Items by Michelle Nijhuis

The latest bounce
West's population is booming; Summitville's Robert Friedland to pay cleanup penalties; national standards for organic foods set; Molycorp mine in Questa, N.M., must stop dumping in Red River; Babbitt proposes three more national monuments.
Atomic farmgirl
"Atomic Farmgirl: The Betrayal of Chief Qualchan, the Appaloosa and Me," is Teri Hein's memoir of growing up in eastern Washington, on farmland contaminated by nuclear weapons production at Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
The latest bounce
Marchers commemorate anniversary of World Trade Organization protests; Julia Butterfly Hills' redwood tree attacked; Santa Fe starts logging its watershed; Northern Utes regain 85,000 acres of land in Utah; Colorado bans sport-hunting of prairie dogs.
Voters pummel planning, ban new elk farms
Among the Western election results highlighted are the failure of anti-sprawl initiatives in Colorado and Arizona, a ban on game farms in Montana, and legislative races in Montana, Idaho, Utah and Colorado.
On the trail
Ariz. polls show anti-sprawl initiative losing; in Wash., anti-tax business Tim Eyman has 2 new initiatives on ballot after measure last year ruled unconstitutional; OR Voters Guide 376 pp. long; Sen. Slade Gorton, says media hurts re-election chances.
Congress moves on local proposals
Fearing more last-minute monument designations, Westerners have begun working with the Clinton administration to find other ways to protect public lands.
Birds break boundaries
Chris Pague of The Nature Conservancy has been following migratory birds from Colorado to Mexico to help come up with a conservation plan.
On the trail
VP candidate Cheney decries solar-power tax relief; Pat Buchanan calls protesters at Denver's Columbus Day parade "neo-fascists"; Wash. voters split over antitrapping initiatives; Ariz.'s Prop. 102 would hamper wildlife; in Ariz., a vote on development.
'A choice between bad and worse is not good enough'
HCN's Michelle Nijhuis interviews Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader on Western environmental issues and the upcoming election.
Nader shakes up Western enviros
Green Party candidate Ralph Nader has split Western environmentalists, who are torn between supporting a man many admire as a hero, and voting for Democratic candidate Al Gore, who also has environmental credentials and perhaps a chance at winning.
Colorado's growth amendment rouses voters
In Colorado, the Responsible Growth Initiative, Amendment 24, is facing fierce opposition from the real estate industry and from many town and county officials who fear the elections it would require would be too expensive.
Dear Friends
Our election issue; Sarah Hauze and HCN's "intern project"; visitors; HCN readings in Durango and Telluride; "Burma Shave lives again"; where to hear Radio High Country News.
On the Trail
Bush and Gore fight for New Mexico; Sierra Club goes after Bush in Spanish in N.M.; in Utah, Jim Matheson, D, leads Derek Smith, R; in Montana, Dems rally Indians; Friends of the Earth rebut Washington Republicans.
On the trail
In Montana: Brian Schweitzer vs. Conrad Burns, and race for Rick Hill's seat; Idaho's boring election; in Washington, Deborah Senn and Maria Cantwell fight for Slade Gorton's seat; Oregon's Measure 7 is about "takings."
Does the "death tax' protect open space?
Some say the Republican push to repeal estate taxes could impact land-preservation measures such as easements, since some of the wealth affected by the tax is land, not money.
Fires bring on a flood of federal funds
President Clinton announces a $1.5 billion plan for fire recovery and forest restoration in the nation's neglected, fire-prone national forests.
Fires burn through boundaries at Mesa Verde
During the huge fires, Colorado neighbors Mesa Verde Nat'l Park and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park worked together and improved their historically unfriendly relationship, while the town of Cortez realized anew its economic dependence on the parks.
Bonfire of the Superweeds
In Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, good intentions are responsible for the introduction of exotic buffelgrass – but all the good intentions in the world may not be enough to save the desert now that this invasive and fire-prone plant is spreading
A river resurrected
On the California-Mexico border, environmentalists from two countries are working to restore the Colorado River Delta.
Trickle of hope
An introduction to the special issues on the Salton Sea and the Colorado River Delta points to signs of life in an abused landscape in Southern California and Mexico.
Accidental refuge: Should we save the Salton Sea?
The Salton Sea became the Salton Sea in 1905, when human accident flooded the desert; now its survival is uncertain, as demand for scarce water continues to grow in Southern California.
The Wayward West
David Brower quits Sierra Club; White River Nat'l Forest plan gets avalanche of mail; judge says Army Corps of Engineers has been ignoring environmental laws on Yellowstone River; acting grizzly Bart dies.
The Wayward West
Two recaptured packs of Mexican wolves will be released in Gila Wilderness, N.M.; Atlas uranium tailings near Moab, Utah, kill fish in Colo. River; Enviros battle coal-bed methane wells in Mont.; Scott McInnis wants ski area in White River N.F., Colo.
Mine proposal stumbles
The BLM is told it can turn down mines that harm environmental or cultural resources after critics say Glamis Imperial Corp.'s planned open-pit gold mine in southeastern California will hurt Quechan Indian sacred sites and the threatened desert tortoise.
'We still have a ways to go'
Colette Kostelec of the Jefferson Land Trust talks about trying to save land on the Olympic Peninsula near Port Townsend, Wash.
'The growth wasn't organic'
Wendy Fisher of Utah Open Lands talks about how her land trust group began in booming Park City.
'We have a stake in the place'
Wendy Ninteman of the Five Valleys Land Trust in Missoula, Mont., talks about the experience of her land trust.
'Our first focus is the landowner'
Lynne Sherrod of the Colo. Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust talks about how ranchers save open space. Rancher Jay Fetcher came up with the idea of a cattleman's land trust when his family began to look for ways to preserve their Yampa Valley lands.
'We need a whole paradigm shift'
Carla of the McDowell-Sonora Land Trust describes how her group tries to save land near Scottsdale, Ariz.
'We didn't even know what a land trust was'
Rondal Snodgrass of Sanctuary Forest describes how his land trust group has saved old growth in Northern California.
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