Items by Peter Carrels

As the Great Plains disappear, a path to better farming
As the Great Plains disappear, a path to better farming
Since 2009, an area the size of Kansas has been converted to crops.
How the West nurtured eco-minded agriculture
How the West nurtured eco-minded agriculture
The ranchers of the Western Plains’ shortgrass prairie started a movement to find a less destructive way to farm.
Big Ag stands on shifting ground
How long do we wait for clean coal?
How long do we wait for clean coal?
Politicians are excited about “clean coal,” but so far there’s no sign that it even exists.
Going backwards: building an oil refinery in South Dakota
"Dirtiest oil on earth" to be processed in "green" facility, using 10 million gallons of water from Missouri River aquifer.
On the Missouri, the middle grounds gets soggy
The eight states and 30 Indian tribes of the Missouri River Basin have come to an agreement on how to manage the river, but environmentalists say the agreement will not help the river's endangered species and its other fish and wildlife.
South Dakota pulls plug on Missouri River meetings
South Dakota withdraws from the Missouri River Basin Association, claiming frustration with bureaucracy.
Missouri: a river basin at war
A four-year drought has humbled the Missouri River and plunged its 10 basin states into a sour quarrel with one another and the Army Corps of Engineers, the river's federal boss.
Railroad plans garbage express
When a persistent real estate agent arranged for Alonzo and Robert Rogers to sell 1,200 acres of the southwestern South Dakota ranch, the bachelor brothers had no idea their land was part of a plan to build a massive garbage dump serving faraway cities.
Fighting over the Missouri's big buckets
The drought of 1987 and 1988 has sent water levels on Missouri River reservoirs plummeting toward record lows, intensifying conflicts between upper and lower basin states over river and reservoir management and water allocations.
Biff! Pow! Bang! Three initiatives lose to big money
Last November, environmental activists waging underfinanced ballon initiative campaigns in South Dakota, Montana and Nebraska took beatings from well-funded experts.
Syngas plant survives the '80s
With contracts that insulate it from low energy prices, the Great Plains coal gasification plant in Beulah, N.D., endures as a relic of the federal government's 1970s syn-fuels fascination.
City slickers strike it rich in South Dakota
A plan to invigorate the state's economy by taking sewage ash from the Twin Cities backfire.
Court tells Bureau of Reclamation to stick to irrigation
The Interior Department has suffered a setback to its plans for a greater role in marketing Missouri River reservoir water.
South Dakota Sioux demand the Black Hills
Their hope for the future rests on the fact that the U.S. government took their land by imposing a fraudulent treaty on them in 1877 -- the same year that Crazy Horse was killed by a bayonet-wielding soldier.
Range war in South Dakota
Ranchers and the Forest Service butt heads over management of South Dakota's national grasslands.
Heap leach mining comes to South Dakota
Wharf Resources's open pits, roads, parking lots, heap leach piles, holding ponds and refinery are a vast, complex earth-moving enterprise in the Black Hills.
South Dakota: Reagan's farm policy leads to a defeat
In a U.S. Senate contest, Democrat Tom Daschle wins after hammering on his opponent's support of Reagan's farm policies.
'The most useless river there is'
Today, the Missouri River has been transformed, but residents of the northern plains still struggle with the question of how to use its water.
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