Magazine
Meth invasion

August 14, 2000

As methamphetamine moves into the small, isolated towns of the rural West, the waste left by its manufacture pollutes the environment while the drug's abuse and the traffic in it strain the resources of local law enforcement and social services.

Feature

Meth invasion
As methamphetamine moves into the small, isolated towns of the rural West, the waste left by its manufacture pollutes the environment while the drug's abuse and the traffic in it strain the resources of local law enforcement and social services.

Sidebar

'There's not much to do out there'
In his own words, Erec Hopkins describes how he started injecting - and selling - methamphetamines.
The makings of a meth lab
Mike LaScoula, the Spokane County Health District's chemical and physical hazards advisor, describes the toxic hazards created when a house is turned into an illegal methamphetamine lab.

Uncommon Westerners

Farewell, Marc Reisner
With the recent untimely death of Marc Reisner, the West loses a man of independence and integrity, as well as a writer whose book "Cadillac Desert" helped to change the nation's view of Western water and water projects.

Essays

Native American wannabes: Beware the Weasel Spirit
A Telluride, Colo., woman, irked by the way some New Age whites cannibalize Indian spirituality, has taken on the name of "White Dork" and the totem animal weasel.
The next great adventure: Stay home
In all the hoopla of magazines touting "adventure travel" and ecotourism, the writer wonders why folks don't consider just staying home for a change.

Book Reviews

Critter-watching etiquette
Mary Taylor Young's book, "On the trail of Colorado Critters," teaches children about how to watch and understand wild animals.
Farm workers' kids exposed to pesticides
An EPA report reveals that some children of Washington state farm workers show elevated levels of pesticide exposure.
Migrating with the monarchs
Robert Michael Pyle's book, "Chasing Monarchs: Migrating with the Butterflies of Passage," follows the colorful insects from Canada, down to Mexico, and back up to the California coast on their amazing yearly migration.
Environmental education takes a ride
Mike Kahn is riding his bike from California to Maine, and using his laptop computer along the way to educate children about the natural world that he sees on his journey.
After Lewis and Clark: Explorer Artists and the American West
The journals and paintings of four artists who explores the West after Lewis and Clark will be featured in Idaho.
14th Annual National Forest Reform Rally
Forest activists gather for a rally Sept. 15-17 in Romayor, Texas.
Learning from the Monument
Land protection is the focus of a conference about the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah on Sept. 15.
Nature Writers Retreat
Northwest authors will teach their secrets at the Nature Writers Retreat in Leavenworth, Wash., Sept. 24-27.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Narcisse, Canada: home to 70,000 snakes; man regrets climbing into outdoor potty; Indian tribe plans bowling alley instead of casino; unscrupulous photographers use technology to track wolves and bears; Sequim, WA, elk wear collars to alert m

Dear Friends

Dear Friends
Why HCN is writing about meth; good news from HCN's Writers On The Range and online archives; two HCN parties coming up: September board meeting in Boise and 30th anniversary in Boulder.

