Magazine
Backyard boom

September 25, 2000

Clean, 'green' gas burns its neighbors as methane wells dominate the land.

Feature

Colliding forces
In Colorado, homeowners and developers are battling the oil and gas industry as the boom in methane gas production brings increased numbers of wells to the rural landscape.
Open for business
Under Gov. Jim Geringer's "open for business' philosophy, the methane gas industry faces little regulation in Wyoming.

Sidebar

How well do you know your wells?
A primer describes the technology and potential problems of methane-gas drilling.
'We need that gas'
Ken Wonstolen of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, in his own words, says that Colorado is an energy-dependent state, and the methane gas it produces is greatly needed.
'It's corporate greed'
Arnold Mackley, whose western Colorado ranch is dotted with gas wells in his own words says the industry ought to able to make a living without destroying the land.
Status quo reigns in New Mexico
In New Mexico, some say complaints about oil and gas development are dwarfed by the industry's clout.
'It's hard to keep fighting'
Janey Hines, in her own words, talks about battling the gas industry with the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, the group she heads in Parachute, Colo.
'The playing field has to be leveled'
Rancher and developer Charles Micale says the gas industry should respect the property rights of surface owners.
'We became Michiwest's sewer'
Ranchers Earl and Sue Boardman have a hard time working with Michiwest, the Michigan-based company that owns the gas wells on their land. Earl, in his own words.
'The industry's philosophy has been to fragment the community'
Wyoming Rancher Mike Foate has developed a Web site to spread information about the gas industry to his often isolated, intimidated neighbors.
'There is a light at the end of the tunnel'
Byron Oedekoven, who ranches near Gillette, Wyo., in his own words, offers advice for landowners who have to work with gas companies.
Under pressure, Montana opts for a slower approach
Near Miles City, Montana, landowners are fighting to slow down methane gas development.

Essays

The hope of a freshly planted field
The author remembers her childhood in Bozeman, Mont., where no one thought her mother would ever succeed in growing sweet corn.
Of bison, the French and our faux wild
As the Park Service struggles to radio-collar and control Yellowstone's wandering bison, the wildness of the animal is forgotten.
Truth-telling needs a home in the West
Historic markers on a Western road trip raise questions about the way Westerners have often romanticized, concealed and lied about their history.

Book Reviews

A call to heed the wild
"Balancing Water: Restoring the Klamath Basin" uses text by William Kittredge and photos by Tupper Ansel Blake and Madeleine Graham to recount the history, ecology and current problems of the Klamath Basin on the Oregon-California border.
Yellowstone's bison get a time limit
Conservationists say Yellowstone National Park's long-awaited plan for managing its wandering bison herds accommodates cows at the expense of the bison.
From cumbersome to collaborative
"Reclaiming NEPA's Potential," a compilation of proceedings from a workshop on assessing the federal government's environmental actions to make the process more collaborative, is now available.
Society for Ecological Restoration
The Northwest chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration is calling for paper abstracts before Sept. 29 for its spring conference.
Taos Art Association
Forty acres of piûon-juniper meadow is being raffled off to raise money to reopen the association's community auditorium.
Indian Land Consolidation Symposium
The 10th annual Indian Land Consolidation Symposium, Oct. 16-20, focuses on reclaiming tribal lands.
Earth First!
A commemorative issue celebrates 20 years of Earth First! Journal.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Las Vegas lizard-smuggling; fire-inspired Montana wisdom; critic eviscerates film "Whipped"; black bear visits Nevada cook shack; gawking at bears in Aspen; motorcycle rally casualties in Colo.; motorcycle vs. hawk; town celebrates toilet.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends
Boise board meeting; WOTR discussion; fall interns Tim Sullivan and Oakley Brooks

