Items by Allen Best

Glaciers offer a glimpse of the distant past
Like tree rings, ice cores create a record of the climate of the past, and the National Ice Core Laboratory in Denver houses the largest collection of polar ice cores in the world
Nostalgia for Colorado’s past isn’t what it used to be
The writer says our rosy picture of Colorado and the West "as it used to be" is hogwash
How a resort town loses its soul
The writer analyzes resort towns in the West as they morph into a realtor’s dream
Here come the wolves
The writer totes up the pluses and minuses of wolves returning to Colorado and Utah
Reflections on small towns after a bulldozer rampage
The writer explains what drives some people berserk in small towns like Granby, Colorado
Stopping by a truck on a snowy road
The writer says some people drive while others self-propel, and the two are very different
The de-icer that tames Western roads
Using magnesium chloride on winter highways in Colorado and the West makes mountain driving safer, but critics worry about its impacts on vehicles – and on wildlife, trees, water and people
Ski areas get greener
The Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition grades Western ski areas in its Environmental Scorecard, and the average grade is pretty average
Colorado needs to break its cigarette habit
Allen Best confesses his addiction and wishes Colorado would ‘fess up, too
Colorado’s thirsty suburbs get the state into trouble
Allen Best says Denver suburbs need water but asks why everybody should pay
Kobe Bryant bumps up against a small Western town
Allen Best goes beyond the cliches involving Kobe Bryant, the basketball star accused of rape in western Colorado.
Once touched by drought, you never forget
The writer remembers his mother and grandmother’s stories of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression as he faces the current drought afflicting the West
Once touched by drought, you never forget
Allen Best recalls what his grandmother and mother felt about the persistence of drought
Love and loathing on the interstate highways
The writer loves Western highways even more than he hates them, especially in summer when his gas-pedal foot gets twitchy
Drought unearths a water dinosaur
"The Big Straw" - a massive, extravagant scheme to bring water from Colorado's Western Slope to its crowded Front Range, is being seriously reconsidered in a state faced with drought and a growing population.
How does snow melt? A test for all Westerners
With each flood of newcomers to the Interior West, specialized knowledge of place and culture is both lost and gained.
Biologists caught in the crosshairs
Seven wildlife biologists are in trouble for giving to a lab hair samples of what were supposed to be from wild Canada lynx in Washington but actually belonged to captive ones and a bobcat.
A monorail for the mountains?
Growing traffic on Colorado's Interstate 70 has some thinking the state should consider building a monorail to ferry people from Denver into the mountains.
A high country whodunit
Daniel Glick's "Powder Burn: Arson, Money, and Mystery on Vail Mountain" tells the story of the Vail Ski Area and the fire that destroyed its mountaintop restaurant, in an entertaining way, but ultimately lacks depth and insight.
The mythic West and the billionaire
"Painters of the American West" museum exhibit from billionaire Philip Anschutz's collection ironically shows idealized, beautiful land, untouched by industrialists (such as Anschutz).
Coyote killing continues
The Colorado Wildlife Commission has approved a nine-year coyote-killing experiment in western Colorado.
Ski area arms race dirties the water
Environmentalists would like to overturn the Forest Service's decision to let Colorado's Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort start snowmaking.
Don't step on a bomb
Around today's Colorado Trail, where Camp Hale was in WWII, hikers are finding old grenades and other unexploded ordnance.
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.
Lawmaker accepts Babbitt's challenge
In Colorado, Rep. Scott McInnis has proposed a bill to make the 130,000-acre Black Ridge Canyon a national conservation area, with 72,000 acres designated wilderness.
Turning the road builders around
On Colorado's White River National Forest, Assistant District Ranger Bill Johnson, a former sawmill worker, is responsible for roads and road removal, a subject at the heart of disputes on the forest. Also, Tony Vangalis, in his own words.
The White River National Forest
The White River National Forest stretches most of the way across Colorado from the Continental Divide to the Western Slope.
'Managing for biodiversity is a mistake'
Guidebook writer Lou Dawson says that the White River Forest should be managed for people and their use.
'They're not good stewards of the land'
Jim Gonzalez, a hunter who loves roadless areas, says that the White River National Forest caves into ski areas and other special interests.
In their own words
Recreationists, environmentalists, politicians and agency employees are among those offering comments on the White River National Forest's proposed new plan.