Items by Michelle Nijhuis

Dust and Snow
In Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, Tom Painter and other scientists study the dust in the snow and ponder its implications for future drought and weather conditions, especially in the era of global warming
Dear friends
Matt Jenkins leaves the HCN office to become California-Great Basin correspondent; Western Slope Environmental Resource Conference and North Fork River Improvement Association hold annual meetings; visitors; "secretary" Bruce Babbitt
Save Our Snow
Faced with rising temperatures and a passive federal government, Western towns such as Aspen, Colo., are beginning to work out a local approach to combating global warming
Big dams, big battles
In Deep Water: The Epic Struggle Over Dams, Displaced People, and the Environment, Jacques Leslie profiles people dealing with dams in India, Africa and Australia
Facts about greenhouse gas emissions
Sprinkled throughout the lead story are "fun facts" about what causes greenhouse gas emissions and what people can do to reduce them
States tighten rules, challenge feds to follow
The state of California pioneered pollution-control efforts decades ago in response to L.A. smog, and today, the Western states are hoping to set the course for national action on climate change
Climate change is pulling the trigger
The writer tells of new research linking the extinction of frogs to global warming
Deciphering humanity's hardware
Infrastructure: A Field Guide to the Industrial Landscape by Brian Hayes is a wonderfully conversational explanation of everything one sees along the highway that isn’t natural
The end of something really big
The chance to see a huge dead whale draws "carcass tourists" to the California coast
The Ghosts of Yosemite
Modern-day scientists, retracing the path of Joseph Grinnell in Yosemite National Park, document conspicuous changes in the natural world and find a culprit unimagined by biologists 100 years ago: global warming
In the Great Basin, scientists track global warming
Wildlife biologist Erik Beever says that as the climate warms in the Great Basin, pikas are rapidly disappearing from mountains where they formerly thrived
The end of something really big
The writer visits the remains of a dead whale — so big that a dignified resting place proves elusive
The grasslands — humanity's big backyard
In Sonoita Plain: Views from a Southwestern Grassland, biologists Carl and Jane Bock convey the subtle beauty of the wildlife and people of Arizona’s Sonoita Valley.
Dinosaur tracks on a desert shore
When drought shrank Lake Powell this summer, paleontologist Martin Lockley went to work scouring the shoreline for newly revealed rare dinosaur tracks in the sandstone
The American Dream, sans gasoline
The author’s successful search for a car that can run on biodiesel helps her understand the lure of the open road
The American Dream, sans gasoline
The writer finds you can have the American dream without gasoline
Finding good grub in Mormon redrock country
In With a Measure of Grace: The Story and Recipes of a Small Town Restaurant, Blake Spalding and Jennifer Castle tell how they ended up running the Hell’s Backbone Grill in the remote community of Boulder, Utah
Troubled — and shallow — waters on the West's largest river
The Columbia River Basin's serious drought means a hard choice between fish and hydropower
Drought and spring rains portend an explosive summer
The Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies brace for a fierce fire season, and desperately seek the resources to fight it.
A chemical cocktail pollutes Western water
A recent study from the U.S. Geological Survey finds traces of pharmaceuticals, pesticides and personal care products in Colorado’s streams and groundwater
What happened to winter?
An unusual winter sends ripples through the West's water and wildlife systems, and leaves scientists wondering whether global warming is the cause.
On the dark side of the park: a ranger's memoir
Jordan Fisher Smith’s Nature Noir: A Park Ranger’s Patrol in the Sierra explores a part of California that is not easy to love
Prowling the back spaces of the West
Inside an abandoned Air Force base on the Nevada-Utah border, the Center for Land Use Interpretation houses a remarkable museum of the West's human landscapes.
Capturing a Chediskai childhood
In Don’t Let the Sun Step Over You: A White Mountain Apache Family Life, anthropologist Keith Basso collects the reminiscences of Eva Tulene Watt
Tree rings reveal a fiery past — and future
Tree-ring scientists Tom Swetnam and Julio Betancourt study past climatic conditions seeking clues to better forest management
So, you want to be a dendrochronologist?
The art of counting tree rings requires a lot of patience, strong legs, and a love of statistical gymnastics
Written in the Rings
The study of tree rings opens a window into the West’s distant past, and warns us that the region’s future may be dangerously hot and dry
Send the coyotes to Congress
The writer suggests sending a new kind of representative to Congress
Think global (warming,) act local
The Rocky Mountain Climate Organization, a new Colorado nonprofit, is taking a local approach to the global problem of climate change
Judge vaporizes Yellowstone snowmobile ban
Judge Clarence Brimmer strikes down Clinton's ban on snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, but another lawsuit may still bring limits on traffic
High Country News Classifieds
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