Magazine
The last weird place

May 24, 1999

Eccentric desert rats and clean-cut park rangers sometimes meet in a culture clash over how to manage one of the hottest, driest and strangest places in North America - Death Valley National Park.

Feature

The last weird place
Eccentric desert rats and clean-cut park rangers sometimes meet in a culture clash over how to manage one of the hottest, driest and strangest places in North America - Death Valley National Park.

Sidebar

'The more protection we have, the better'
Death Valley environmental specialist Dick Anderson defends the Desert Protection Act as necessary to save wild lands.
'Humans aren't that bad'
Local resident Jim Macey believes park status has actually harmed Death Valley.
Bureau of livestock, mining ... and parks?
The decision to put the BLM, rather than the Park Service, in charge of the new Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, is part of a trend toward blurring the lines among the roles of the federal land management agencies.
'I'm really embarrassed'
Local resident Kathy Goss is disillusioned by the way environmentalists pushed the Desert Protection Act.
'They're just too rigid'
Longtime park volunteer Reuben Scolnik says the park officials are good people but too rigid.
'By and large, they're heroes'
Death Valley Park Superintendent Dick Martin says the park rangers are heroes.
So much land, so little money
Park enemies in Congress reduced the budget for the new Mojave National Preserve to one dollar - an extreme example of the way Congress often creates parks and monuments but is reluctant to provide any money to support them.
'It didn't need to be saved'
Longtime Death Valley resident Janice Allen believes the area is not helped by its designation as a national park.
'We were created to serve all'
Chief ranger Scot McElveen says local people should not receive preference in a natural resource owned equally by all citizens.

Essays

Walking the path between light and dark
Physical anthropologist Christy Turner's controversial theories that the Anasazi practiced cannibalism leave the writer pondering the balance of good and evil that existed in the no-longer idealized past as well as in the present.

Book Reviews

Not just sheepherders
Nancy Zubiri's book, "A Travel Guide to Basque America - families, feasts and festivals," is a passionate and well-researched guide to Basque culture in the Great Basin area.
Star parties
From May through October the Hansen Planetarium will host monthly star parties and indoor slide presentations at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.
'Duck cops' ruffle feathers
Many law enforcement agents at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say their program is corrupt, understaffed and underfunded.
All about salmon
The report "A Snapshot of Salmon in Oregon" explains the complexities of saving salmon.
Recreation doesn't cut it
A study of Clark County, Idaho, shows that tourism may not be enough to keep suffering rural economies afloat when timber and mining industries pull out of an area.
Strategies in Western water law
University of Colorado's 20th annual summer conference on water law will be held June 9-11 in Boulder, Colo.
San Juan Citizens Alliance
The Alliance will have a community involvement celebration June 19 in Durango, Colo.
Sustainable Development Speakers Series
The Environmental Protection Agency hosts a free series in Denver, July 15, Sept. 16 and Nov. 11.
Yellow Bay Writers' Workshop
The 12th annual writers' workshop will be held Aug. 8-14 near Montana's Flathead Lake.

Perspective

New twist in an old law has everyone screaming
Solicitor John Leshy of the Interior Dept., an expert on the 1872 Mining Law, has the industry screaming and politicians in turmoil over his decision to enforce a long-neglected provision of the law, which allows only a few acres per mining claim.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Front Sight development in Nev. to have 13 firing ranges; sheepherder fired for unlicensed dog; condor visits airstrips; Fake fish mimics how fish cope with hydropower dams; dogs in pickup controversy in Jackson, Wyo.; bag lunches in Aspen ski resorts.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends
30 issues for $30; 20,000 subscribers by Y2K; this and that; new intern Tim Westby.

