High Country News - Writers on the Range

Natural diversity
Wayne Hare, a black park ranger, talks about the importance of diversity for the future of the West
Global charming
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s belief that he can save the planet through hydrogen power is much like one of his movie performances – entertaining, charismatic and ultimately unrealistic
Cow feed from Planet 9
Genetically modified crops may not be the sci-fi monsters their foes believe, but it makes sense for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to begin to regulate them seriously
The need to remember Black Sunday
As western Colorado begins to dance to the tune of a brand-new energy boom, it’s good to remember that the last one ended in a total bust
The challenge of climate-change denial
Skeptics, even irrational ones, probably once had a useful evolutionary role to play in human communities, but in the face of rapid climate change, they are becoming a fatal obstacle
When the going gets tough, the tough collaborate
Sometimes it seems that only the impact of a severe drought can get Westerners to work together on water issues
Why the West should copy Swiss transit
The contrast between a Mount Hood traffic jam and a week in a car-free Swiss resort convinces Bill Cook that the West needs to get serious about mass transit.
Offline
President Bush’s No Child Left Behind policy is generally a good thing, but it needs to take into account the growing number of often-inadequate and under-supervised online schools
Wealthy landowners and locals wade into the ditch
Jack Wright thinks Montanans are over-reacting to stream-access issues; after all, from the point of view of a fish, it’s a good thing when a rich man restores a stream, even if he locks out trespassers.
Dry to the bone
Despite a relatively snowy winter here in western Colorado, the season itself seems to have shrunk, with spring arriving weeks earlier than it once did in a trend with ominous consequences for the desert Southwest, particularly Phoenix.
The single women who homesteaded the West
The women who homesteaded the Old West defy the stereotypes we make of them.
It tolls for us
The energy boom in the Rocky Mountain West has been shadowed by a much darker boom: a frightening rise in death and serious injury
Have bee, will travel
This issue of High Country News features Hannah Nordhaus on the challenges facing a Western migratory beekeeper and his hives of pollinating bees.
Don’t send a check, send yourself
In an effort to “think globally and act locally,” the author volunteers his time for environmental causes, rather than just reaching for his checkbook.
Welcome to the Homogocene
The rapid spread of invasive species like quagga and zebra mussels could transform the once-isolated and ecologically unique West into just another McDonaldized patch of the planet.
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.
Don’t part out our national parks
If the National Park Service allows commercial bio-prospecting in Yellowstone and our other parks, it will set a dangerous precedent.
A Western historian and a Western hero
Las Vegas historian, author and community activist Hal Rothman may be dying from Lou Gehrig’s disease, but he’s determined to go on his own terms – with courage, grace and a sense of humor.
Against the current
For a long time, the West used water as if the supply were endless, but nowadays environmentalists are finding that too much efficiency causes problems of its own, especially in fragile ecosystems like the Colorado River Delta.
Schooling, fish
Judge Jim Redden is right to push the Bush administration on salmon restoration, but fish may end up faring as poorly in courtrooms as San Francisco’s schoolchildren did after well-intentioned decisions on busing.