Items by Jim Robbins

The once-perennial Gila River ebbs to an uncertain future
The once-perennial Gila River ebbs to an uncertain future
‘We are in uncharted territory.’
As it goes high-tech, wildlife biology loses its soul
As it goes high-tech, wildlife biology loses its soul
We're learning a lot by monitoring wild animals, but the high tech methods used to track them take some of the mystery out of our relationship with the wild.
On the path to a greener church
Spokane Bishop William Skylstad brings his rural and environmental background to the task of heading the steering committee on the Northwestern bishops' pastoral letter.
Holy water
A pastoral letter being prepared by the Catholic bishops of the Northwest calls Catholics and others to a new environmental, economic and spiritual relationship with a sacred river - the Columbia.
Wolves may not need Big Brother
Wolf biologist Diane Boyd believes reintroduction is a mistake.
Busted town pursues industrial recreation
Anaconda wants to boost its economy by building a golf course on top of its tailings piles.
Camping out in the Merry Widow Mine
Merry Widow Mine a spa for arthritis sufferers.
Montana town puts out unwelcome mat
Montana town puts out unwelcome mat
Californians and celebrities among those moving to Montana
Yvon Chouinard: A mutinous captain of industry
"I never wanted to be a businessman," says the owner of Patagonia clothing and gear company, "because I thought businessmen were real greaseballs. In fact I still do."
FBI changes four with attack on power line
On May 30, a flare broke the darkness of an Arizona desert evening, a signal for some 30 FBI agents and a helicopter to move in to arrest two men and a woman authorities claim were attempting to fell a tower that carries high-voltage lines to a water pump for the Central Arizona Project, a mammoth irrigation system in the desert.
Nevada fights its second nuclear war
The U.S. Department of Energy is preparing to place the nation's first high-level nuclear waste repository on federal land adjacent to a former nuclear test site.
Invisible gold fuels Elko's boom
The discovery of rich gold deposits in the brown Tuscarora Mountains northwest of Elko, Nev., has ignited a latter day gold rush.
Discouraging words in Montana
Miles City, a community of 10,000 which has spent 100 years living and breathing ranching, is experiencing traumatic change as economic and other forces shove the family ranch off the Western stage.
Hurling sand into society's gears
Earth First! was born in the spring of 1980. Between tequila and beers and camping beneath the stars in the desert near a tiny Mexican border town, four men dedicated to the preservation of biological diversity hatched the notion of a group that was part Sierra Club, part Hell's Angels, part Yippie.
Beauty, isolation and cheap land bring a sect to Montana
The Church Universal and Triumphant, a wealthy religious group from southern California, recently moved to a ranch called the Royal Teton on the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park.
The continuing saga of the West's wild horse
The number of horses on the range doubles roughly every seven years, creating conflict between ranchers, land managers and those who see the animals as a last remnant of the Wild West.
Two views of the grizzly
As grizzly bears cause trouble for ranchers near Choteau, Mont., a father and son see the issue differently.
Graverobbers, agencies at work sacking an ancient culture
A federal sting stirs up Blanding, Utah, which lies in one of the richest archaeological regions in the United States.
A Montana rancher struggles against stripmines and an unravelling rural fabric
Since the late 1800s when Patty Kluver's ancestors and thousands of other pioneer families established ranches across the West, there have been few real changes in that way of life. Now the region is convulsed by change.
A grazing guru says he can restore the range by doubling the number of cattle
Allan Savory is the guru of a new kind of livestock grazing, anxious to tell the world that many of the present 'truths' about range management are not only wrong and contributing to the economic collapse of ranching, but steering the world to the precipice of environmental disaster.
A cruel Mother Nature rules the Parks
The keystone of the National Park Service's management policy is to allow nature to run its course. And that means forest fires, drowned bison and, perhaps, vanishing grizzlies.
Rest-Rotation: restoring the range
The rest-rotation method could restore grazing land by working with the regenerative properties of range grasses, but some environmentalists have concerns about the method's effects on wildlife.
Montana's machine politician
Montana Governor Ted Schwinden has a folksy style, but he he has built a powerful political network to establish a following that defies political parties.
Where prairies and mountains class
The Rocky Mountain Front's Pine Butte Swamp, an area facing oil development, is the last place in the contiguous United States where grizzly bears come down from the mountains to forage in the lowlands.
1981: Crying wolf — restoring the ‘rapacious predator’ to the Rockies
Since the completion of the Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery Plan in 1980, a team of biologists has been working to re-establish breeding populations of wolves in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.
"Lee Metcalf" wilderness may shrink to BN, Melcher's size
A proposal to create the Lee Metcalf Wilderness Area in southwest Montana is being countered by Montana Sen. John Melcher and Burlington Northern Inc., which owns a checkerboard of timber lands in the area.
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