Items by Ray Ring

Cleaner machines drive (slowly) toward Yellowstone
The Environmental Protection Agency is developing the first emission standards for off-road motors, including snowmobiles.
Move over! Will snowmobile tourism relax its grip on a gateway town?
In West Yellowstone, Mont., where snowmobile tourism is a mainstay of the economy, locals are split between fierce supporters of the industry and those who favor a little more quiet and a measure of control.
Westerners share a different reality
A "Time" magazine column about satellite radio that described the New Jersey Turnpike as "the middle of nowhere" provides unintentional humor to Westerners who know the real meaning of nowhere.
Cheney picks former aide to oversee parks, BLM,wildlife
The Bush administration picks Wyoming resident Paul Hoffman to run the BLM as assistant secretary of the Interior for fish, wildlife and parks.
Greens join 'Let's derail a judge' game
Environmentalists adopt the conservative strategy of working to derail the nomination of federal judges whom they fear could harm their cause.
Judge puts kibosh on logging plan
A federal judge rules that the Burn Area Recovery Plan, which would log Montana's Bitterroot National Forest, must be put on hold until the Forest Service gives the public a chance to appeal.
Ranchers' group adopts practical strategy
The Northern Plains Resource Council is unique among Montana environmental groups in that it was founded by cattle ranchers, who still make up half the membership.
'We better start moving ahead'
In his own words, Libby, Mont., accountant Wayne Hirst talks about how Montana environmentalists went wrong.
'We don't rest ... on economics'
In his own words, activist Bob Decker talks about Montana's environmental groups and the struggle they face in their state.
Bad moon rising
Back in the '70s, Montana led the way in progressive environmental legislation, but now with its economy faltering, those laws are being eviscerated, and environmentalists need to find a new strategy.
Ranchers sour on Canadian gas plant
Alberta, Canada, ranchers are frustrated by the government's lack of oversight of the proliferating sour-gas plants that some say harm health and livestock.
A wilderness bill with a little something for everyone
The Boulder-White Clouds wilderness bill tries to give something to everybody, as a list of some of its provisions reveals
Saving the Platte
Environmentalists, farmers and state and federal agencies try to find some kind of consensus even as each reaches for a share of the overused Platte River as it flows from Colorado, through Wyoming and across Nebraska.
A radical approach to mine reclamation
The Sunnyside Mine near Silverton, Colo., is an unusual example of a community working together with miners and environmentalists to find a strategy to heal the damage.
Can tailings piles be historic artifacts?
Some say the often-picturesque ruins of mining create a historical landscape that has value whether there is pollution or not.
Summitville: an expensive lesson
The story of Colorado's Summitville Mine is a story of spectacular failures.
Turning the Old West into the New West
The old mining town of Anaconda, Mont., has turned a mine dump into a designer golf course.
A few plants love mine waste
Plant physiologist Ray Brown works to help mining-damaged ecosystems recover - with the help of a few hardy plant species.
This heavy-metal collection includes a shovel that dug the Panama Canal
Lloyd Harkins, who spent his early years working in Montana mines, now devotes himself to salvaging and collecting the industrial paraphernalia of hardrock mining, from ore cars to a 78-ft. tall head frame.
After the gold rush
The reclamation of Montana's hardrock mines will cost billions, and is complicated by the fact that no one really knows how to do it, or who should foot the bill.
Jell-O and suicides
A look at odd statistics in the West includes a few surprises.
If a town is more dead than alive, it's the Old West
Musing on the gravestones in Anaconda, Mont., a writer theorizes that one can tell whether a town is Old West or New West by the ratio of the buried to the currently alive inhabitants.
Chet Huntley's legacy includes suppression of a free press
The preferential treatment Big Sky gives the pro-resort Lone Peak Lookout over the independent Big Sky Bugle is an ironic legacy for a hard-hitting journalist like Chet Huntley to leave.
Armies of skiers are coming to Yellowstone
Seven ski resorts ring Yellowstone National Park and add to the pressure on a fragile ecosystem.
Touring the future on Insta-Teller Road
A computerized key-pad locked road in Big Sky epitomizes a ski resort where the "haves" are carefully kept from the trespassing "have nots."
How Huntley sold Big Sky to Montana
Big Sky founding father and famous TV newsman Chet Huntley started the resort but did not live to see what he created.
Big Sky above, private land below
Former Big Sky ski patrolman J.C. Knaub in his own words describes the difficulties faced in trying to bring neighborhood parks and trails to Big Sky.
Big Sky, big mess in Montana
A Montana ski resort originally created by newsman Chet Huntley and intended to be a model of free-market, unconstrained development, is today a morass of lawsuits, environmental degradation and inefficiency.
The bigger the mine, the better the deal
Land swaps, like the one planned to save land near Yellowstone National Park from mining, are a bad habit with a bad history in Montana's national forests.
How to influence Congress on just dollars a day
Activist Ray Wheeler sets an intense pace as he personally lobbies in D.C. for wilderness preservation in Utah.
High Country News Classifieds
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    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,...
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    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!...
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