Items by Mark Matthews

Skiing, or wheeling and dealing?
Ski resorts become a tool for real estate speculation and development across the West.
I've tried, but I can't eat the view
Missoula, Mont., like many amenity-rich Western towns, is becoming too expensive for its working-class population
The Passion of the Christ in Butte, Montana
The writer says there’s a passionate martyrdom in the recent past of Butte, Montana
I’ve tried, but I can't eat the view
Mark Matthews finds rising property values in his town leave him forever a renter
A grizzly attack that was bound to happen
Timothy Treadwell was killed by an Alaskan grizzly because the self-proclaimed bear expert treated wild animals without proper respect, as if they were children
Bill would redraw the boundaries of national monument
Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg, R, wants to yank private lands out of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, but some local ranchers fear his bill will just make it harder for them to sell their property.
A grizzly attack that was bound to happen
Mark Matthews points out that Alaska grizzlies deserve our respect -- and our distance
Return of the King
Scientists have finally found a way to save the white pine from blister rust – but finding space in the forest to plant new trees is proving almost as difficult
Timber companies borrow a tool from environmentalists
In Idaho’s Panhandle region, the Potlatch Corp. is negotiating conservation easements on as much as 600,000 acres of forest, but not all conservationists are thrilled at the prospect
Demolish the dam, sayeth the Lord
Montana’s Clark Fork River Coalition is celebrating the EPA’s call for the removal of Milltown Dam and its toxic reservoir, a decision even conservative Gov. Judy Martz says God’s will
Back on the range?
Controversy is rising over a plan to transfer management of Montana’s National Bison Range and several other wildlife refuges to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
Giving back the bison
Mark Matthews says tribal management of a federal bison refuge makes sense
Rising from the ashes
Forests aren’t destroyed by wildfires; instead, wildflowers are reborn
On Black Mesa, the natives make a comeback
In Arizona, Peabody Western Coal is working with Navajo and Hopi Indians to reclaim its coal mines using culturally valuable native plants
Planting time
The native-seeds business is thriving, as more Westerners realize the value of a healthy rangeland, but the current unfriendly political climate in Washington, D.C., may bring an untimely frost
Grasslands take a step toward nature
New management plans for 10 national grasslands in the Dakotas, Wyoming and Nebraska are getting flak from every direction.
A green light for methane development
In the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana, ranchers and environmentalists are fighting plans to drill up to 65,000 new coalbed methane wells
Public servants may go the way of the dodo
The Bush administration’s plan to privatize federal jobs may be good for business, but bad for the environment and for workers.
The push is on to privatize federal jobs
The Bush administration has ordered federal land-management agencies to identify jobs that might be performed more cheaply by the private sector.
Outside the agency, it’s a cold, cruel world
Displaced federal employees may find it difficult to adapt to work in the private sector.
Montanans may take back their dams
In Montana, Initiative 145 would undo the deregulation of power in the state, allowing citizens to take back control of hydroelectric dams.
Suit may hamstring wildland firefighters
Firefighters are worried that a lawsuit filed against the Forest Service, blaming the agency for the loss of homes near Connor, Mont., may make it harder to use backfires to fight wildfires.
Elk conservation group sharpens its ax
New CEO Rich Lane of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is directed to use corporate-style downsizing of the work force while at the same time build a $22 million new headquarters for the nonprofit.
The Postal Service stamps the mythic West
Wyoming's fight with Montana over a new Montana stamp that shows a cowboy on a bucking horse shows that the Postal Service has fallen for Western myths that have nothing to do with the states' real characters.
EPA wants to supersize Idaho Superfund site
State and federal officials fight over how to clean up Idaho's Silver Valley, where mining pollution has spread past the Bunker Hill Superfund Site into Lake Coeur d'Alene and a huge swath of northern Idaho.
Judge puts kibosh on logging plan
A federal judge rules that the Burn Area Recovery Plan, which would log Montana's Bitterroot National Forest, must be put on hold until the Forest Service gives the public a chance to appeal.
Montana tribes drive the road to sovereignty
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes fight a plan to four-lane Highway 93 through Montana's Flathead Reservation, winning a new highway plan with tough protections for wildlife, safety and cultural resources.
Old firefighters need not apply
Some Forest Service firefighters say a rule requiring firefighters to retire at age 55 cuts longtime seasonal workers out of permanent jobs with health and retirement benefits.
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