Magazine
Life in the wasteland

December 9, 2002

Eureka, Utah, unearths a toxic legacy just as its only hope for rescue, the federal Superfund cleanup program, blows away. Also in this issue: Thousands of park and forest jobs could go to private contractors.

Feature

Life in the wasteland
Eureka, Utah, a struggling former mining town, was named a Superfund priority site in September, but the Environmental Protection Agency is running out of funds for cleanup, and the Bush administration shows no interest in replacing them.

Sidebar

Superfund: On the Hill… on the ground
Timelines trace the birth, life and decline of the Superfund law, both on Capitol Hill and on the ground in the West.
Brownfields program makes cleanup profitable
The "Brownfields" program, an offshoot of Superfund, is designed to redevelop contaminated sites into real estate, but critics say it is not always up to the challenge.

Essays

Like Butte, a lonely dog hangs on
A mysterious, mangy, half-wild dog known locally as "The Auditor" has made the moonscape of the Butte’s Berkeley Pit his home for 16 years, hanging on to life as stubbornly as the town of Butte itself.

Book Reviews

Cow-free crowd ignores science, sprawl
Welfare Ranching’s authors, George Wuerthner and Mollie Matteson, are romantics who ignore the threat of sprawl and the studies of scientists in their quest to ban all cattle grazing on the West’s public lands.
Ranching advocates lack a rural vision
Ranching West of the 100th Meridian is a book of essays that promotes the false idea that Westerners must choose between condos and cows in a landscape never meant for cattle grazing.

Writers on the Range

What Dick Cheney might have learned in Rock Springs, Wyoming
Dick Cheney once lived in the boom-and-bust community of Rock Springs, Wyo., but didn’t learn there the lessons that he might have learned to help him deal with unintended consequences in a war against Iraq.

Heard Around the West

Heard Around the West
Camouflage for consumers; SWAT team busts dog; saving Smokey’s job; New Mexico "most stupid" state; turning a mine into a tourist attraction; and hermit "Dugout Dick" lives in a cave in Idaho.

Dear Friends

Dear friends
Kiss a super idea (Superfund) goodbye; more election reflection; visitors; correction and apology; and hello to Utah, radio station KUER.

News

Administration, industry stamp out clean airregs
The auto industry, backed by the Bush administration, is trying to halt California’s progressive auto-emissions regulations.
The push is on to privatize federal jobs
The Bush administration has ordered federal land-management agencies to identify jobs that might be performed more cheaply by the private sector.
Outside the agency, it’s a cold, cruel world
Displaced federal employees may find it difficult to adapt to work in the private sector.
Election Bounce
Beef checkoff rule upheld by courts; California red-legged frog loses critical habitat; Hanford’s Fast Flux Test Facility will not be shut down; Neal McCaleb announces resignation as director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and EPA eases rules on coal-fir
Farmers band together to stave off sprawl
In California’s Central Valley, farmers are working together to create "farmland security perimeters" to protect their land from development.
Cowboys fight oil and gas drillers
Fed up with energy companies and the BLM, several ranchers in northwestern New Mexico have locked their gates, blocking private roads to natural gas wells.
Condit Dam removal hits snags
Plans to take down Condit Dam on the White Salmon River in Washington are stalled over the problem of what to do about the sediment that has backed up behind the dam.
Klamath water worth more in river
A U.S. Geological Survey study, suppressed by the Interior Department in October, says that recreation adds more than agriculture to the economy of the Klamath River Basin.
Fish and wildlife have rights, too
Montana’s Supreme Court rules that citizens and government agencies can maintain water rights without "using" the water, while the Wyoming Legislature stalls over a bill that would allow irrigators to leave water instream temporarily.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
    We are a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that builds resilience on arid working lands. We foster ecological, economic, and social health through education, innovation, and collaboration....
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    Come work alongside everyday Montanans to project our clean air, water, and build thriving communities! Competitive salary, health insurance, pension, generous vacation time and sabbatical....
  • CAMPAIGN MANAGER
    Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA), a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to protecting, defending and restoring Oregon's high desert, seeks a Campaign Manager to works as...
  • HECHO DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    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...
  • REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE, COLUMBIA CASCADES
    The Regional Representative serves as PCTA's primary staff on the ground along the trail working closely with staff, volunteers, and nonprofit and agency partners. This...
  • FINANCE AND OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
    The Montana Land Reliance (MLR) seeks a full-time Finance and Operations Director to manage the internal functions of MLR and its nonprofit affiliates. Key areas...
  • DIRECTOR OF CONSERVATION
    The Nature Conservancy is recruiting for a Director of Conservation. Provides strategic leadership and support for all of the Conservancy's conservation work in Arizona. The...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Amargosa Conservancy (AC), a conservation nonprofit dedicated to standing up for water and biodiversity in the Death Valley region, seeks an executive director to...
  • BIG BASIN SENIOR PROJECT PLANNER - CLIMATE ADAPTATION & RESILIENCE
    Parks California Big Basin Senior Project Planner - Climate Adaptation & Resilience ORGANIZATION BACKGROUND Parks California is a new organization working to ensure that our...
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE ASSISTANT - (PART-TIME)
    High Country News, an award-winning media organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks a part-time Customer Service Assistant, based at...
  • SCIENCE PROJECT MANAGER
    About Long Live the Kings (LLTK) Our mission is to restore wild salmon and steelhead and support sustainable fishing in the Pacific Northwest. Since 1986,...
  • HUMAN RESOURCES GENERALIST
    Honor the Earth is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on identity. Indigenous people, people of color, Two-Spirit or LGBTQA+ people,...
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Colorado Trout Unlimited seeks an individual with successful development experience, strong interpersonal skills, and a deep commitment to coldwater conservation to serve as the organization's...
  • NEW BOOK BY AWARD-WINNING WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST, BRUCE SMITH
    In a perilous place at the roof of the world, an orphaned mountain goat is rescued from certain death by a mysterious raven.This middle-grade novel,...
  • DESCHUTES LAND TRUST VOLUNTEER PROGRAM MANAGER
    The Deschutes Land Trust is seeking an experienced Volunteer Program Manager to join its dedicated team! Deschutes Land Trust conserves and cares for the lands...
  • PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Now hiring a full-time, remote Program Director for the Society for Wilderness Stewardship! Come help us promote excellence in the professional practice of wilderness stewardship,...
  • WYOMING COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS COORDINATOR
    The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is seeking Coordinator to implement public education and advocacy campaigns in the Cowboy State to unite and amplify hunter, angler,...
  • MOUNTAIN LOTS FOR SALE
    Multiple lots in gated community only 5 miles from Great Sand Dunes National Park. Seasonal flowing streams. Year round road maintenance.
  • RURAL ACREAGE OUTSIDE SILVER CITY, NM
    Country living just minutes from town! 20 acres with great views makes a perfect spot for your custom home. Nice oaks and juniper. Cassie Carver,...
  • 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...