Magazine
The Big Blowup

April 23, 2001

A historian of fire recalls the "Big Blowup" of 1910, an explosion of wildfire in Idaho that took 78 lives, made a hero of ranger Ed Pulaski, and helped to share a century of fire policy on the national forests.

Feature

The Big Blowup
A historian of fire recalls the "Big Blowup" of 1910, an explosion of wildfire in Idaho that took 78 lives, made a hero of ranger Ed Pulaski, and helped to share a century of fire policy on the national forests.

Editor's Note

After the fires, Part I
An introduction to this issue's lead story and the next talks about the need for changes in the Forest Service's fire policy, especially in the West.

Uncommon Westerners

An unabashed moralist bows out
Longtime, controversial New Mexico activist Sam Hitt retires from Forest Guardians to write a book.

Perspective

An environmentalist in the heart of cowboy culture
Former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall, Arizona native, rancher and environmentalist, lectures on cooperation and community in the West at the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nev., and gets a surprising ovation.

Book Reviews

Benigna's Chimayo: Cuentos from the Old Plaza
In "Benigna's Chimayo: Cuentos from the Old Plaza," Don Usner recounts the rich stories his grandmother used to tell him, when he spent childhood summers with her in Chimayo, N.M.
Fool's Gold: Telluride's 'magical realism'
In "Fool's Gold: Lives, Loves, and Misadventures in the Four Corners Country," Rob Schultheis tells of life in Telluride, Colo., from its ramshackle hippie days in the 1970s to its growth into an expensive ski resort.
Billboards blast bomb industries
The Los Alamos Study Group, a nonprofit focused on nuclear disarmament, has put up five billboards on I-25 in New Mexico that criticize the state's dependence on the nuclear weapons industry.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Moab and "The Vagina Monologues"; "squaw" and its English equivalent in Idaho; Unimogs are new ultimate behemoths; motorized scooters new trend.

Dear Friends

Dear friends
Activist Connie Harvey celebrates 70th birthday in Aspen, Colo.; visitors by modem and phone; God leads HCN subscribers; oops: HCN booboos.

News

Monuments caught in the crosshairs
Under the new administration of George W. Bush, Republicans seek to open Clinton's new national monuments to oil and gas exploration and other uses and to revise the way monuments are created.
Roadless rule hits the skids
The Bush administration is working to revise and weaken Clinton's roadless area conservation rules for national forests.
The latest bounce
Idaho can't kill sage grouse predators; Colo. coyote-killing study stopped; Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.) against drilling on public land near Jackson; Interior/Treasury must account for lost Indian monies; Sen. Slade Gorton may become federal judge.
Monument status could wreck ruins
Archaeologists fear that without more funds to manage tourism, the ruins in newly designated Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Colo., will suffer from increased visitors.
Microwaveable wilderness
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and Wilderness Watch are challenging a microwave repeater tower in Death Valley National Park that was put up without any environmental assessment.
Company leaves victims in its dust
In Libby, Mont., residents who are sick or dying of exposure to asbestos from W.R. Grace's vermiculite mine are outraged by the company's decision to file for bankruptcy in the face of their lawsuits.
Debate roars over quiet canyon
Environmentalists say new rules restricting helicopter and airplane flights in the Grand Canyon still aren't enough to restore quiet, even as air-tour operators react with anger and lawsuits.
Slapping back at SLAPPs
A bill designed to protect citizens from frivolous lawsuits called SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) was defeated in Colorado's state Senate, but its sponsor plans to try again.
Islands hung out to dry
Idaho irrigators are relieved that water rights have been denied for the 94 islands in the Snake River that make up the Deer Flats National Wildlife Refuge.
Plan protects foresters, not fish
Washington state's much-hyped "Forests and Fish" plan is being criticized by scientists, environmentalists, fishermen and tribes as a sell-out to the timber industry likely to hasten the salmon's decline.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Deschutes River Conservancy in Bend, Oregon
  • WATER POLICY ANALYST WITH WRA (BOULDER)
    Position Summary: Western Resource Advocates seeks a passionate Water Policy Analyst with knowledge of western water issues to join our Healthy Rivers Team to strengthen...
  • GILA NATIONAL FOREST
    9+ acre inholding. Passive solar strawbale off the grid and next to the Continental Divide Trail in ponderosa pine/doug fir forest at 7400.
  • HIRING BEARS EARS EDUCATION CENTER DIRECTOR
    Conservation nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa in Bluff, Utah is hiring an Education Center Director to oversee the operation of the Bears Ears Education Center....
  • PROGRAM MANAGER, SUSTAINING FLOWS
    Friends of the Verde River, Cottonwood, AZ. Apply at https://verderiver.org/employment-opportunities/
  • PROGRAM ASSOCIATE - VERDE RIVER EXCHANGE
    Verde River Exchange - Friends of the Verde River, Cottonwood, AZ. Apply at https://verderiver.org/employment-opportunities/
  • CODE COMPLIANCE OFFICER
    Teton County Planning & Building is hiring! Our ideal candidate is a team-player, a problem-solver, pays attention to detail, and can clearly communicate technical material...
  • ARCHITECTURE DRAFTSPERSON/PROJECT MANAGER
    Studio Architects is seeking a full time Architectural drafts-person/project manager with1-3 years of experience to join our firm. At Studio Architects our mission is to...
  • ASSISTANT MANAGER/TRAINEE, COLORADO RANCH
    needed for 16,000+ acre conservation property in south central Colorado. Qualified candidate would have experience working on a ranch or wilderness property, general forestry/fire management...
  • FARM HAND &/OR NANNY IN ESCALANTE
    Nanny for 18-mnth-old. Yearly salary, vacation, health insurance. Spanish/other foreign-language native spkr prefrrd.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Washington Association of Land Trusts seeks an ED to build on WALTs significant success & to lead the association to new levels of achievement. See...
  • BEAUTIFUL CUSTOM STRAWBALE HOME IN WESTERN COLORADO!
    Secluded, energy efficient Southwestern home on 40 wooded acres. Broker - Rand Porter - United Country Real Colorado Properties. 970-261-1248, $425K
  • FORMER RETREAT CENTER/CONSERVATION PROPERTY FOR SALE
    57 acres in Skull Valley, AZ, 17 miles from Prescott, year-round creek, swimming holes, secluded canyon, hiking/meditation trails, oaks, pines, garden, greenhouse. House, office building,...
  • ARIZONA PUBLIC LANDS ORGANIZER
    Title: Public Lands Organizer About the Arizona Wildlife Federation (AWF) The AWF is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating, inspiring, and assisting individuals and organizations...
  • HISTORIC RANCH HOME W/ 20 ACRES
    Historic 1893 Ranch Headquarters. 4 Bdrm, 3.5 Ba, 4000 ft2. Remodeled 2002. Includes 2 studio apts, stables, arena, workshop, 5 RV hookups. Chirachua & Peloncillo...
  • VICE PRESIDENT OF RETAIL OPERATIONS
    The Vice President of Retail Operations will provide overall leadership and accountability for purchasing, product development, merchandising planning, visual merchandising, retail operational excellence, oversight and...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners seeks an experienced fundraiser with excellent communication and organizational skills.
  • PROGRAM MANAGER
    position in Phoenix with the Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy.
  • ROADS END CABIN NEAR YELLOWSTONE
    Vaulted ceilings, two fireplaces, two bedrooms, loft, jetted tub, wifi. Forest, mountain views. Wildlife. [email protected]
  • ACCOUNTING CLERK
    Our director is seeking to employ the services of an Accounting Clerk to assist with various accounting and administrative tasks. This is a great opportunity...