Behind the gate

November 11, 2002

The "Real West" at the touch of an access code? A look into the fortified rural retreats of the West's moneyed elite. Also in this issue: Hanford bomb factory's hard-to-reach radioactive dregs might stay where they are.


Behind the gate
The Stock Farm outside of Hamilton, Mont., is one of many new exclusive gated housing developments in the West, and some fear that these fortified palaces, which cater to a wealthy elite, will further divide communities and adversely impact the land.


Gated communities go in with a bang
Exclusive gated communities such as Montana's Yellowstone Club impact the land as well as the social fabric.
It's more than a house, it's a fantasy life
The sales pitch for the Silver Bow Club, a gated ranch community proposed for Montana's Big Hole River, weighs 12 pounds and encourages vivid lifestyle fantasies.


Fenced out of Bush's gated empire
An anti-war demonstration in Flagstaff, Ariz., leads the writer to consider that our leaders are becoming more and more removed from the people, living and governing in isolation behind high and fortified walls.


Wind power in the West gains speed
Colorado writer Alex Merkels talks about the revolution in wind power now sweeping over the West.

Writers on the Range

Freedom of the press is eroding before our eyes
Independent, family-owned newspapers are disappearing down the gullets of huge corporations, and American democracy is directly threatened by the loss of a diversity of voices.

Heard Around the West

Heard Around the West
Grizzly jam turns into fracas; School administrator embezzles for his self-esteem; yield to bison; Cody Boobyprise speaks out for endangered liberals; low-flow toilets cause problems in Santa Fe; rats in Beverly Hills; and Nike vs. British brewery.

Dear Friends

Break open the gates
Gated communities; HCN calls readers; visitors; gripes & gun-totin' Democrats


Feds find shortcuts in nuclear cleanup
The Department of Energy is looking for shortcuts in the cleanup of radioactive waste at the Hanford bomb factory in Washington, but area tribes and environmentalists fear the job may not be properly done.
Washington citizens fight to save aging Hanford reactor
In Hanford, Wash., a local group, the Citizens for Medical Isotopes, wants to convert the Fast Flux Test Facility into a private facility producing medical isotopes.
The Latest Bounce
Whistleblower says Fisheries Service followed politics, not science; decision to release water for the silvery minnow is reversed; Farmers get money for destroyed crops; Report says Bush admin. acted improperly when it overturned environmental regs.
Grand Canyon oases face faraway threats
Small desert springs in the Grand Canyon area are indispensable oases for many plants and animals, but they may be endangered by development many miles away as the groundwater is depleted.
Wild horses could go to Mexico
Rancher Merle Edsall wants to save wild horses by sending them to a sanctuary in Sonora, Mexico, but some fear such a move would actually endanger the animals.
Navajos can't Dine at local diner
RD's Drive-In in Page, Ariz., is facing a federal lawsuit over its policy of not allowing Navajo employees to speak their native language while at work.
Corps stands behind status quo
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says that, because of drought, changing the management of the Missouri River and its dams to benefit endangered fish and birds must be postponed.
Golden trout swimming in troubled waters
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering whether to list the disappearing golden trout, California's state fish, as endangered.
Land swap too hot to handle
Some Sheridan, Wyo., residents fear a planned land swap could land them with responsibility for an underground coal-seam fire at the Welch Ranch on the Tongue River.
How to make your own Yellowstone, Mexican style
In Coahuila, Mexico, the corporate colossus CEMEX is working to create a "Mexican Yellowstone" that would preserve the rich wildlife and wild country of the Sierra El Carmen.
Golden State gets a green power surge
Under a new law, California's three investor-owned utilities must buy 20 percent of their power from alternative energy sources such as wind and solar.


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