News

Telluride tackles ski town sprawl
The ski town of Telluride, Colo., is fighting a developer's plans to build up the Valley Floor, 857 acres of pasture and wetlands that are currently open space on the highway leading into town.
The Wayward West
Western wildfires rage; Rosebud Sioux Tribe cuts its planned giant hog farm by half; Dick French is ousted from job in charge of cleaning up Hanford Nuclear Reservation; Clinton withdraws support for a Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Reform school for wolves
At Ted Turner's Montana ranch, biologists are trying to train wolves to stay away from cattle by using shock collars that jolt the animals when they get too close to a cow or calf.
A leaky mine must get in line
Idaho's Grouse Creek Mine was once hailed as environmentally friendly, but now the mine is closed, and environmentalists fear the company's plans for draining a leaking tailings pond may harm fish in the Salmon River.
Condors back in captivity
Due to lead poisoning, Grand Canyon California condors have been recaptured until officials can track down the source.
Farm it or mine it?
Local farmers are fighting a proposed gravel mine on 550 acres of fertile farmland near the Willamette River north of Eugene, Oregon.
No recreation fees - for now
Visitors to the Snake River in Wyoming avoid the fee-demo program by donating to the Snake River Fund; the Forest Service gets the money only after local river-users approve the agency's river projects.
Dumping diesel
Southern California is trying to reduce diesel emissions by turning to cleaner-burning energy sources for public vehicles.
Small mines stay under the radar
Near Virginia City, Mont., and throughout the West, small mines face minimal regulation and oversight, and private landowners and the state are often left with huge cleanup costs and polluted streams.
Subdivision approved in owl habitat
The federal Fish and Wildlife Service is allowing a Tucson, Ariz., developer to build in habitat critical for the endangered cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl.
Composting takes out the trash
California has cut its landfill waste by 40 percent, and some give composting the credit.
Who speaks for the sheep?
On Arizona's Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, managers are caught between desert bighorn sheep advocates, who say the animals need human-made waterholes, and others who say that hauling water by authorized motorized vehicles harms the wilderness.
Forests on a forced diet
National forests across the country are cash-strapped and hard-pressed to get everyday work done because a greater percentage of the agency's budget is staying in Washington, D.C.
Whirlybirds will fly over Jackson
The Jackson Hole Airport near Grand Teton National Park has decided to allow some helicopter flights, despite fierce local objections.
Tee off for salmon
The owners of a golf course at the base of Oregon's Mount Hood are trying to restore endangered salmon to the stream that runs through it, the Wee Burn.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • NOVA SCOTIA OCEAN FRONT
    Camp or Build on 2+ acres in Guysborough. FSBO. $36,000 US firm. Laurie's phone: 585-226-2993 EST.
  • COMMUNITY FORESTER
    The Clearwater Resource Council located in Seeley Lake, Montana is seeking a full-time community forester with experience in both fuels mitigation and landscape restoration. Resumes...
  • GUNNISON BASIN ROUNDTABLE
    The Gunnison Basin Roundtable is currently accepting letters of interest for ten elected seats. Five of the elected members must have relevant experience in the...
  • PCTA TRAIL CREW TECHNICAL ADVISORS IN WASHINGTON'S NORTH CASCADES
    Seasonal Positions: June 17th to September 16th (14 weeks) - 3 positions to be filled The mission of the Pacific Crest Trail Association is to...
  • WE'RE LOOKING FOR LEADERS!
    As we celebrate 50 years of great Western journalism, High Country News is looking for a few new board members to help set a course...
  • MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR
    Job Announcement Job Title: Membership Director Supervisor: Executive Director Salary: Up to $65,000/year DOE Benefits: Generous benefits package — health insurance, Simple IRA and unlimited...
  • UTAH PUBLIC LANDS MANAGER
    Who we are: Since 1985, the Grand Canyon Trust has been a leading voice in regional conservation on the Colorado Plateau. From protecting the Grand...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Executive Director Walker Basin Conservancy Reno & Yerington, NV Background The Walker Basin Conservancy (Conservancy) leads the effort to restore and maintain Walker Lake while...
  • WIND RIVER WRITERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS RETREAT BY THE NATIONAL BIGHORN SHEEP CENTER
    Enhance your writing or photography skills with world-class instructors in the beautiful Wind River Mountains. All skill levels welcome. Continuing education credits available.
  • EARTH CRUISER FX FOR SALE
    Overland Vehicle for travel on or off road. Fully self contained. Less than 41,000 miles. Recently fully serviced Located in Redmond, OR $215'000.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS
    identifies suspect buried trash, tanks, drums &/or utilities and conducts custom-designed subsurface investigations that support post-damage litigation.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    They [Northern Plains] confound the common view that ordinary people are powerless in the face of industry. - Billings Gazette editorial The venerable Northern Plains...
  • SMALL FARM AT BASE OF MOUNT SHASTA, CALIF.
    Certified organic fruit/berry/veggie/flower farm. Small home, 2 barns (one has an apartment), and more. Approx. two acres just in the City limits. Famously pure air...
  • FRESHWATER SCIENTIST
    The Freshwater Scientist provides technical and scientific support and leadership as a subject matter resource (SMR) for conservation initiatives in surface and groundwater hydrology including...
  • TAOS HORNO ADVENTURES
    A Multicultural Culinary Memoir Informed by History and Horticulture. Richard and Annette Rubin. At nighthawkpress.com/titles and Amazon.
  • LAND & CABIN ON CO/ UT LINE
    18 ac w/small solar ready cabin. Off grid, no well. Great RV location. Surrounded by state wildlife area and nat'l parks.
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Field seminars for adults in natural and human history of the Colorado Plateau with lodge, river trip and base camp options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Native plant seeds for the Western US. Trees, shrubs, grasses, wildflowers and regional mixes. Call or email for free price list. 719-942-3935. [email protected] or visit...
  • THE LAND DESK: A PUBLIC LANDS NEWSLETTER
    Western lands and communities--in context--delivered to your inbox 3x/week. From award-winning journalist and HCN contributor Jonathan P. Thompson. $6/month; $60/year.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.