Magazine
Invasion of the rock jocks

July 7, 2003

Bishop, Calif., is a hot spot for the lively new sport of bouldering, but some fear that the new generation of rock-climbers is short on environmental ethics, treating nature as little more than an outdoor climbing gym. Also in this issue:Even as wildfires blaze in Arizona and New Mexico, and President Bush’s forest-thinning plan moves through Congress, Western governors counsel moderation in logging and suggest more research and collaboration.

Feature

Invasion of the rock jocks
Bishop, Calif., is a hot spot for the lively new sport of bouldering, but some fear that the new generation of rock-climbers is short on environmental ethics, treating nature as little more than an outdoor climbing gym

Sidebar

Who’s managing climbers?
A look at popular climbing areas around the West shows both the problems – and the solutions – inspired by the popularity of rock climbing
One park clamps down on climbers
Hueco Tanks State Historic Site near El Paso, Texas, had to enact strict regulations governing climbing after the area’s rock art was vandalized
Climbers: More than just fun-hogs?
The Access Fund says it’s out to prove that climbers care about the environment, but some say that the group’s tactics are no different from any wise-use group’s

Editor's Note

Speak up, ‘quiet recreationists’
Outdoor recreationists need to follow the lead of the Outdoor Industry Association, which is fighting the Utah wilderness rollbacks, in caring about the fate of their natural playgrounds

Book Reviews

Westerners must be fire-starters as well as firefighters
Fire specialist Stephen Pyne’s new book, Smokechasing, is a brilliant and thoughtful collection of essays on a topic he knows very well

Perspective

Fire in the West: It’s no simple story
A group of scientists says that the West is facing a megadrought, and the notion that wildfires should be allowed to burn is simplistic and downright dangerous

Writers on the Range

Once touched by drought, you never forget
The writer remembers his mother and grandmother’s stories of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression as he faces the current drought afflicting the West

Heard Around the West

Heard Around the West
Orange County, Calif., is running out of building room; Arizona man says, "Cage cattle, not people;" "Provider Pals" program wants Montana schoolkids to "adopt" loggers and miners; endangered Bigfoot; DNA catches rustler; arguing about prairie dogs in Gra

Dear Friends

Dear Friends
We need a vacation! Paonia board meeting; visitors; Karen Mockler’s first novel

News

As fires rage, governors counsel discretion
Even as wildfires blaze in Arizona and New Mexico, and President Bush’s forest-thinning plan moves through Congress, Western governors counsel moderation in logging and suggest more research and collaboration
Follow-up
Klamath farmers have to cut back on water; hunters asked to use lead-free ammo to protect condors; Interior Department forms new appraisal office for land swaps; Indian activist Russell Means crashes NPS dedication of Little Big Horn Memorial
Back on the range?
Controversy is rising over a plan to transfer management of Montana’s National Bison Range and several other wildlife refuges to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
‘New Homestead Act’ would boost dwindling towns
The "New Homestead Act" now before Congress seeks to entice the young and skilled back into the Great Plains’ dying towns -- struggling communities like Eads, Colo
Reinstating the heir to the Truckee River
The Nevada Lahontan cutthroat trout, believed to be extinct for 60 years, may still be alive, but actually restoring the fish to its native Truckee River and Pyramid Lake could prove extremely complicated
A ravaged river gets a new life
The Nature Conservancy is using the McCarran Ranch, which it recently purchased, as a river-restoration pilot project for Nevada’s Truckee River
Bikers want back in to national park
Tucson, Ariz., mountain bikers are pushing the Park Service to reopen the Cactus Forest Trail in Saguaro National Park
Trees help clean the West’s dumps
The Riverbend Landfill in McMinnville, Ore., is planting poplar trees to help clean up contaminants in a cutting-edge process called phytoremediation
Water bottles flood landfills
A nonprofit group, Californians Against Waste, is trying to double the state’s recycling deposits on beverage containers, but the industry is fighting attempts to put a bill through Congress
Demolish the dam, sayeth the Lord
Montana’s Clark Fork River Coalition is celebrating the EPA’s call for the removal of Milltown Dam and its toxic reservoir, a decision even conservative Gov. Judy Martz says God’s will
War on fire takes a toll on fish
The group Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics is calling for Forest Service firefighters to be more careful with fire retardants, which are causing fish kills in Western streams
Hood River dam’s days are numbered
Pacificorp has agreed to remove the Powerdale Dam on Oregon’s Hood River in 2010
Report brandishes cold facts about U.S. energy
A new report by the Rocky Mountain Institute called U.S. Energy Facts criticizes current energy policy and urges efficiency and conservation
Log on for fire news
A new Web site, Forest Fire and the American Southwest, is intended to serve as a "one-stop-shopping site" for information about regional wildfires