News

Does a wilderness bill include a driveway?
Critics say that Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard's Spanish Peaks wilderness bill leaves a road unprotected - a "cherry stem" - that will benefit developer Tom Chapman, who owns a mining claim at the end of it.
Greens not welcome in Escalante
Newcomers Patrick Diehl and Tori Woodward say they are being persecuted by some longtime Escalante, Utah, residents, because they are environmentalists who oppose construction of the New Wide Hollow Reservoir.
The Wayward West
BLM fines stray cows along San Pedro in Ariz.; stray bison near Yellowstone not protected by new wildlife plan; new bus system slated for Yosemite hits speed bump; voluntary June climbing ban at Devil's Tower; plans to buy Loomis forest in Wash.
The feds poke a hole in the 1872 Mining Law
Battle Mountain Gold's plans to mine Buckhorn Mountain in Washington's Okanogan Highlands hit a snag when the Interior Dept. realizes that the mine's "waste-rock" piles will sprawl over more land than the 1872 Mining Law allows.
Settlement reached in Tahoe takings case
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is ordered to pay Bernardine Suitum $600,000 for blocking her plans to build an A-frame house on her property by Lake Tahoe.
Road ban stops a timber project
Dixie National Forest officials cancel a controversial timber sale because it conflicts with the Forest Service's nationwide moratorium on road construction in roadless areas.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • MONTANA DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    YOUR POSITION WITH TNC The Director of Development (DoD) is responsible for directing all aspects of one or more development functions, which will secure significant...
  • DEVELOPMENT AND OPERATIONS COORDINATOR
    Development & Operations Coordinator Terms: 1.0 FTE (full-time), Salary DOE ($45,000 - $55,000) Benefits: Paid Time Off (12-24 days/year depending on tenure), Paid Holidays (10/year),...
  • GUIDE TO WESTERN NATIONAL MONUMENTS
    NEW BOOK showcases 70 national monuments across the western United States. Use "Guide10" for 10% off at cmcpress.org
  • CARBON RANCH PLANNER
    The Quivira Coalition (www.quiviracoaltion.org) is a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that builds resilience on arid working lands. We foster ecological, economic, and social health through education,...
  • EDUCATION AND OUTREACH DIRECTOR
    Education and Outreach Program Director The Quivira Coalition (www.quiviracoaltion.org) is a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that builds resilience on arid working lands. We foster ecological, economic,...
  • WESTERN DIVISION DIRECTOR OF FIELD PROGRAMS
    DEADLINE TO APPLY: October 29, 2021 LOCATION FLEXIBLE (WESTERN HUB CITY PREFERRED) Overview The Land Trust Alliance is the voice of the land trust community....
  • COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH ASSOCIATE
    Communications and Outreach Associate Position Opening: www.westernlaw.org/communications-outreach-associate ************************************************* Location: Western U.S., ideally in one of WELC's existing office locations (Santa Fe or Taos, NM, Helena,...
  • FREELANCE GRAPHIC DESIGNER & PROJECT COORDINATOR (REMOTE)
    High Country News (HCN) is seeking a contract Graphic Designer & Project Coordinator to design promotional, marketing and fund-raising assets and campaigns, and project-manage them...
  • FILM AND DIGITAL MEDIA: ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF INDIGENOUS MEDIA, CULTURAL SOVEREIGNTY AND DECOLONIZATION (INITIAL REVIEW 12.1.21)
    Film and Digital Media: Assistant Professor of Indigenous Media, Cultural Sovereignty and Decolonization (Initial Review 12.1.21) Position overview Position title: Assistant Professor - tenure-track Salary...
  • REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST
    To learn more about this position and to apply please go to the following URL.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS
    "More Data, Less Digging" Find groundwater and reduce excavation costs!
  • RARE CHIRICAHUA RIPARIAN LAND FOR SALE
    40 acres: 110 miles from Tucson: native trees, grasses: birder's heaven::dark sky/ borders state lease & National forest/5100 ft/13-16 per annum rain
  • CENTRAL PARK CULTURAL RESOURCE SPECIALIST
    Agency: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Salary Range: $5,203 - $7,996 Position Title: Central Park Cultural Resource Specialist Do you have a background in Archaeology...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    Come live and work in one of the most beautiful places in the world! As our Staff Attorney you will play a key role in...
  • ARIZONA GRAZING CLEARINGHOUSE
    Dedicated to preventing the ecological degradation caused by livestock grazing on Arizona's public lands, and exposing the government subsidies that support it.
  • OPERATIONS MANAGER
    Position Summary: Friends of the Inyo (friendsoftheinyo.org) is seeking a new Operations Manager. The Operations Manager position is a full-time permanent position that reports directly...
  • WATER RIGHTS BUREAU CHIEF
    Water Rights Bureau Chief, State of Montana, DNRC, Water Resources Division, Helena, MT Working to support and implement the Department's mission to help ensure that...
  • DEVELOPMENT & OUTREACH ASSOCIATE
    Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is hiring! Who We Are: The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC) is a small grassroots nonprofit based out of Juneau, Alaska,...
  • DESERT LANDS ORGANIZER
    Position Summary: Friends of the Inyo seeks a Desert Lands Organizer to assist with existing campaigns that will defend lands in the California desert, with...
  • IDAHO CONSERVATION LEAGUE
    Want to help preserve Idaho's land, water, and air for future generations? Idaho Conservation League currently has 3 open positions. We are looking for a...