Items by Laura Paskus

Fish and Wildlife Service biologists in talks with Army Corps over Missouri River; Wyoming rancher Frank Robbins holds protest rally; "Volunteer Grazing Permit Buying Act" in Congress; and Interior ordered to pay tribes $2 million to make up for drilling
Cold War workers seek compensation
Former employees of Los Alamos National Laboratory are seeking information about and compensation for serious health problems caused by their work with radiation and other toxic materials
Atomic comics
Historian and professor Ferenc Szasz says comics were used to reassure the public about nuclear issues during the 1940s and ‘50s
New Mexico goes head-to-head with a nuclear juggernaut
Los Alamos National Laboratory is booming, revitalized by a new era of weapons development – but the state of New Mexico wants the lab to clean up its old Cold War-era messes before it starts making new ones
New Mexico joins states suing the Environmental Protection Agency for weakening the Clean Air Act; new cleanup schedule for Hanford Nuclear Reservation; court says wastewater from coalbed methane drilling is industrial waste; and Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt be
Superfund runs out of money; Sen. Pete Dominici reneges on promise to not drill in ANWR; Kwicksutaineuk Tribe in British Columbia sues corporate fish farms; whistleblower Kevin Gambrell fired from Farmington, N.M., Indian Minerals Office; company wants to
City at the end of its rope
In Albuquerque: A City at the End of the World, V. B. Price looks at the promise and the perils of a desert city that is still in search of an identity
Sandpoint, Idaho, business owners oppose Cabinet Mountains copper mine; Wyo. Gov. Dave Freudenthal jumps on coalbed methane bandwagon; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tells agencies to police themselves; and Columbia River dredging delayed again
Who’s at the helm?
While Congress debates whether Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt should take over the Environmental Protection Agency, the agency itself plows ahead in an anti-environmental direction
Navajos shortchanged by oil and gas companies; Department of Homeland Security buys Playas, N.M., as training ground for response to terrorist attacks; Earthjustice sues to get details on Interior Secretary Gale Norton’s anti-wilderness deal with Utah Gov
Burning one for the road
The Earth Liberation Front takes credit for vandalizing Hummers and SUVs at Southern California car dealerships, and an SUV-owners’ group says environmentalists are to blame
Salt River Project pulls plug on Zuni strip mine; three dams to come down on Northern California’s Mokelumne River; Forest Service burns through firefighting budget; and Karl Rove pushed Interior to give Klamath River water to irrigators
Energy bill will likely boost drilling in the Rockies
The West is likely to be the loser under the new energy bill just passed by Congress
Red Earth: desert poems resurrected
Santa Fe writer Alice Corbin’s Red Earth: Poems of New Mexico, is republished in a beautifully illustrated new edition
The Latest Bounce
Judge rules against Clinton’s Roadless Rule; New Mexico calls off coyote hunt; Interior Secretary Gale Norton not accountable for Indian trust funds; Joshua Hills development in California stops; and Office of the Special Counsel has backlog of whistleblo
Truce remains elusive in Rio Grande water fight
As drought dries up the Rio Grande, New Mexico’s congressional delegation goes after a court decision upholding the endangered silvery minnow’s right to water
Klamath farmers have to cut back on water; hunters asked to use lead-free ammo to protect condors; Interior Department forms new appraisal office for land swaps; Indian activist Russell Means crashes NPS dedication of Little Big Horn Memorial
Have no doubts, go higher
The anthology When in Doubt, Go Higher gathers thoughtful and adventurous essays from the Colorado monthly magazine The Mountain Gazette
Colorado wants to follow Utah in wilderness rollbacks; Mexican gray wolf shot by feds in New Mexico; captive northern spotted owl dies after release to wild; future oil and gas drilling could cause problems at WIPP; and environmentalists lose round in fi
‘Jeopardy’ opinions go the way of the dodo
'Jeopardy' opinions, only issued when a project could drive a species into extinction, heighten conflict between conservationists and industry, and also between the Fish and Wildlife service and other agencies.
State gets its way on a national refuge
Political pressure is affecting the way the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages its wildlife refuges, including the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming
Off-roaders smash science
Pressure from ORV groups ended the temporary closure of part of California’s Algodones Dunes to protect the Peirson’s milk-vetch
Are minnow scientists still under the gun?
Conservationists say Fish and Wildlife scientists bowed to political pressure when they made decisions about keeping water in New Mexico’s Rio Grande for the endangered silvery minnow
Who needs critical habitat?
Environmentalists say the Interior Department has deliberately created a budget crisis, and is using it to avoid making critical-habitat designations
Sound science goes sour
Federal scientists are facing increasing pressure from bureaucrats and politicians, and some are blowing the whistle on what is happening in their agencies – among them biologist Michael Kelly of the National Marine Fisheries Service.
The Latest Bounce
Congress exempts military from Endangered Species Act; Fish and Wildlife Service approves mining project in Montana’s Cabinet Mountains Wilderness; New Mexico lets Phelps Dodge post "corporate pledge" in lieu of bond for three open-pit copper mines; and G
Running home
A writer talks about seeing the West as an archaeologist, and unearthing what’s "good and right"
The Latest Bounce
General Accounting Office tells Defense Department to clean up its mess; Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation wants wolves de-listed, and names Peter Dart new CEO; EPA forbids its scientists to talk about perchlorate contamination; and Energy Department will lay
The Latest Bounce
Animas-La Plata dam building begins; fish appreciate removal of Washington’s Goldsborough Creek dam; 11th Mexican gray wolf killed in Arizona; lamprey denied endangered status; "stop work" order at Yucca Mountain ignored; and National Park Service critici
The Latest Bounce
BLM announces new policy for approving oil and gas permits; black bear hunt still on in New Mexico; court says water from coalbed methane wells is "industrial waste," Colorado gets rights to water from Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park; Interior
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