Letters

Pesticides killing frogs? Poppycock.
Pesticides killing frogs? Poppycock
Pesticides and frogs – it's worse than we thought
Pesticides and frogs – it's worse than we thought
Lori Piestewa's real lesson
Lori Piestewa's real lesson
High Country News Classifieds
  • CLIMATE CHANGE COORDINATOR
    The Greater Yellowstone Coalition is seeking a Climate Change Coordinator to play a lead role in shaping our programs to make the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Executive Director Position Announcement POSITION TITLE: Executive Director ORGANIZATION: Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument REPORTING TO: Board of Directors EMPLOYMENT TYPE: Part-time - Full-time, based...
  • HEALTHY CITIES PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    The Healthy Cities Program Director leads and manages the Healthy Cities Program for the Arizona Chapter and is responsible for developing and implementing innovative, high...
  • CONSERVATION PROGRAM MANAGER
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) Conservation Programs Manager Job Opening Our Mission: Honoring the past and safeguarding the future of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument through...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) Associate Director Job Posting Our Mission: Honoring the past and safeguarding the future of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument through science,...
  • UNIQUE, ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOME ON ACREAGE NEAR MOSCOW, IDAHO
    Custom-built energy-efficient 3000 sqft two-story 3BR home, 900 sqft 1 BR accessory cottage above 2-car garage and large shop. Large horse barn. $1,200,000. See online...
  • OUTDOOR ADVENTURE BUSINESS FOR SALE
    Missoula Outdoor Learning Adventures (MOLA) - established and profitable outdoor adventure & education business in Missoula, Montana. Summer camp, raft & climb guide, teen travel,...
  • OJO SARCO FARM/HOME
    A wonderful country setting for a farm/work 1350s.f. frame home plus 1000 studio/workshop. 5 acres w fruit trees, an irrigation well, pasture and a small...
  • STEWARDSHIP COORDINATOR
    Join Skagit Land Trust (the Trust), a not-for-profit conservation organization based in Mount Vernon, Washington, and help protect land for people and wildlife. Skagit Land...
  • 2022 SEASONAL SCIENCE EDUCATOR
    The Mount St. Helens Institute Science Educator supports our science education and rental programs including day and overnight programs for youth ages 6-18, their families...
  • POLICY DIRECTOR
    Heart of the Rockies Initiative is seeking a Policy Director to lead and define policy efforts to advance our mission to keep working lands and...
  • CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
    Self-Help Enterprises seeks an experienced and strategic CFO
  • CONSERVATION SPECIALIST - LAND PROTECTION FOCUS
    View full job description and how to apply at
  • RIVER EDUCATOR & GUIDE
    River Educator & Guide River Educator & Guide (Trip Leader) Non-exempt, Seasonal Position: Full-time OR part-time (early April through October; may be flexible with start/end...
  • LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION DIRECTOR
    The Land and Water Conservation Director is a full-time salaried position with the Mountain Area Land Trust in Evergreen, CO. The successful candidate will have...
  • FOOD SYSTEMS ENVIRONMENTAL FELLOWSHIP
    If you were to design a sustainable society from the ground up, it would look nothing like the contemporary United States. But what would it...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT) is seeking an Executive Director who will lead RiGHT toward a future of continued high conservation impact, organizational...
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    Help protect Montana's water quality, family farms and ranches, & unique quality of life. Work hard, meet good people, make the world a better place!...
  • NEW BOOK:
    True Wildlife Tales From Boy to Man. Finding my voice to save wildlife in the Apache spirit. 365+ vivid colorful pictures. Buy on Amazon/John Wachholz
  • CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER
    with Rural Community Assistance Corporation. Apply here: https://www.marcumllp.com/executive-search/chief-operations-officer-rcac