Items by Heather Abel

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses
In an election that drew a lot more media attention than actual voting, the Sierra Club membership votes down a controversial anti-immigration policy.
Golden Dreams, Poisoned Streams
"Golden Dreams, Poisoned Streams" by Carlos D. Da Rosa and James Lyon, is reviewed by Heather Abel.
Superfund strives for accountability
The Superfund Law was created to make sure companies clean up the messes they make, but the system has glitches.
Miners and Montana were too cozy
In his own words, former water-quality enforcer Kevin Keenan criticizes the state of Montana for its favoring of the mining industry.
The rise and fall of a gold mining company
A time line describes the decline and fall of gold mining at Montana's Zortman-Landusky Mine.
A company that moved mountains runs into a wall
Local activists fight a mining giant when they battle the Zortman-Landusky gold mine on the edge of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation.
Don't trust the mining industry, says a retired rancher
In his own words, retired rancher Land Lindbergh warns against the damage the McDonald Mine would do to the Blackfoot.
Don't worry, says the McDonald Mine's geologist
In his own words, mining geologist KD Feeback defends the proposed McDonald Mine.
Where one sister sees gain, another sees ruin and loss
The Garland family in Lincoln, Mont., illustrates Montana's love-hate relationship with mining, with Teresa Garland in favor of the McDonald Mine and her sister Becky strongly against it.
A gold mine is a city until the ore runs out
The statistics of a huge gold mine like the proposed McDonald Mine are impressive, but the de facto city created will last only 10 to 20 years.
Montana's army of writers tested the power of the pens
Montana writers collaborate on a book called "Headwaters," hoping to protect the Blackfoot River from a gold mine.
Gold mines exist in a shaky financial world
McDonald mine owners, Canyon Resources, face problems related to spills, finances and falling gold prices.
Mine wastes haunt a mythic river
The proposed McDonald Mine on the Blackfoot River would impact a landscape made mythic by anglers and Norman Maclean's "A River Runs Through It."
Montana on the edge: A fight over gold forces the Treasure State to confront its future
Montana on the edge: A fight over gold forces the Treasure State to confront its future
Montana has long had a love-hate relationship with hardrock mining, and the prospect of new massive gold mines is bringing all the problems to a boil.
The Wayward West
Babbitt on gambling; Charles Wilkinson's pro-logging; Headwaters protesters; Portland's bikes stolen; Animas La-Plata update; winter in Yellowstone; China Left timber sale; oil/gas industry appeal Mont. ban; Dinosaur Nat'l Mon.; BLM's Mike Austin.
The Wayward West
Dr. Patrick Shipsey convicted in Oregon cow killing; Goshute Indians want casino in Utah; Judge William Dwyer retires; Yellowstone Chief Ranger Dan Sholly under investigation.
The Wayward West
Sierra Club on immigration; USFS Christian group, ACROSS; Kevin Gover to head BIA; Tyrannosaurus Sue; Colorado politics; USFS's Charles Cartwright under scrutiny; Jim Baca new mayor of Albuquerque; governor's race in Idaho.
The Wayward West
Margaret Reeb agrees; Sen. Dan Young gets monument documents; Eugene, Ore., Mayor Jim Torrey gets barfed on; Charles Hurwitz gets pie in face; Reed Benson to direct WaterWatch.
The Wayward West
Animal Damage Control changes name to Wildlife Services; Richard Riordan; Jeff DeBonis leaves PEER, Jeff Ruch takes his place; People For the West and grizzlies; Zakkare Garrett.
The Wayward West
Helen Chenoweth, Barbara Cubin, Jim Hansen and Rick Hill give Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey and Tom DeLay a tour of the West; Bruce Babbitt, Sen. Slade Gorton on Elwha dam removal; convicted Fife Symington resigns; Jane Dee Hull is Ariz. gov.; Ricky Denesik
The Wayward West
Greenpeace USA crashes and makes extreme cutbacks; Phil Hocker leaves Mineral Policy Center; Ted Turner plans to breed Mexican wolves on his N.M. ranch; Forest Service says no to checks; Bill Yellowtail is reappointed to Denver EPA office.
The Wayward West
Sen. Dale Bumpers and Rep. Elizabeth Furse plan to leave Congress; Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund changes name; Mike Mease travels in buffalo bus; Great Grizzly hikers trek to protect Mont. bear habitat; Mormon Trail wagon train.
The Wayward West
Looter gets break on sentence; Tate and Hodel replace Reed in Christian Coalition; Wyo.'s Gov. Jim Geringer on endangered ranching; Helen Chenoweth on "warm-climate community"; Hari Heath's Benewah County group secedes; Dan Quayle gets Western address.
Weighing in on mining rules
Mining supporters outnumber environmentalists at a series of meetings held in the West by the BLM to consider possible changes in BLM mining regulations.
