Items by Ken Olsen

Salmon Salvation
Salmon Salvation
Obama’s new political order, backed by the legal acumen of Judge James Redden, may help the Northwest’s salmon survive and end the era of the Lower Snake River dams.
Nevada stakes its salmon claim
Nevada sportsmen, tribes and environmentalists ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission not to renew licenses for Hells Canyon’s dams until Idaho Power makes it possible for salmon to survive its dams.
Relicensing dams hangs on warm water, endangered fish
Idaho Power Company needs permits from Idaho, Oregon and the federal government
History of a decline
An illustrated timeline charts the appearance of dams on the lower Snake River and the resulting decline of salmon, along with the so-far-inadequate response of the federal government.
Salmon Justice
Judge Jim Redden has given the Bush administration an ultimatum: Submit a viable plan for salmon restoration, or face the possible removal of four dams on the lower Snake River.
Up in smoke: Hanford fire releases plutonium
A recent wildfire on Hanford Nuclear Reservation, Wash., released plutonium into the air, and watchdog groups are not satisfied by the Department of Energy's claim that there is no cause for worry.
Hanford executive quits in protest
Mike Lawrence, manager of the cleanup effort on Hanford Nuclear Reservation, resigns, saying the project is financially out of control.
Hanford leaves a surprising Cold War legacy
Area farmers are unhappy that the Wahluke Slope, a buffer zone for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, may now be protected as a wildlife refuge.
Beetle wars
The national forests on the Idaho Panhandle want to double the timber cut this summer to stop a bark-beetle explosion.
Logged hillsides collapse into Idaho's creeks
Heavy rains, roads and clearcuts cause more than 100 slides and washouts in Idaho's Clearwater National Forest.
For further reading
A short list of books for further reading about Hanford's history and its toxic legacy.
Hanford's prime cuts
Four pieces of Hanford real estate are the focus of prospective landlords who want control.
Amid the lovely the lethal remains
During its 40 years of weapons-building, Hanford knowingly exposed workers and area residents to dangerous levels of radiation, and the health impacts continue to be felt today.
At Hanford, the real estate is hot
Conservationists, politicians, Indians and farmers fight over the polluted but beautiful land of Washington's Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
The public was railroaded
"Railroads and Clearcuts: Legacy of Congress's 1864 Northern Pacific Land Grant" by Derrick Johnson, George Draffan and John Osborn is reviewed.
Legislature votes to hamstring Washington state
The Washington Legislature's approval of Initiative 164 creates the most far-reaching "takings" law in the nation.
Conspiracy of optimism
Paul Hirt's book "A Conspiracy of Optimism: Management of the National Forests Since World War II" is reviewed.
How Methow Valley grew an economy
Residents of Methow Valley build cross-country skiing to feed the economy.
Citizens held off big money for years
For 20 years environmentalists have fought developers in the Methow Valley.
Beauty eludes the beast
An unusual consensus may stave off development in Washington's Methow Valley.
Washington county splits in half over proposed dump
Water is main issue in fight over Hooper, Washington, megadump.
Earth First!ers experience Idaho-style justice
Environmentalists receive heavy sentences in Idaho courts.
Newspaper series unsettles the Northwest
The Spokesman-Review publishes a series about Forest Service mismanagement in five national forests in the Northwest.
Battle for wilderness takes a break
Earth First! and other environmental groups claim victory after preventing logging and slowing Forest Service road building efforts in the Cove-Mallard timber sale area.
Author of Eco-Warriors is jailed
The incarcerated author Rik Scarce says the First Amendment protects scholarly research, including his on the radical environmental movement.
High Country News Classifieds
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    A short historical novel set in central Oregon based on the the WWII Japanese high altitude ballon that exploded causing civilian casualties. A riveting look...
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    Built in 1901, The Crazy Mountain Inn has 11 guest rooms in a town-center building on 7 city lots (.58 acres). The inn and restaurant...
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    by Don Hagedorn. A story of how lives of the visually impaired are improved through the love and courage of guide dogs. Available on Amazon.
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