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

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

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

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
  • BACKCOUNTRY FILM FESTIVAL MANAGER
    Boise-based Winter Wildlands Alliance is looking for an experienced and highly motivated individual to organize our annual Backcountry Film Festival and Tour and coordinate additional...
  • LAND CONSERVATION MANAGER
    SUMMARY Leads, administers and manages the land conservation, conservation easement stewardship, and property management activities of the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department within...
  • CLEAN ENERGY PROGRAM ATTORNEY, NEVADA
    Position Summary: Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is seeking a Staff Attorney who is passionate about Western communities and the protection of the natural environment to...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Deschutes River Conservancy in Bend, Oregon
  • WATER POLICY ANALYST WITH WRA (BOULDER)
    Position Summary: Western Resource Advocates seeks a passionate Water Policy Analyst with knowledge of western water issues to join our Healthy Rivers Team to strengthen...
  • GILA NATIONAL FOREST
    9+ acre inholding. Passive solar strawbale off the grid and next to the Continental Divide Trail in ponderosa pine/doug fir forest at 7400.
  • HIRING BEARS EARS EDUCATION CENTER DIRECTOR
    Conservation nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa in Bluff, Utah is hiring an Education Center Director to oversee the operation of the Bears Ears Education Center....
  • PROGRAM MANAGER, SUSTAINING FLOWS
    Friends of the Verde River, Cottonwood, AZ. Apply at https://verderiver.org/employment-opportunities/
  • PROGRAM ASSOCIATE - VERDE RIVER EXCHANGE
    Verde River Exchange - Friends of the Verde River, Cottonwood, AZ. Apply at https://verderiver.org/employment-opportunities/
  • CODE COMPLIANCE OFFICER
    Teton County Planning & Building is hiring! Our ideal candidate is a team-player, a problem-solver, pays attention to detail, and can clearly communicate technical material...
  • ARCHITECTURE DRAFTSPERSON/PROJECT MANAGER
    Studio Architects is seeking a full time Architectural drafts-person/project manager with1-3 years of experience to join our firm. At Studio Architects our mission is to...
  • ASSISTANT MANAGER/TRAINEE, COLORADO RANCH
    needed for 16,000+ acre conservation property in south central Colorado. Qualified candidate would have experience working on a ranch or wilderness property, general forestry/fire management...
  • FARM HAND &/OR NANNY IN ESCALANTE
    Nanny for 18-mnth-old. Yearly salary, vacation, health insurance. Spanish/other foreign-language native spkr prefrrd.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Washington Association of Land Trusts seeks an ED to build on WALTs significant success & to lead the association to new levels of achievement. See...
  • BEAUTIFUL CUSTOM STRAWBALE HOME IN WESTERN COLORADO!
    Secluded, energy efficient Southwestern home on 40 wooded acres. Broker - Rand Porter - United Country Real Colorado Properties. 970-261-1248, $425K
  • FORMER RETREAT CENTER/CONSERVATION PROPERTY FOR SALE
    57 acres in Skull Valley, AZ, 17 miles from Prescott, year-round creek, swimming holes, secluded canyon, hiking/meditation trails, oaks, pines, garden, greenhouse. House, office building,...
  • HISTORIC RANCH HOME W/ 20 ACRES
    Historic 1893 Ranch Headquarters. 4 Bdrm, 3.5 Ba, 4000 ft2. Remodeled 2002. Includes 2 studio apts, stables, arena, workshop, 5 RV hookups. Chirachua & Peloncillo...
  • VICE PRESIDENT OF RETAIL OPERATIONS
    The Vice President of Retail Operations will provide overall leadership and accountability for purchasing, product development, merchandising planning, visual merchandising, retail operational excellence, oversight and...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners seeks an experienced fundraiser with excellent communication and organizational skills.
  • PROGRAM MANAGER
    position in Phoenix with the Babbitt Center for Land and Water Policy.