to graze preserve

    In drought-stricken northern New Mexico, ranchers are pushing to open the Valles Caldera National Preserve to livestock grazing.

  • Corruption and tragic history paralyze range reform onthe Navajo reservation

    Drought is having catastrophic impacts on the Navajo Reservation, but past history and current politics keep grazing reform from happening.

  • Bikers waffle on wilderness

    In California, the International Mountain Bicycling Association is leery of a new proposal to designate two and half million acres of wilderness in the state.

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