Items by Steve Hinchman

Mining law is no longer a sacred cow
Congress could consider comprehensive reforms to the 1872 Mining Law for the first time since the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920.
Colorado enters a new water era
The death of Denver's Two Forks dam project has turned the state's archetypal Western water establishment on its head.
How a gold mining company keeps expanding in Montana
Zortman Mining Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pegasus Gold Inc., recently proposed and won approval of a major expansion at its mine in the Little Rocky Mountains.
Will 1990 bring a greener West?
A growing grassroots concern for the environment is driving the West's 1990 elections.
A primer on the mining law
Development of a mine under the 1872 Mining Law is radically different from development of any other public resource.
A tenacious law may lose its grip
The fight over mining in the West may tum out to be one of the bloodiest environmental battles of the 20th century.
The Grand Canyon is just another turbine
The Colorado River through the Grand Canyon rises and falls in lockstep with the West's demand for electric power. Now environmentalists are asking federal power authorities to let the river off its very short leash.
Two Forks dam: EPA reaffirms its veto intent
The Environmental Protection Agency has pushed the proposed Two Forks dam one step closer to oblivion.
EPA to Denver: Wake up and smell the coffee!
Denver, Colorado's giant Two Forks Dam received a crippling blow on March 24, when Environmental Protection Agency national administrator William Reilly ordered his Denver office to begin a veto of the project.
How dam opponents developed and refined a strategy
The battle against Two Forks Dam was fought with two strategies, one within and one outside of the EIS process.
The West mourns Abbey's death
Writer Edward Abbey's sudden death on March 14th left the nation's environmental movement and lovers of wild and untrammeled land everywhere stunned and grieving.
What did not happen on the Great Plains
The Bureau of Reclamation's grandiose plans -- laid out in the 1971 North Central Power Study -- to turn parts of Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas into an energy sacrifice area haven't come to pass.
Oil shale oozes legal decision and congressional debate
The West's immense deposits of oil shale are estimated to hold more than 1.8 trillion barrels of oil, but so far they have proven far more valuable to lawyers and land speculators than to oil men.
Don't waste us, say Nevada and Utah
Although the proposed Cisco toxic waste incinerator was rejected by Grand County voters, Utah still faces major decisions on toxic waste disposal.
The West's nuclear revolt
Plagued by mistakes, accidents and incompetence, the Department of Energy's nuclear weapons production system is grinding to a halt, and the West, alarmed by the pollution in its midst, has begun to revolt.
Oil industry rolls over opponents
Jackson Hole environmentalists and local government suffered two big defeats recently in the ongoing war over oil and gas leasing on Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest.
Water marketing is becoming respectable
Water marketing is increasing because of the rising cost of water and public resistance to dams.
Can nuclear waste be salted away?
All is not well with the nation's first planned nuclear-waste dump, the Waste Isolation Pilot Project.
The fight for rowing room in the Grand Canyon
One of the fastest growing and most lucrative sports in the West is river running, and river runners who once rafted at will now run on restricted launch dates and compete for access.
The fine art of infiltrage
The Nature Conservancy is an anomaly in the environmental movement. It is apolitical, silent almost to the point of secrecy, friendly with corporate America, and run more like a successful business than a non-profit organization.
Exxon tangles with Wyoming over taxes
Wyoming, already hard-hit by the long decline in oil and gas prices and exploration, is further strapped without the taxes it expected from Exxon's LaBarge project.
Wyoming tribes win huge water victory
Wyoming's Shoshone and Arapahoe Indian tribes are happily drowning in water rights following a victory over the state in the Wyoming Supreme Court.
Two western states still in collider race
Of the 11 sites proposed by nine Western states, one near Phoenix, Ariz., and another outside Denver, Colo., advanced to the Department of Energy's list of eight finalists in the intense national competition for the $6 billion Superconducting Super Collider.
$1/pound copper stops a Utah dust storm, for the moment
Reopening the old Kennecott copper mine in Bingham Canyon outside Salt Lake City was happy news for Utah's economy. But it is a mixed blessing for Magna, a nearby town that sits next to what is probably the world's largest mine-tailings pond.
Watt and Hodel succeeded in turning back the clock at Interior
The war fought by the Reagan administration for the Department of Interior and the 500 million acres of public land it manages occurred in two great battles, waged by Secretary James Watt and his successor, Donald Hodel.
Clean Water Act hasn't done the job
Few of our waters are free of polluting discharges. There are local success stories, but many state water agencies say they are barely able to maintain water quality at 1972 levels.
Sewage industry beats critic
For three years, Peter Maier, a renegade engineer, fought Utah's water establishment over its water pollution-control program.
Court ruling may ignite chain reaction in uranium industry
The nation's ailing uranium industry is glowing with anticipation now that a federal appeals court has barred the importation of foreign uranium for enrichment in the United States.
Yet another unneeded power plant starts generating
The Intermountain Power Project, the latest in a series of large power plants in the Southwest that keep California cities lighted, fired up this summer.
Hoover Dam, 1990s version: The Superconducting Collider
To the Rocky Mountain West, the $4.4 billion atom smasher represents economic development of the most desirable kind.
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