Items by Pat Ford

The obscure music where wild animals sing from the heart
Who are the true Idaho conservatives?
Elwha, a story of today's West
Elwha, a story of today's West
Cheering the return of salmon to the Elwha River after the dam came down
Singing about a land where free rivers flow on
Singing about a land where free rivers flow on
Woody Guthrie's long history of writing about dams and hydropower.
Another chance emerges for salmon
Another chance emerges for salmon
Pat Ford reminds us that sockeye salmon face enormous hurdles – especially if they’re trying to return to Redfish Lake.
Jim Thrash: A solid man
A eulogy for conservationist Jim Thrash, who died in the Canyon Creek fire.
A guide to the players
A guide to federal agencies involved in salmon issues.
Salmon: the Clinton-Babbitt train wreck
Agencies will try to find a way around new salmon ruling.
Should the 'Frank' be one forest?
An influential congressman's proposal to create the nation's first all-wilderness national forest in central Idaho has the Forest Service scrambling.
The Snake's imperiled salmon: A personal call to act
I want to tell you about a fish, a place named for it, and a recent weekend there that I will not forget.
And now -- the Last Salmon Ceremony?
The big hydroelectric dams stand as symbols of the crossroads now confronting the Pacific Northwest's salmon and steelhead. A century ago these wild fish numbered some 16 million. Now their annual count is dropping below 1 million.
How the basin's salmon-killing system works
The Columbia Basin's eight mainstem dams account for nearly all of the Northwest's annual salmon slaughter, and could be modified.
Old-growth forests fight global warming
Three Northwest forest researchers conclude that converting old-growth to young forests won't slow down global warming. Their results may help settle one question in the Northwest's intense debate over its remaining ancient forests.
Is the Forest Service changing?
A former timber sale planner says "it's all talk."
Idaho points the way to stream quality
For a variety of reasons, Idaho is the first Western state to seriously attempt to control nonpoint source water pollution.
Idaho wilderness issue is tied in knots
Conservationists haven't yet figured out how to blow the whistle on McClure without also appearing to be attacking Andrus.
INEL puts Idaho's political hypocrisy to a rough test
The Idaho National Energy Lab is the biggest blind spot in Idaho politics. Politicians who rail against the evils of big government while pulling every string for INEL projects are faithfully reflecting those who elect them.
Idaho: The political winds have shifted
Statewide, conservation and outdoor issues played a key role only in the race won by Rep. Richard Stallings.
Balkanized, atomized Idaho
A combination of technological change and free market ideology has led the nation to abandon not just railroad and bus lines but its long-held commitment to universal transportation and communication. The article describes the Balkanization process and its consequences for the rural West.
Now Idaho wants national parks
In theory, wild, beautiful and lightly populated Idaho should be bursting with national parks. In fact, its ranching, logging and mining roots have kept it totally free of parks.
During the boom, Idaho succumbed to good sense
Lest you think that the entire West succumbed to the hypnotic beat of boom, boom, boom, here is an account of how the conservative state of Idaho behaved conservatively -- resisting the lure of a coal-fired power plant that was to carry the state to the land of milk and honey.
McClure-Andrus wilderness bill is worse than nothing
The McClure-Andrus package is obviously superior, statewide, to McClure's 1984 proposal. But the transformation of public perceptions that we require has not occurred. Now the exigencies of substantially improving or fighting this legislation will dominate our time.
Idaho debates public land access
The Idaho Conservation League joins a battle to regain access to a part of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
Rancher-lawmaker takes on the establishment
Idaho's John Peavey proves that a legislator can win major fights against the West's power triangle -- big business, utilities and the farm-ranch establishment.
BuRec looks anew at the Teton Dam site
Ten years after the collapse of the Teton Dam, irrigators and city officials in eastern Idaho are beginning a campaign to rebuild it.
Idaho enters the nuclear weapons business
The Idaho National Engineering Laboratory near Idaho Falls is preparing for its first major nuclear weapons project.
High Country News Classifieds
  • CLIMATE CHANGE COORDINATOR
    The Greater Yellowstone Coalition is seeking a Climate Change Coordinator to play a lead role in shaping our programs to make the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Executive Director Position Announcement POSITION TITLE: Executive Director ORGANIZATION: Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument REPORTING TO: Board of Directors EMPLOYMENT TYPE: Part-time - Full-time, based...
  • HEALTHY CITIES PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    The Healthy Cities Program Director leads and manages the Healthy Cities Program for the Arizona Chapter and is responsible for developing and implementing innovative, high...
  • CONSERVATION PROGRAM MANAGER
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) Conservation Programs Manager Job Opening Our Mission: Honoring the past and safeguarding the future of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument through...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) Associate Director Job Posting Our Mission: Honoring the past and safeguarding the future of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument through science,...
  • UNIQUE, ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOME ON ACREAGE NEAR MOSCOW, IDAHO
    Custom-built energy-efficient 3000 sqft two-story 3BR home, 900 sqft 1 BR accessory cottage above 2-car garage and large shop. Large horse barn. $1,200,000. See online...
  • OUTDOOR ADVENTURE BUSINESS FOR SALE
    Missoula Outdoor Learning Adventures (MOLA) - established and profitable outdoor adventure & education business in Missoula, Montana. Summer camp, raft & climb guide, teen travel,...
  • OJO SARCO FARM/HOME
    A wonderful country setting for a farm/work 1350s.f. frame home plus 1000 studio/workshop. 5 acres w fruit trees, an irrigation well, pasture and a small...
  • STEWARDSHIP COORDINATOR
    Join Skagit Land Trust (the Trust), a not-for-profit conservation organization based in Mount Vernon, Washington, and help protect land for people and wildlife. Skagit Land...
  • 2022 SEASONAL SCIENCE EDUCATOR
    The Mount St. Helens Institute Science Educator supports our science education and rental programs including day and overnight programs for youth ages 6-18, their families...
  • POLICY DIRECTOR
    Heart of the Rockies Initiative is seeking a Policy Director to lead and define policy efforts to advance our mission to keep working lands and...
  • CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
    Self-Help Enterprises seeks an experienced and strategic CFO
  • CONSERVATION SPECIALIST - LAND PROTECTION FOCUS
    View full job description and how to apply at
  • RIVER EDUCATOR & GUIDE
    River Educator & Guide River Educator & Guide (Trip Leader) Non-exempt, Seasonal Position: Full-time OR part-time (early April through October; may be flexible with start/end...
  • LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION DIRECTOR
    The Land and Water Conservation Director is a full-time salaried position with the Mountain Area Land Trust in Evergreen, CO. The successful candidate will have...
  • FOOD SYSTEMS ENVIRONMENTAL FELLOWSHIP
    If you were to design a sustainable society from the ground up, it would look nothing like the contemporary United States. But what would it...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT) is seeking an Executive Director who will lead RiGHT toward a future of continued high conservation impact, organizational...
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    Help protect Montana's water quality, family farms and ranches, & unique quality of life. Work hard, meet good people, make the world a better place!...
  • NEW BOOK:
    True Wildlife Tales From Boy to Man. Finding my voice to save wildlife in the Apache spirit. 365+ vivid colorful pictures. Buy on Amazon/John Wachholz
  • CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER
    with Rural Community Assistance Corporation. Apply here: https://www.marcumllp.com/executive-search/chief-operations-officer-rcac