The latest bounce

 

The preliminary results of the 2000 census confirm that the West's population is booming. Nevada topped the national list with a 66 percent increase in population since 1990. Rounding out the five fastest-growing states in the nation were Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Idaho. The results translate into political power: Nevada and Colorado will each gain one congressional seat, and Arizona will gain two seats.

The abandoned Summitville gold mine in southern Colorado is widely considered the state's worst environmental disaster (HCN, 6/19/00). In a recent legal settlement with the state and federal government, former Summitville shareholder Robert Friedland agreed to pay $27.5 million in penalties. The total cleanup cost is estimated to be $170 million, and government officials are pursuing suits against other companies involved with the project. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman has announced national standards for organic food. When an earlier version of the standards was proposed two years ago, it was widely criticized for allowing genetically modified foods and irradiated crops to be labeled as organic (HCN, 4/13/98). The final standards close these loopholes, and are expected to be in place by mid-2002.

It's official: The Molycorp molybdenum mine in Questa, New Mexico must stop dumping more than 7,000 tons of contaminants into the Red River each year (HCN, 8/28/00). In early December, a new permit from the Environmental Protection Agency required the mine to deal with its acid drainage, which is now seeping directly into the river. The mine is still under consideration for status as a federal Superfund site.

Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt has made three new recommendations for national monuments in the West (HCN, 11/6/00). The proposed Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument would span nearly 150 miles of Montana river; the 51-acre Pompeys Pillar monument would protect a sandstone formation along the Yellowstone River in central Montana; and the Carrizo Plain monument in central California would cover more than 200,000 acres of remnant grassland.

High Country News Classifieds
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