Items by Paul Larmer

A dam good speech
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber becomes the first major political figure in the Northwest to back breaching of four Snake River dams to help endangered salmon.
Tom Bell quotes
Quotes from High Country News' founding father, Tom Bell, show his passion about preserving the West.
HCN at 30: The saga begins
High Country News celebrates its 30 years by looking back at the paper's early days in Lander, Wyo.
'People are important'
Potlatch Corporation employee Frank Carroll explains why he thinks dam-breaching is a poor idea.
'Dams made the modern Northwest'
Historian Keith Petersen talks about how Columbia and Snake River dams have made the Pacific Northwest what it is today.
A 700th generation fisherman
Umatilla Indian Donald Sampson, director of the Columbia River Intertribal Fisheries Commission, defends Indian rights to fish for salmon.
'The science pushed me'
Jim Baker, the Sierra Club's point man on Columbia salmon, offers his ideas on breaching dams to save fish.
Unleashing the Snake
In Washington, conservationists, farmers, and federal and state agencies are passionately debating whether four dams on the lower Snake River should be breached in an attempt to restore endangered salmon and steelhead runs.
Is the Grand Staircase-Escalante a model monument?
Superintendent Jerry Meredith has a management plan for Utah's new Grand Staircase-Escalante Nat'l Monument, the first park to be managed by BLM rather than Park Service, and many environmentalists and some locals praise the job he's doing.
A Montana writer's real-life tales of bears and terror
"Mark of the Grizzly: True Stories of Recent Bear Attacks and the Hard Lessons Learned" by Scott McMillion combines horrifying accounts with thoughtful discussion.
Gutsy scientists stand up to bureaucratic juggernaut
Todd Wilkinson's book, "Science Under Siege: The Politicians' War on Nature and Truth," chronicles the struggle of government agency biologists to stand up for environmental and wildlife protection.
Idaho grizzly plan shifts into low gear
A once-vigorous effort to reintroduce grizzly bears to the Selway-Bitterroot County on the Idaho/Montana border has hit some unexpected road blocks and detours.
Fighting exotics with exotics
Entomologist Jack DeLoach's proposal to release exotic insects to fight the exotic tamarisk raises questions about the successes and pitfalls of biocontrol.
Killing tamarisk frees water
New Mexico's dried-up, tamarisk-choked Spring Lake comes back to life when the tamarisk is removed, inspiring the Pecos River Native Riparian Restoration Project to tackle tamarisk on the river.
Tackling tamarisk
The exotic woody shrub known as tamarisk or saltcedar has infested the West's river systems, but scientists are divided over how to fight it, or whether it is even possible to do so in a degraded landscape.
Mined-over region resents EPA scrutiny
Some locals are upset over the EPA's desire to expand its mining cleanup in Idaho's Coeur d'Alene Basin.
Judge says wolf reintroduction was illegal
Judge William Downes rules that the wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone and central Idaho was illegal and orders the animals to be removed.
Freak wind storm flattens 6 million trees
After a fierce wind storm levels parts of Colorado's Routt National Forest, debate begins over whether or not to log the damaged trees.
Monumental conflict continues
Utah's congressional delegation continues to try to dismantle the new Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument even as the locals begin to learn to live with it.
Feds take on a sneaky species
One of the problems facing the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher can be found in the bird's nest, where the opportunistic cowbird sneaks in its own eggs, hatching offspring that out-compete the flycatcher's nestlings.
Judge clubs Sierra donor
A San Francisco Superior Court Judge rules against Ray Graham III in his suit against the Sierra Club Foundation.
'HCPs need peer-reviewed science'
In his own words, volunteer Michael Schindell with the National Endangered Species Network says HCPs have weak science.
'Landowners need more incentives'
In his own words, scientist Michael Bean of the Environmental Defense Fund says HCPs give landowners a reason to protect wildlife.
The feds won't enforce the ESA
Some say the real problem with habitat conservation lies in the government's unwillingness to really enforce the Endangered Species Act.
'We've turned down bad HCPs'
In his own words, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Region 1 Assistant Director Curt Smitch defends HCPs.
'I've never seen a good HCP'
In her own words, Environmental Law Fund attorney Tara Mueller blasts HCPs.
'The real problem is lack of time'
In his own words, California biologist Dennis Murphy defends HCPs.
Habitat Conservation Plans
Controversy reigns over whether Habitat Conservation Plans - the latest attempt to balance private-property rights with the protection of endangered species - are doing more harm than good.
Sierra Club Foundation vs. Ray Graham III: the case that won't die
Ray Graham's lawsuit against the Sierra Club Foundation, over money he donated that was never used to buy grazing land in New Mexico for Hispanic shepherds, faces a third fight in San Francisco.
High Country News Classifieds