Items by Michelle Nijhuis

'They're just too rigid'
Longtime park volunteer Reuben Scolnik says the park officials are good people but too rigid.
'I'm really embarrassed'
Local resident Kathy Goss is disillusioned by the way environmentalists pushed the Desert Protection Act.
'Humans aren't that bad'
Local resident Jim Macey believes park status has actually harmed Death Valley.
'The more protection we have, the better'
Death Valley environmental specialist Dick Anderson defends the Desert Protection Act as necessary to save wild lands.
The last weird place
Eccentric desert rats and clean-cut park rangers sometimes meet in a culture clash over how to manage one of the hottest, driest and strangest places in North America - Death Valley National Park.
No go for a gold mine
The controversial Battle Mountain gold mine in Okanogan, Wash., is denied a plan of operations because - ironically - the mine fails to meet the requirements of the 1872 Mining Law.
Charting the course of the San Pedro
An international environmental commission joins the debate on how to protect the San Pedro River in southern Arizona, where rapid growth has increased the pressure on the desert river.
The Wayward West
INEL missing 600 boxes of documents; enviros sue USFWS on behalf of goshawk; Wyoming relaxes standards for cleaning up industrial sites; battle continues over proposed open-pit gold mine in Wash.'s Okanogan Highlands; two Colorado lynx die.
Deciphering the ditches
José A. Rivera's "Acequia Culture: Water, Land and Community in the Southwest" is a valuable reference on the acequia system of ditch irrigation and the Hispanic communities it nourishes.
Just go away
Craig Denton's "People of the West Desert" uses words and photographs to document the quirky, stubborn people of the West Desert of eastern Nevada and western Utah - one of the West's emptiest landscapes.
Not such a cold fish
The Bureau of Reclamation plans to send warmer water through Glen Canyon Dam to make the river more tolerable for the endangered humpback chub.
Is there a market for tiny trees?
The Ponderosa Pine Forest Partnership in Montezuma County, Colorado, ran into trouble trying to sell the timber it had painstakingly thinned from its forests.
'We need to get this stuff on the table'
In his own words, Brett KenCairn of the Grand Canyon Forests Partnership talks about educating the public about its forests.
'It's really a sales program'
In his own words, Henry Carey of Forest Trust says the forest fire danger is overblown.
Flagstaff searches for its forests' future
In the wake of a huge forest fire, environmentalists seek consensus on how to restore to health the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, Arizona.
The Wayward West
BLM acknowledges 5.7 million acres in Utah as wilderness; USFS halts hardrock mining on Mont.'s Rocky Mtn. Front; Canada lynx released in Colo. forest; Oregon drops appeal of salmon listing as endangered; Ag Dept. proposes organic label for meat/poultry.
Fees feed volunteers
Beleaguered by budget cuts, the Park Service is trying to use increased user fees to create volunteer programs like the Public Lands Corps, to help with trail building and other maintenance projects.
ELF strikes again
The elusive radical Earth Liberation Front, which claimed responsibility for October's arson in Vail, Colo., says it is also behind the December fire that destroyed U.S. Forest Industries' corporate headquarters in Medford, Ore.
Keystone snowmakers get thirsty
The Colorado Water Conservation Board says that snowmakers at the Keystone Ski Area pulled more than their share of water from the Snake River to try to make up for a dry early season.
A river rat remembers
Folksinger, activist and river rat Katie Lee shares her memories of Glen Canyon in her new book, "All My Rivers Are Gone."
The Wayward West
Whirling disease hits trout in Yellowstone; Moscow, Idaho, Earth Firster Lori Graves finds Molotov cocktail; Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., fights reopening of Hanford nuclear reactor; political support rises for removal of Atlas uranium tailings near Moab, UT.
Not a creature was stirring...
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes temporary protection for the endangered Preble's meadow jumping mouse, which biologists believe is declining because of urban sprawl near Denver.
Murmurs about a new monument
Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt wants to create a new national monument: a 3 million-acre stretch of BLM land between the Grand Canyon and the Utah border, known as the Arizona Strip.
Uphill for these Idahoans
HCN readers Gene Bray and Irene Wright of Meridian, Idaho, are profiled.
Women pioneers
"Women Pioneers for the Environment" by Mary Joy Breton offers 42 inspirational profiles.
Scientists get a free ride
Rocky Mountain National Park officials are getting a lot of flak for permitting a crew of soil scientists to helicopter their way into a wilderness study area.
Endangered Mexico
The book, "Endangered Mexico: An Environment on the Edge" by Joel Simon, explores the threats to Mexico's environment.
Wise words from a veteran activist
A reader profile of 100-year-old Hazel Wolf, a lifelong activist and the star of the Great Old Broads for Wilderness conference.
Mines must clean up their mess
Arizona orders copper companies to clean up mining contamination near the small towns of Globe and Miami.
A tie that binds: county income and timber
Former Curry County, Ore., commissioner Peg Reagan has founded a grassroots group, the Conservation Leaders Network, to work on environmental issues and break the connection between county coffers and federal timber contracts.
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