Magazine
The mine that turned the Red River blue

August 28, 2000

Though the economic future of the area is uncertain, activists welcome a possible Superfund listing for the huge Molycorp molybdenum mine in Questa, N.M., as a way to save the town and the Red River from yet more mine-waste pollution.

Feature

The mine that turned the Red River blue
Though the economic future of the area is uncertain, activists welcome a possible Superfund listing for the huge Molycorp molybdenum mine in Questa, N.M., as a way to save the town and the Red River from yet more mine-waste pollution.

Sidebar

The life and times of a mining town
A timeline traces the history of the Molycorp mine in Questa, N.M., and its environmental problems.
'Molycorp hasn't been a good neighbor to us'
Lifelong Questa resident Joe Cisneros says Molycorp has damaged his air, water and community.
'If you want the jobs, you're going to have to deal with it'
Questa resident Alice Martinez defends the Molycorp mine, where her husband worked for many years.
'A mine divides a community'
Lifelong Questa resident Berlinda Trujillo has spent years in labor and environmental struggles with the Molycorp mine.
'The mine is everything'
An anonymous Questeno says the Molycorp mine has given much to the community and been a good steward of the land.

Uncommon Westerners

Floyd Dominy: An encounter with the West's undaunted dam-builder
An interview with legendary BuRec director Floyd Dominy reveals a man proud of the dams and water supply projects he built throughout the West - especially Glen Canyon Dam and its "most wonderful lake in the world, Lake Powell."

Essays

Down the Rio Grande, one piece at a time
This issue's lead is part of a series of HCN stories intended to create an honest, insightful picture of the Rio Grande and the varied communities and landscapes it passes through on its long journey.

Perspective

The latest salmon plan heads toward a train wreck
The long-awaited federal plan for saving the Northwest's endangered salmon avoids the question of breaching dams and satisfies almost no one.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Cliffhanging tourist photographer; New West attack in Ketchum, ID; barfing in Harrison Ford's chopper; Albuquerque's water vigilantes; satellite-controlled watering in UT; off-road vehicles in Colo. Rockies; Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell's gun vs. dogs.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends
Hot summer brings bears into town; visitors; "Know Thine Enemy"; Oops and congrats.

News

Shaky truce on the Rio Grande
To avoid an environmental lawsuit and placate angry farmers, Albuquerque and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District will sell enough reservoir water to the drought-plagued river to keep endangered silvery minnow alive and ditches flowing until fall.
The Latest Bounce
Lyle McNeal wins lawsuit; S.D. wetlands won't get new definition; old-growth red cedar in Idaho's Clearwater Nat'l Forest saved from logging; Montana ballot will have initiative on banning new game farms; Environmentalists Against Gore.
Home is where the heat is
This summer's wildfires are raising questions about development in the "wildland-urban interface" - places like Montana's Bitterroot Valley, where Forest Service firefighters are using all their resources to protect homes and cabins.
Protect yourself from wildfires
Some practical suggestions for making your home more fire safe.
Fires burn through boundaries at Mesa Verde
During the huge fires, Colorado neighbors Mesa Verde Nat'l Park and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park worked together and improved their historically unfriendly relationship, while the town of Cortez realized anew its economic dependence on the parks.
Who'll clean up a mining mess?
Recent studies show that contamination from Idaho's Bunker Hill Superfund Site has spread throughout the entire Coeur d'Alene River Basin, and some say the Superfund cleanup effort now winding down has not helped at all.
Ranchers forgo their federal lease
Two ranchers give up their grazing privileges on Idaho's Boise National Forest, blaming rules to protect spawning habitat for endangered salmon.
Cement glues citizens together
Pueblo, Colo., citizens, who worked for years to restore air and water polluted by their city's one-time steel mills, now fear a planned cement manufacturing plant will make their newly livable community unlivable and polluted once again.
Republicans attack sovereignty
Native Americans throughout the West are angry at Washington state's Republicans for passing a resolution that attacks tribal sovereignty.

Opinion

Squishy-soft processes - hard results
Former Sierra Club chairman Mike McCloskey says consensus is a threat to democracy and the environment, but the writer believes the move toward collaboration is a sign of a healthy, maturing West and a vigorous grassroots environmental movement.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • 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...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Amargosa Conservancy (AC), a conservation nonprofit dedicated to standing up for water and biodiversity in the Death Valley region, seeks an executive director to...
  • 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...
  • LUNATEC ODOR-FREE DISHCLOTHS
    are a must try. They stay odor-free, dry fast, are durable and don't require machine washing. Try today.