Magazine
Riding the middle path

December 8, 2003

A homegrown consensus effort called the Owyhee Initiative is trying to save both wilderness and ranching in southwestern Idaho – but in the polarized Bush era, consensus is often controversial. Also in this issue: Federal wildlife managers admit that the massive fish kill in the Klamath River in 2002 was caused, in part, by the diversion of water to farmers.

Feature

Riding the middle path
A homegrown consensus effort called the Owyhee Initiative is trying to save both wilderness and ranching in southwestern Idaho – but in the polarized Bush era, consensus is often controversial

Sidebar

In Boulder-White Cloud mountains, another wilderness compromise
A compromise brewed by Republican Rep. Mike Simpson would designate wilderness in the Boulder Mountains and White Cloud Peaks of Idaho
Wilderness deals held hostage in salmon struggle
When Idaho salmon advocates challenged the state’s farm-irrigation system, Norm Semanko held them off by taking a couple of wilderness deals hostage

Editor's Note

Save the middle ground: Hug a radical
Even though it’s true that without the radical extremes, there would be no middle ground, to save wilderness in the Bush era, environmental hard-liners need to ease up on consensus deals

Essays

Leaving Las Vegas
Now that she’s left Las Vegas, the writer recalls the surrealistic city, and is haunted by the memory of the desert that surrounds it

Book Reviews

Getting high in class
Bruce Gordon started his nonprofit EcoFlight in Aspen, Colo., to take kids out of the classroom and let them see environmental issues from above, in his Cessna 210
Calendar
Gas wells wash out habitat
Environmental scientist James Gore warns that the water that coalbed methane wells pours into streams could wipe out up to 30 aquatic species in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana
American Speedster
In Built for Speed: A Year in the Life of Pronghorn, zoology professor John Byers offers a glimpse into the life of North America’s fastest mammal

Writers on the Range

A cheer for runaway bison and the Rocky Mountain Front
The Rocky Mountain Front in Montana is precious land, and it is under threat from the Bush administration’s predatory energy policy
Being a local doesn't make you any better
Robert Struckman confesses he's a knee jerk local who's trying to get over it

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Circumcised elk; grizzly bear highway deaths; recycling fraud in California; money talks at Copper Mountain; newspaper bloopers; crime waves in Cortez, Colo

Dear Friends

Dear Friends
HCN’s upcoming Holiday Open House; Toby Harshaw, John Singlaub, and Rea Orthner visit; Congratulations to Dick Carter and Deb French; and corrections and comments

News

News flash: Fish do need water
Federal wildlife managers admit that the massive fish kill in the Klamath River in 2002 was caused, in part, by the diversion of water to farmers
Follow-up
$11 million is set aside for a nuclear trigger factory that Carlsbad, N.M., is hoping to host; Yucca Mountain, Nev., gets $580 million for nuclear waste storage; no extra water for the Rio Grande silvery minnow; Pentagon wins exemptions to environmental l
As Congress adjourns, the environment is left in limbo
The energy bill is stalled for now as Congress wraps up its business for the year, but a lot of anti-environmental legislation has been passed in an end-of-season rush
Utahns beat back radioactive waste
In the face of noisy opposition, Envirocare of Utah pulls its federal application to dump high-level radioactive waste in the desert
Forest protection on the honor system
The House and Senate pass the Healthy Forests Restoration Act, which environmentalists fear will do the opposite of its name
New nuke studies are in the works
Congress sets aside money for new nuclear weapons research and tells the Nevada Test Site to get ready for nuclear weapons-testing

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • 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!...
  • VERDE RIVER PROJECTS TECHNICIAN
    The Verde River Projects Technician (VRPT) provides technical assistance to Verde River Program staff in implementation of the Verde River Streamflow Monitoring Protocol. This consist...
  • 8 FIELD PROJECT SPECIALISTS (POSITION FORMERLY TITLED TRAIL CREW TECHNICAL ADVISOR)
    Are you passionate about environmental conservation and connecting people to the outdoors? The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) is looking for someone with outdoor leadership...
  • SOUTHWEST REWILDING ADVOCATE
    WildEarth Guardians is seeking a full-time advocate in our Wild Places Program to advance a new paradigm of forest management and protection based on the...
  • 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
  • CARPENTER WANTED
    CARPENTER WANTED. Come to Ketchikan and check out the Rainforest on the coast, Hike the shorelines, hug the big trees, watch deer in the muskeg...
  • WATER PROJECT MANAGER, UPPER SAN PEDRO (ARIZONA)
    Based in Tucson or Sierra Vista, AZ., the Upper San Pedro Project Manager develops, manages, and advances freshwater conservation programs, plans, and methods focusing on...