News

Fires bring on a flood of federal funds
President Clinton announces a $1.5 billion plan for fire recovery and forest restoration in the nation's neglected, fire-prone national forests.
The latest bounce
Justice Dept. sues Jarbidge Shovel Brigade; BIA apologizes to Indians; wise-users sue over Clinton's new monuments; judge quashes roadless-area lawsuit; Will Stelle leaves National Marine Fisheries Service.
Looters beware: Tribes are fighting back
In the Pacific Northwest, tribes are working with archaeologists and agencies to protect the area's frequently vandalized and looted Native American historical sites.
A park rediscovers a surprising asset
In Utah, Zion National Park launches its long-awaited new public transport system, and most visitors seem to enjoy the convenience - and the lack of noise and traffic in seeing the park by bus.
Does the "death tax' protect open space?
Some say the Republican push to repeal estate taxes could impact land-preservation measures such as easements, since some of the wealth affected by the tax is land, not money.
On the trail
In Montana: Brian Schweitzer vs. Conrad Burns, and race for Rick Hill's seat; Idaho's boring election; in Washington, Deborah Senn and Maria Cantwell fight for Slade Gorton's seat; Oregon's Measure 7 is about "takings."
Ranchers test an agency's image
The refusal of three ranchers to remove cattle from Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument has put the BLM's ability to manage the monument under the spotlight.
Bush camp backpedals on toppling monuments
Republican vice-presidential candidate Dick Cheney backs away from his earlier statement that George W. Bush might rescind the national monuments Clinton created.
Something is polluting the water
The Washington state health department bans shellfish harvesting in Dungeness Bay, where the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe has fished for years, because the water is polluted with fecal coliform bacteria from an unknown source.
Red-legged frog habitat slated for protection
In California, critical habitat is finally designated for the threatened red-legged frog.
A highway hits a speed bump
Utah's plans for a new freeway, the Legacy Highway, are put on hold by the EPA due to the agency's concern that the freeway could damage wetlands.
'Snooty' garages banned
Portland, Ore., bans oversized, street-facing garages on new houses.

Opinion

Clean fuel, dirty neighbors
Methane gas is a clean-burning fuel, but its production creates unnecessary havoc for the people who live in the gas fields.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • 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,...
  • OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR AND BOOKKEEPER
    Posted: July 19, 2021 Application deadline: August 27 or until position is filled. Western Colorado Alliance for Community Action is seeking a fulltime Office Administrator...
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    Posted: July 15, 2021 Application deadline: August 21, 2021 or until position is filled Western Colorado Alliance for Community Action is seeking three full time...
  • A FIVE STAR FOREST SETTING WITH SECLUSION AND SEPARATENESS
    This home is for a discerning buyer in search of a forest setting of premier seclusion & separateness. Surrounded on all sides by USFS land...
  • CARPENTER WANTED
    CARPENTER WANTED. Come to Ketchikan and check out the Rainforest on the coast, HIke the shorelines, hug the big trees, watch deer in the muskeg...
  • AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT EDITOR
    High Country News (HCN) seeks an audience editor to attract and acquire new audiences and deepen engagement with them - in our newsletters, on our...
  • COMMUNITY MARKETER
    High Country News (HCN) is looking for a Community Marketer to build and strengthen relationships between HCN and other organizations and individuals, with the aim...
  • FINANCE & OPERATIONS MANAGER
    Job Announcement: Finance and Operations Manager Announcement date: July 16, 2021 Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and first review will begin: August...
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Job Announcement: Development Director Announcement date: July 16, 2021 Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and first review will begin: August 9, 2021...
  • HECHO POLICY AND ADVOCACY MANAGER
    Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO) was created in 2013 to help fulfill our duty to conserve and protect our public lands for...
  • HECHO NEW MEXICO SENIOR FIELD COORDINATOR
    Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO) was created in 2013 to help fulfill our duty to conserve and protect our public lands for...
  • IDAHO STATE DIRECTOR
    The Wilderness Society is seeking a full time Idaho State Director who will preferably be based in Boise, Idaho. This position is part of our...
  • CAUCASIAN OVCHARKA PUPPIES
    Strong loyal companions. Ready to protect your family and property. Proven against wolves and grizzlies. Imported bloodlines. Well socialized.
  • DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    The Nature Conservancy in Alaska is dedicated to saving the lands and waters on which all life depends. For more than 30 years, TNC has...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY, CLIMATE AND ENERGY PROGRAM
    STAFF ATTORNEY POSITION OPENING https://westernlaw.org/career-opportunity-climate-energy-staff-attorney/ ************************************************** Position Title: Climate and Energy Program Staff Attorney Reports to: Climate and Energy Program Director Location: Helena, Montana; other...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY, WILDLANDS AND WILDLIFE PROGRAM
    STAFF ATTORNEY POSITION OPENING https://westernlaw.org/career-opportunity-wildlands-staff-attorney/ ************************************************** Position Title: Wildlands and Wildlife Program Staff Attorney Reports to: Wildlands and Wildlife Program Director Location: Portland or Eugene,...
  • DISCOUNT SOLAR PANELS
    New w/25 year warranty. Shipped anywhere in the lower 48. Minimum order of 10 units. Call, text or email for current prices. .50-.80/ watt
  • SWEET MOUNTAIN HOME
    3.8 acres in pine and fir forest on a year round creek. Custom home, 2x6 framing, radiant heat, wrap around decks and established berry patch....
  • ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS
    "More Data, Less Digging" Find groundwater and reduce excavation costs!
  • SPRING-FED PARCELS ON THE UPPER SAC RIVER
    Adjacent parcels above the Upper Sacramento river, near Dunsmuir. The smaller is just under 3 acres, with the larger at just under 15 acres. Multiple...