Magazine
The Last Open Range

March 1, 2004

Wyoming’s Green Mountain Common Allotment is one of the West’s last big, wide-open landscapes – but these days, ranchers, environmentalists, history buffs and the BLM are arguing over whether it’s time to start putting up fences. Also in this issue: Nearly a decade after Imperial Valley irrigators fought off a water grab by Texans Ed and Lee Bass, the Imperial Valley Irrigation District buys the old Bass property, Western Farms, and the water rights that come with it.

Feature

The Last Open Range
Wyoming’s Green Mountain Common Allotment is one of the West’s last big, wide-open landscapes – but these days, ranchers, environmentalists, history buffs and the BLM are arguing over whether it’s time to start putting up fences

Sidebar

The New West collides with open-range laws
As the West grows and develops, more people find themselves drawn into the conflict over open-range laws

Editor's Note

Watt turns history on its head
Former Interior Secretary James Watt still sees himself as a victim of environmental "selfish interest groups," conveniently forgetting that he fought against popular conservation laws on behalf of powerful corporations

Uncommon Westerners

Creating immigrant leaders: Labor organizer Ramon Ramirez
Ramon Ramirez of PCUN, the Northwestern Treeplanters and Farmworkers United, fights on behalf of the rights of immigrants, at home in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and across the globe

Essays

My great-grandfather the crow killer
The author’s family likes to think that his great-grandfather has come back as a crow after a lifetime spent shooting the rambunctious birds

Book Reviews

Resurrected memories of a prison camp
"Snow Country Memories: Interned in North Dakota," a new exhibit at the North Dakota Museum of Art, brings to life the World War II-era Fort Lincoln Internment Camp and the people who lived there, like poet Itaru Ina
Calendar
Reading for — and about — a rainy day
Best Essays NW gathers a collection of Oregon Quarterly essays, most of them written by unknown writers who look at the Northwest from a unique perspective
Ski areas get greener
The Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition grades Western ski areas in its Environmental Scorecard, and the average grade is pretty average

Writers on the Range

We're bickering with our neighbors while the feds spend our money
The defeat of Oregon’s Measure 30 by anti-tax zealots shows that voters angry at state and local governments are going after the wrong enemy

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Nevada’s getting big; urbanite hunters and the NRA; knapweed-sniffing dog; His Royal Highness goes skiing in Jackson Hole; blatant bellybuttons at BYU; Astrolawn in California; reindeer meat

Dear Friends

Dear Friends
Arjun Tadini Bacigalupi is born; HCN’s February board meeting & our new business plan; board members Mark Gordon and Terry Janis step down; new board members Annette Aguayo and John Heyneman; Gary Paul Nabhan on desert agriculture; and familiar faces Geof

News

Postscript to a water war
Nearly a decade after Imperial Valley irrigators fought off a water grab by Texans Ed and Lee Bass, the Imperial Valley Irrigation District buys the old Bass property, Western Farms, and the water rights that come with it
Follow-up
Federal judges fight over snowmobiles in Yellowstone; Kennewick Man is scientific data, not sacred remains; Arlo Looking Glass convicted in murder of Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash; and Union of Concerned Scientists says Bush administration systematically abuses
Old-growth trees to fall in the Sierra
In California, the Forest Service abandons the collaborative Sierra Nevada Framework in favor of a new management plan that cuts big trees
Arizona land swap dogged by questions
Critics say the Yavapai Ranch Land Exchange in Arizona is a sweetheart deal between developer Fred Ruskin and the Forest Service
Oil and gas drilling could oust elk — and Boy Scouts
Plans for oil, gas and coalbed methane development in northern New Mexico’s Valle Vidal have aroused the opposition of environmentalists, ranchers, hunters, and the Boy Scouts

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • DESCHUTES LAND TRUST EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Deschutes Land Trust, based in Bend, Oregon, seeks a collaborative and strategic Executive Director to lead us in pursuing our mission: to conserve and care...
  • DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
    Job Title: Development Manager Supervisor: Senior Director of Development Effective Date: May 17, 2021 Job Status: Full-time (40 hours/week), exempt Location: Within the Colorado Plateau...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT FRIENDS OF CEDAR MESA
    - The Land, History, and People of the Bears Ears Region - The Bears Ears and Cedar Mesa region is one of the most beautiful,...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Job Title: Executive Director Reports To: Board of Directors Compensation: $75,000 to $80,000, plus generous benefits and paid leave. Funding for relocation expenses available. Classification:...
  • WATER DIRECTOR
    Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Application review will begin on April 2, 2021 and will continue until the position has been filled....
  • CLIMATE JUSTICE FELLOW
    High Country News, an award-winning magazine covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks applicants for a climate justice fellowship. The fellowship...
  • VIRGINIA SPENCER DAVIS FELLOWSHIP
    High Country News, an award-winning magazine covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, is offering a fellowship for early-career journalists interested in...
  • COLORADO WILD PUBLIC LANDS VIDEO CONTEST
    Please submit your video of 30 seconds or less, taken on public lands, to [email protected] by May 15th for a chance to win in one...
  • WMAN NETWORK COORDINATOR
    WESTERN MINING ACTION NETWORK (WMAN) CONTRACT OPPORTUNITY CLOSING DATE: Feb. 19, 2021 WMAN is seeking a team member to coordinate the various network activities to...
  • FRIENDS OF THE INYO IS HIRING TRAIL AMBASSADORS FOR THE SUMMER OF 2021
    Friends of the Inyo's Trail Ambassadors (TAs) support the Inyo, Sierra, & Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests and other partners by providing positive public service, outreach, interpretation,...
  • LAND & CABIN ON CO/ UT LINE
    18 ac w/small solar ready cabin. Off grid, no well. Great RV location. Surrounded by state wildlife area and nat'l parks.
  • MANAGER PERMACULTURE LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR
    Permaculture / Landscape Company Manager / Site Lead Red Ant Works, Inc. - 20+ year landscape construction and horticultural care company seeks manager and site...
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Field seminars for adults in natural and human history of the Colorado Plateau with lodge, river trip and base camp options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
    San Juan Citizens Alliance is looking for a passionate, dynamic, organized, and technology-savvy communications professional to help grow our membership and presence in the Four...
  • ENERGY AND CLIMATE PROGRAM ASSOCIATE
    San Juan Citizens Alliance seeks an Energy and Climate Program Associate to focus on public outreach, education and organizing to advance campaigns to mitigate climate...
  • REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST
    This position provides professional real estate services and is responsible for managing and completing real estate projects utilizing a project management database that is designed...
  • WILDFIRE MITIGATION SPECIALIST
    The Wildfire Mitigation Specialist is responsible for delivering wildfire risk mitigation information, recommendations and programmatic resources to wildland urban interface homeowners, community members and partners....
  • DEVELOPMENT POSITIONS
    Thorne Nature Experience is hiring for a Development Director and Senior Individual Giving Manager. Individuals will work collaboratively with Thorne's Executive Director to develop and...
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Native plant seeds for the Western US. Trees, shrubs, grasses, wildflowers and regional mixes. Call or email for free price list. 719-942-3935. [email protected] or visit...
  • THE LAND DESK: A PUBLIC LANDS NEWSLETTER
    Western lands and communities--in context--delivered to your inbox 3x/week. From award-winning journalist and HCN contributor Jonathan P. Thompson. $6/month; $60/year.