The Wayward West
Babbitt borrows from Broadway; Moabites convicted of pilfering artifacts, Billings, Mont., poacher fined; Al Schneberger quits N.M. Cattle Growers' Assn.; Ruckus Society protesters arrested; Adam Werbach and Bert Fingerhut head enviro governing councils.
Genealogy of a mining company
Tracing Summo USA's family tree can be challenging, since it is wholly owned by Summo Minerals, a Canadian company, which does nothing but own its American company.
A mine turns two landowners into activists
In their own words, Kay Howe and Claudia Akers discuss how their homesteading in Utah's Lisbon Valley turned them into anti-mining activists.
Blasting from the past: the 1872 Mining Law
A brief glossary on the 1872 Mining Law.
A fruit-grower opposes mining - and tourism
In his own words, orchardist Estevan Arellano speaks of querencia - love of home - and how it is threatened by Summo's planned copper mine.
On the trail of mining's corporate nomads
The copper mining company Summo USA's plans to mine in northern New Mexico and Lisbon Valley, Utah, lead a reporter to follow what happens when local communities resist - and don't resist - a hardrock mining project.
High Country News Classifieds
  • UNIQUE, ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOME ON ACREAGE NEAR MOSCOW, IDAHO
    Custom-built energy-efficient 3000 sqft two-story 3BR home, 900 sqft 1 BR accessory cottage above 2-car garage and large shop. Large horse barn. $1,200,000. See online...
  • OUTDOOR ADVENTURE BUSINESS FOR SALE
    Missoula Outdoor Learning Adventures (MOLA) - established and profitable outdoor adventure & education business in Missoula, Montana. Summer camp, raft & climb guide, teen travel,...
  • STEWARDSHIP COORDINATOR
    Join Skagit Land Trust (the Trust), a not-for-profit conservation organization based in Mount Vernon, Washington, and help protect land for people and wildlife. Skagit Land...
  • 2022 SEASONAL SCIENCE EDUCATOR
    The Mount St. Helens Institute Science Educator supports our science education and rental programs including day and overnight programs for youth ages 6-18, their families...
  • POLICY DIRECTOR
    Heart of the Rockies Initiative is seeking a Policy Director to lead and define policy efforts to advance our mission to keep working lands and...
  • CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
    Self-Help Enterprises seeks an experienced and strategic CFO
  • CONSERVATION SPECIALIST - LAND PROTECTION FOCUS
    View full job description and how to apply at
  • RIVER EDUCATOR & GUIDE
    River Educator & Guide River Educator & Guide (Trip Leader) Non-exempt, Seasonal Position: Full-time OR part-time (early April through October; may be flexible with start/end...
  • LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION DIRECTOR
    The Land and Water Conservation Director is a full-time salaried position with the Mountain Area Land Trust in Evergreen, CO. The successful candidate will have...
  • FOOD SYSTEMS ENVIRONMENTAL FELLOWSHIP
    If you were to design a sustainable society from the ground up, it would look nothing like the contemporary United States. But what would it...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT) is seeking an Executive Director who will lead RiGHT toward a future of continued high conservation impact, organizational...
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    Help protect Montana's water quality, family farms and ranches, & unique quality of life. Work hard, meet good people, make the world a better place!...
  • VERDE RIVER PROJECTS TECHNICIAN
    The Verde River Projects Technician (VRPT) provides technical assistance to Verde River Program staff in implementation of the Verde River Streamflow Monitoring Protocol. This consist...
  • 8 FIELD PROJECT SPECIALISTS (POSITION FORMERLY TITLED TRAIL CREW TECHNICAL ADVISOR)
    Are you passionate about environmental conservation and connecting people to the outdoors? The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) is looking for someone with outdoor leadership...
  • SOUTHWEST REWILDING ADVOCATE
    WildEarth Guardians is seeking a full-time advocate in our Wild Places Program to advance a new paradigm of forest management and protection based on the...
  • NEW BOOK:
    True Wildlife Tales From Boy to Man. Finding my voice to save wildlife in the Apache spirit. 365+ vivid colorful pictures. Buy on Amazon/John Wachholz
  • CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER
    with Rural Community Assistance Corporation. Apply here: https://www.marcumllp.com/executive-search/chief-operations-officer-rcac
  • CARPENTER WANTED
    CARPENTER WANTED. Come to Ketchikan and check out the Rainforest on the coast, Hike the shorelines, hug the big trees, watch deer in the muskeg...
  • WATER PROJECT MANAGER, UPPER SAN PEDRO (ARIZONA)
    Based in Tucson or Sierra Vista, AZ., the Upper San Pedro Project Manager develops, manages, and advances freshwater conservation programs, plans, and methods focusing on...
  • WADE LAKE CABINS, CAMERON MT
    A once in a lifetime opportunity to live and run a business on the shore of one of the most beautiful lakes in SW Montana....