Items by Bruce Hamilton

Phosphate-hungry world after Idaho
A rush for phosphate in Idaho could mean 22,000 new residents, a substantial loss of wildlife habitat, increased air pollution, and an uncertain future for two resident endangered species.
Battle over Teton jetport still rages
Two years after public hearings, the National Park Service is still embroiled in a national controversy over whether or not to allow the establishment of a commercial jetport in Grant Teton National Park in Wyoming.
S.D. farmers fight Oahe Diversion
The Bureau of Reclamation's Oahe Diversion Project, ballyhooed for nearly 30 years as the savior of South Dakota's family farm agricultural economy, is now being bitterly opposed by many of its supposed beneficiaries as construction begins.
Power plant ahead
Wheatland, Wyoming, has so far dodged the energy boom, but it may be the future home of the Missouri Basin Power Project, a 1,500 megawatt coal-fired power plant.
Life in a heron rookery
Entering a blue heron rookery is like stepping back into prehistoric times with great, reptilian birds.
Who owns the West's water?
Tight competition for water in the West is forcing the U.S. government to assert its rights under the federal water reservation doctrine, which maintains that the federal government reserved all the water necessary to operate Indian reservations, national forests, national parks, and oil reserves.
Ford taps Stan Hathaway for Interior
To understand newly appointed Secretary of the Interior Stan Hathaway, one must understand the history of Wyoming.
Taking the lifeblood from the land
Traditionally, cities on Colorado's Front Range have turned to the state's western slope when local water supplies were exhausted. But with strong environmentalist protest to trans-mountain diversion schemes, thirsty growth centers are looking elsewhere -- to agricultural water.
A saga of Steamboat Springs
In 1970, faced with rapid growth, Steamboat Springs residents' opinions of zoning had turned from opposition to action, but it is looking like their efforts were too late.
State roadblock at Beaver Creek
The state of Colorado has expressed doubt about whether Beaver Creek can be developed into a Vail-like ski resort without compromising environmental imperatives and local human needs.
Water suit vital to coal and agriculture
Environmental Defense Fund staff member Kathy Fletcher doesn't hide the fact that her group is upset about the rush to develop the coal resources of the Northern Great Plains.
Environment a big winner at the polls
The nation's voters have reaffirmed their commitment to environmental protection by electing some candidates with strong environmental platforms and removing some of the legislatios who failed to act on behalf of the land.
BLM exposes own grazing abuses
A Bureau of Land Management report has found that severe overgrazing and other aspects of poor range management on public lands in Nevada have led to loss of wildlife habitat, destruction of cultural sites, and erosion.
Colony pulls out of oil shale race
Citing inflation, tight money and the absence of a national energy policy, the Colony Development Operation -- the favored developer of western Colorado's oil shale -- stumbled, fell, and pulled out of the race.
Three ways to pave a Colorado canyon
Connecting four-lane Interstate 70 through the winding, narrow 13 miles of Glenwood Canyon is enough to give highway engineers nightmares.
Coal conflict on Tongue River
The Decker-Birney Resource Study has identified 285,000 acres of superior coal reserves along the Tongue River in southern Montana, stirring up opposition from local ranchers.
Dorothy Bradley, legislator for the land
Montana State Representative Dorothy Bradley, a Democrat, had everything going against her when she first decided to run for the legislature on Earth Day in the spring of 1970. "I was the wrong age, wrong sex, and wrong party," she says.
Independence spells push for shale
With the federal oil shale prototype program still in its infancy and the first leased tracts barely off the auction block, it now appears that pressure is building to prematurely push oil shale into a full scale industry.
Mining down on the ranch
Carolyn and Irv Alderson, owners and operators of the Bones Brothers Ranch in Birney, Mont., could benefit from mining coal on their property, but say "in the end the productivity of the land is the only material thing on this earth that can be left for the future."
Bart Koehler, environmental advocate
Bart Koehler's construction days ended abruptly when The Wilderness Society gave him a call, wanting to know if he'd give up Florida to hike around the Rockies studying potential wilderness, take pictures and write field reports.
Louise Dunlop and the Coalition Against Strip Mining
For the last three years Louise Dunlop's life has centered around one word -- coal. She coordinates the Coalition Against Strip Mining, a group of about 30 organizations across the country.
On the verge of extinction
The blunt-nosed leopard lizard, the Hawaiian hoary bat and the light-footed clapper -- all endangered species -- don't receive the attention they deserve.
Chuck Perry: watchdog over coal harvest
Chuck Perry grew up in North Dakota, the breadbasket of the nation. Today he is leading the fight against strip mining that breadbasket.
Garrison Diversion threatens the prairies
A group of ranchers, farmers and conservationists are fighting for a moratorium on the Garrison Diversion, an irrigation project that would pump 871,000 acre-feet of Missouri River water through 1,800 miles of major canals and laterals.
Pat Sweeny and the Northern Plains Resource Council
A conversation with Pat Sweeny of the Northern Plains Resource Council, which was recently recognized as the outstanding conservation organization of the year by the Rocky Mountain Center on Environment.
Oil shale fever rises in West
With the present shortage of crude oil, industry is bidding hundreds of millions of dollars on leases to tap shale oil on public lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.
Vim Wright, COSC president
Colorado Open Space Council president Vim Wright was moved to enter the environmental movement by a fascination and appreciation for nature.
Orrin Bonney, mountaineer
Orrin H. Bonney is one of Wyoming's twentieth century mountain men. His love of Wyoming's high country has led to an intimate knowledge of the mountains few modern men can match.
Oil shale cost immense
The Department of Interior is on the eve of releasing the shackles on oil shale development in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming -- but conservation organizations are worried that the cost to the environment will be too high.
Stepping on the golden egg
HCN author Bruce Hamilton recalls testifying against the proposed Grand Teton Jetport at a hearing in Jackson, Wyo.
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