Items by Matt Jenkins

Writing a comment letter? Better make it good
The Bureau of Land Management is tightening its standards on what it considers worthwhile, "substantive" public comments from citizen activists
How low will Vegas go for water?
Patricia Mulroy of the Southern Nevada Water Authority has ambitious plans for getting yet more water for Las Vegas from intake pipes in Lake Mead
A view of the West from on high
In his essay collection Dragons in Paradise, George Sibley reminisces about his years in the funky mountain ski town of Crested Butte, Colorado
Beehive state may get new wilderness — and more
In Utah, an "omnibus" public-lands bill may create several new wilderness areas near Zion National Park, but at the same time authorize the auction of federal lands for development
On the Colorado River, a tug-of-war on a tight rope
A wet winter postpones the declaration of a shortage on the Colorado River as the Upper and Lower Basin states continue to squabble over long-strategy for dealing with the region's droughts
Oil and gas opponents will have to move faster
The Bureau of Land Management is shortening the amount of time that citizens and environmental groups in Wyoming and Utah will have to protest oil and gas leases
Follow-up
Montana approves green-power initiative; geothermal company takes Valles Caldera Preserve to court; bills to exempt hydraulic fracturing from regulation; William Jensen Cottrell sentenced for SUV vandalism
Colorado River kisses a toxic mess good-bye
The Department of Energy finally agrees to move the Atlas uranium mine tailings pile away from Moab, Utah, and the flood risk of the Colorado River.
Dear friends
"Animal Planet" at the HCN office; Leslie Glustrom vs. coal; correction; HCN Paonia potluck
No room for democracy on California farms
In The Conquest of Bread, Richard Walker takes a sweeping, skeptical look at the history of agriculture in California
Follow-up
EPA will investigate allegations that bunk science led to approval of hydraulic fracturing; racketeering lawsuit against environmentalist dismissed; ACLU sues over BLM’s decision to Wyoming’s Martin’s Cove historic site to Mormon Church
The best thing since dams: pouring water underground
In Common Waters, Diverging Streams William Blomquist, Edella Schlager, and Tanya Heikkila argue on behalf of "conjunctive management" – coordinating the use of surface water with underground aquifers
The public pays to keep water in a river
Three important "takings" lawsuits claim farmers should be compensated when water is withheld from irrigators in order to help endangered species during times of drought
What's worse than the worst-case scenario? Real life
Ten years ago, Ben Harding created a worst-case drought scenario for a U.S. Geological Survey study, but the current drought on the Colorado River may be even worse than he imagined
Arizona returns to the desert
Rampant growth in the Phoenix area and a severe drought on the Colorado River challenge Arizona's water sustainability.
You, too, can be in the know about California's H2O
David Carle’s Introduction to California Water is an ambitious field guide to the incredibly complicated world of California water
The BLM wields fork and spatula over the West's wildlands
The Bureau of Land Management is handing out public-lands drilling permits like a McDonald’s drive-through with a hyperactive "Order Assembly Target."
A crisis brews on the Colorado
As the Colorado River Basin enters a sixth year of drought, the Interior Department orders seven states to start coordinating their management of the dwindling water supply.
The BLM wields fork and spatula over the West's wildlands
The writer says the "Great Barbecue" of the 1920s is back: The federal government is leasing land for oil and gas as fast as it can
Anasazi outpost dodges the drill
Hovenweep National Monument in remote southeastern Utah narrowly escapes an attempt to lease nearby land for oil and gas drilling
Follow-up
Judge puts stay on initiative to keep more nuclear waste from coming to Hanford Nuclear Reservation; Phoenix Mine expansion approved in Nevada; Western governors discuss reforming Endangered Species Act
Follow-up
California Gov. Schwarzenegger won’t fight for roadless rule; California Attorney General Bill Lockyer blasts Forest Service revision of Sierra Nevada plan; Arizona Water Settlements Act gives water and money to tribes; Lincoln County (Nevada) Conserva
Follow-up
Owyhee Canyonlands wilderness comes closer to Idaho; Bush funds CALFED; oil and gas brings money to Rocky Mountain states; National Wildlife Federation says federal Conservation Reserve Program is abused
Californians take a stand on GE crops
Activists in Butte County, Calif., have put a genetic-engineering ban on the ballot, but some farmers fear it could also ban a tried-and-true "mutagenic" variety of rice
Energy companies rush the West
In Wyoming, Gov. Dave Freudenthal tries to put the brakes on the oil and gas leasing rush, but the drilling frenzy continues across the West
Dear friends
HCN’s upcoming potluck is in Portland; new interns Deanna Belch and Lissa James; and corrections
For wilderness, small can be beautiful
The writer says as the 40th anniversary of the Wilderness Act approaches, it’s time to push small wilderness proposals, such as the White River in Utah
“W” in 2004: Taking stock of wilderness at 40
As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, it’s time we got back to a realistic attitude about proposed wilderness, saving actual places, no matter how small they are, instead of holding out for mega-proposals
Turning water inside-out
Many Western cities like Sierra Vista, Ariz., were built beside once-beautiful rivers which were overused and then neglected, while the cities looked elsewhere for new water sources to exploit
Dear friends
HCN’s summer visitors; corrections; Canyon Country Zephyr and Four Corners Free Press thrive
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