September 2, 2002

As a new boom in coalbed methane gas drilling hits the West, some counties are taking on industry-friendly state regulating agencies and demanding that gas companies listen to local concerns. Also in this issue: EPA chief Christie Whitman and Idaho Sen. Larry Craig dipped champagne glasses in Idaho's Lake Coeur d'Alene and toasted the newly-created commission tasked with cleaning up mining waste in the lake. But the Coeur d'Alene Tribe wants the problem to be taken seriously.


In Gallatin County, Mont., and Delta County, Colo., local citizens and county governments are fiercely resisting the recent, no-holds-barred push to drill for coalbed methane.


One Colorado county takes a stand
Poor but coal-rich Delta County, Colo., made history when its county commissioners, responding to a determined citizens' movement, voted to deny four coalbed methane test wells and attach conditions to the drilling of a fifth.


When nature calls, don't follow your instincts
For environmental as well as aesthetic reasons, parks like Grand Teton in Wyoming are doing away with wilderness outhouses, and requesting hikers to use "poop bags" to pack out human waste.

Book Reviews

An inspiring, devastating story
Land, Wind and Hard Words: A Story of Navajo Activism by John W. Sherry tells the story of the Navajo grassroots environmental group Dine CARE and the dedicated small group of people who founded it, 10 years ago.
River's end
The Culminating Conference for the year-long series, Moving Waters: The Colorado River and the West, is set for four days in September in Flagstaff, Ariz.
Telling it on the mountain
As part of the United Nations' 2002: The Year of the Mountains proclamation, a program on the problems facing mountain peoples will be held in Silverton, Colo., Sept. 26-28.
No shoes, no problem
In Barefoot Hearted: A Wild Life with Wildlife, Kathleen Meyer relates her adventures in Montana's Bitterroot Valley, where she shares an old dairy barn with her boyfriend and numerous uninvited animal guests.
The fission of a New Mexican nuclear family
Bradford Morrow's novel, Ariel's Crossing, tells a poignant story of family and reconciliation in New Mexico, where the nuclear weapons testing of 40 years ago still haunts the land and the people.
Is it possible ...
Outdoor Classroom on Rangeland Health
If you're tired ...
Sopris Foundation's Web site
Visit awhile with Molly ...
Western Colorado Congress


Bush's energy push meets unintended consequences
The Bush administrations' push to drill and drill yet more in the West is likely to have surprising consequences, arousing even some Republicans to protest.

Writers on the Range

A NIMBY and proud of it
The term "NIMBY" is used as a term of abuse, but the writer says that when it comes to things like coalbed methane drilling on Colorado's Western Slope, he is eager and proud to declare: NOT IN MY BACKYARD.

Heard Around the West

Heard Around the West
Mini-ranch sold on eBay; smashed toilets become office foundation; Aspen man blown away by job requirements; "Russian Mafia" robbing Idaho hikers; meth addicts stealing old-growth trees; Water Board plans cloud-seeding; and grasshopper plague.

Dear Friends

Breaking all the rules
Breaking all the rules, HCN writes about local coalbed methane story; Visitors; interesting mail about enviro "psychohistory"; no Centennial Hotel in Elko; HCN goes to Seattle for board meeting, potluck
Farewell to a great mountain photographer
Mountain photographers Galen and Barbara Rowell die in a California plane crash.


EPA puts cleanup in local hands
The planned Superfund cleanup of Idaho's Lake Coeur d'Alene is taken from the EPA and given to a controversial new local commission, although the Coeur d'Alene Tribe says it will force the EPA to take back the project, if necessary.
The Latest Bounce
180 lynx to be released in Colorado; stricter noise rules in Grand Canyon; Bureau of Indian Affairs to create federal Indian Energy and Minerals office; bark beetles hit Arizona pinon pines.
Closing the loop
On the Navajo Reservation, Indigenous Community Enterprises is using thinned small trees from fire-prone, overgrown forests to build hogans for housing - and the tribal economy as well.
The other firefighters
Fire-proofing houses is a thriving new business in Durango, Colorado's fire-prone forests, but the only real solution to the problem is to quit building in the urban-wildland interface, many say.


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