Items by Mitch Tobin

The great nonflagration?
The great nonflagration?
Despite a few high-profile wildfires, 2013 was a fairly quiet fire season after all.
Getting the lead out
Condor 134’s harrowing experience with lead poisoning exemplifies these endangered birds’ greatest challenge – which some advocates hope to ease by banning lead bullets in California
Rancher wins big in libel suit against enviros
Arizona rancher and investment banker Jim Chilton wins a $600,000 judgment for libel against The Center for Biological Diversity
Squirrels and scopes in the line of fire
A wildfire on Arizona’s Mount Graham almost reached the University of Arizona’s controversial mountaintop telescopes – and may yet destroy an already endangered squirrel
Water holes awash in controversy
Game managers and environmentalists disagree on the usefulness of artificial water holes for game; environmental groups say they spread disease, attract killer bees, and give predators a convenient spot to ambush prey. The Arizona Game and Fish Department
Phelps Dodge looks to revive mining in the Copper State
Phelps Dodge wants to open a big copper mine near Safford, Ariz., but some critics say that the company’s planned land swap is a rip-off, and that the mine may have harmful environmental impacts
Warm-water native fish are left out in the cold
A new study by a team of biologists shows little is being done to save a dozen of the Southwest’s threatened and endangered native fish species
Delta beast rears its head
The Interior Department is considering restarting the Yuma Desalting Plant, and environmentalists fear the plant’s salty runoff could destroy Mexico’s Cienega de Santa Clara – the Sonoran Desert’s largest wetland
State land no longer just for the cows
The environmental group Forest Guardians outbids a rancher to gain control of a grazing allotment on state school-trust land in Arizona
Bikers want back in to national park
Tucson, Ariz., mountain bikers are pushing the Park Service to reopen the Cactus Forest Trail in Saguaro National Park
Monument presents a management morass
In Arizona’s Ironwood Forest National Monument, ranchers, recreationists and illegal immigrants are all fighting for space
Fences go up along the Mexican border
The Border Patrol wants to erect 249 miles of fences along the Arizona-Mexico border, and some environmentalists are worried about their impact on desert wildlife.
Where’d you get that cactus, partner?
Southern Arizona cities are importing cacti from west Texas, and demand is beginning to outstrip the natural supply.
Wheels still spin after desert lockdown
Road closures to protect endangered Sonoran pronghorn in Ariz.'s Cabeza Prieta Nat'l Wildlife Refuge and Organ Pipe Cactus Nat'l Monument will keep the public out, but may not stem the tide of drug smugglers, illegal immigrants and Border Patrol agents.
A wing and a genius grant
Tucson pilot Sandy Lanham wins a MacArthur "genius grant" for her work flying scientists and conservationists while charging no more than the cost of fuel and airport fees.
Protecting Arizona's underground wonderland
Arizona State Parks is fighting a proposal resort near Benson, Ariz., which some fear could harm the nearby Kartchner Caverns.
Dangerous parks
The U.S. Park Rangers Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police lists the 10 most dangerous national parks in the country.
Luxury homes torched in Tucson
In Phoenix, Mark Warren Sands is charged with burning down eight trophy homes, but the June arsons that burned three brand-new, vacant luxury homes in Tucson's Pima Canyon Estates remain a mystery.
Arizona waffles on wolves
The Arizona Game and Fish Commission wants to pull the plug on Mexican wolf reintroduction.
Will a watched refuge ever revive?
At the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona, ranchers, environmentalists and agencies are at odds over whether grazing could help beat back an exotic grass, Lehmann lovegrass.
Mining the crown jewels
The 1872 Mining Law may allow the Rainbow Talc Mine to resume operations, despite the mine's location in a wilderness area of California's Death Valley National Park.
High Country News Classifieds
  • 10 ACRES OF NEW MEXICO HIGH DESERT
    10 Acres of undeveloped high desert land in central NM, about 45 minutes from downtown Albuquerque. Mixed cedar and piñon pine cover. Some dirt roadways...
  • WATERSHED RESTORATION DIRECTOR
    $58k-$70k + benefits to oversee watershed restoration projects that fulfill our strategic goals across urban and rural areas within the bi-national Santa Cruz and San...
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    High Country News, an award-winning media organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks a part-time Customer Service Assistant, based at...
  • OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
    We are a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that builds resilience on arid working lands. We foster ecological, economic, and social health through education, innovation, and collaboration....
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    Come work alongside everyday Montanans to project our clean air, water, and build thriving communities! Competitive salary, health insurance, pension, generous vacation time and sabbatical....
  • CAMPAIGN MANAGER
    Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA), a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to protecting, defending and restoring Oregon's high desert, seeks a Campaign Manager to works as...
  • HECHO DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO) was created in 2013 to help fulfill our duty to conserve and protect our public lands for...
  • REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE, COLUMBIA CASCADES
    The Regional Representative serves as PCTA's primary staff on the ground along the trail working closely with staff, volunteers, and nonprofit and agency partners. This...
  • FINANCE AND OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
    The Montana Land Reliance (MLR) seeks a full-time Finance and Operations Director to manage the internal functions of MLR and its nonprofit affiliates. Key areas...
  • DIRECTOR OF CONSERVATION
    The Nature Conservancy is recruiting for a Director of Conservation. Provides strategic leadership and support for all of the Conservancy's conservation work in Arizona. The...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Amargosa Conservancy (AC), a conservation nonprofit dedicated to standing up for water and biodiversity in the Death Valley region, seeks an executive director to...
  • BIG BASIN SENIOR PROJECT PLANNER - CLIMATE ADAPTATION & RESILIENCE
    Parks California Big Basin Senior Project Planner - Climate Adaptation & Resilience ORGANIZATION BACKGROUND Parks California is a new organization working to ensure that our...
  • SCIENCE PROJECT MANAGER
    About Long Live the Kings (LLTK) Our mission is to restore wild salmon and steelhead and support sustainable fishing in the Pacific Northwest. Since 1986,...
  • NEW BOOK BY AWARD-WINNING WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST, BRUCE SMITH
    In a perilous place at the roof of the world, an orphaned mountain goat is rescued from certain death by a mysterious raven.This middle-grade novel,...
  • MOUNTAIN LOTS FOR SALE
    Multiple lots in gated community only 5 miles from Great Sand Dunes National Park. Seasonal flowing streams. Year round road maintenance.
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    Country living just minutes from town! 20 acres with great views makes a perfect spot for your custom home. Nice oaks and juniper. Cassie Carver,...
  • A FIVE STAR FOREST SETTING WITH SECLUSION AND SEPARATENESS
    This home is for a discerning buyer in search of a forest setting of premier seclusion & separateness. Surrounded on all sides by USFS land...
  • CARPENTER WANTED
    CARPENTER WANTED. Come to Ketchikan and check out the Rainforest on the coast, HIke the shorelines, hug the big trees, watch deer in the muskeg...
  • CAUCASIAN OVCHARKA PUPPIES
    Strong loyal companions. Ready to protect your family and property. Proven against wolves and grizzlies. Imported bloodlines. Well socialized.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS
    "More Data, Less Digging" Find groundwater and reduce excavation costs!