Magazine
When a Boom is a Bust

September 13, 2004

Wamsutter, Wyo., is a boomtown these days, but the town is struggling to be a real community, instead of just a barracks for the natural gas industry. Also in this issue: In Colorado and elsewhere in the West, the fear of West Nile Virus brings the controversy about spraying pesticides to a boil.

Feature

When a Boom is a Bust
Wamsutter, Wyo., is a boomtown these days, but the town is struggling to be a real community, instead of just a barracks for the natural gas industry

Sidebar

Wamsutter Profiles
Some of Wamsutter’s citizens are briefly profiled: a Baptist preacher, a couple of real estate entrepreneurs, a café owner, the deputy sheriff, a bar owner, an oil-field worker, the town librarian and a local Democrat

Editor's Note

The beauty of the ugly West
Towns like Wamsutter, Wyo., may never be quaint and charming, but they can lay claim to their own rough beauty once a real community takes root

Uncommon Westerners

Composing the new Western: Calexico
Joey Burns and John Convertino, along with the other members of the band Calexico, create music that is thoroughly rooted in the desert Southwest around Tucson, Ariz.

Essays

Occupying less
A wild bird helps teach a woman how to let go of the need to own things

Book Reviews

A thin, dry border between heaven and hell
In his anthology, God’s Country or Devil’s Playground, editor Barney Nelson gathers together an eclectic mix of the best nature writing from the Big Bend of Texas
The wages of sprawl
A new documentary, Making Sense of Place: Phoenix, the Urban Desert, uses the Arizona megalopolis to show what happens when urban sprawl is unchecked

Writers on the Range

Failure of leadership, not a lack of water, dooms the Klamath River
Only the federal government can find away to protect both salmon and farmers in the Northwest’s Klamath River watershed

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Bowdlerizing books at the Layton library; Oregon cheese not from Oregon; property rights – and wrongs – in Delta, Colo.; bears and beer; Colorado coffee-creamer cubs; loving guns in Montana; and prairie dogs vs. gas development

Dear Friends

Dear friends
HCN’s upcoming potluck is in Portland; new interns Deanna Belch and Lissa James; and corrections

News

Communities search for a safer way to kill mosquitoes
In Colorado and elsewhere in the West, the fear of West Nile Virus brings the controversy about spraying pesticides to a boil
A water-and-wilderness bill kicks up dust in Nevada
Critics say an economic development initiative could suck desert springs and rural counties dry
Colorado voters hold the cards on renewable energy
In November, Coloradans will have the chance to vote on a citizen-proposed renewable-energy initiative, but the utilities are working hard to defeat it
Japanese cars may get all the good lanes
A proposed law would allow California commuters who drive some hybrid vehicles to use the state’s carpool lanes, and the CEO of Ford Motor Co. is not happy about it
Calendar

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • PHILANTHROPY COORDINATOR
    Wyoming Wildlife Federation - collaborates with the Executive Director and staff to ensure the effective implementation of all philanthropic activities. https://wyomingwildlife.org/hiring-philanthropy-coordinator/.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    HawkWatch International is hiring an Executive Director to lead the organization. The next leader of this growing organization must have: 1. Enthusiasm for conservation, birds...
  • EVERLAND MOUNTAIN RETREAT
    Everland Mountain Retreat includes 318 mountaintop acres with a 3,200 square foot lodge and two smaller homes. Endless vistas of the Appalachian mountains, open skies,...
  • PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Home Resource is a non-profit community sustainability center. We work with, in, and for the community to reduce waste and build a more vibrant and...
  • COUNTRY ESTATE NEAR KINGS CANYON AND SEQUOIA PARKS
    Spectacular views of snowcapped Sierras. 15 miles from Kings Canyon/Sequoia Parks. 47 acres with 2 homes/75' pool/gym/patios/gardens. 1670 sq.ft. main home has 3 bdrm/1 bath....
  • BRN DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
    Borderlands Restoration Network 501c3 is hiring a full-time Development Director. Description and job details can be found at https://www.borderlandsrestoration.org/job-opportunities.html
  • GILA NATIONAL FOREST NEW MEXICO
    Beautiful off-the-grid passive solar near the CDT. 9.4 acres, north of Silver City. Sam, 575.388.1921
  • ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING MANAGER
    The City of Fort Collins is seeking an Environmental Planning Manager in the Natural Areas Department. The Department has an annual budget of approximately $13...
  • WEB DESIGN AND CONTENT MANAGER
    We are seeking an experienced designer to be the team lead for web development and digital media. Part creator and part planner, this person should...
  • CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
    at RCAC. See the full description at https://bit.ly/2WJ3HvY Apply at [email protected]
  • GRASSROOTS ORGANIZER
    The Utah Rivers Council is looking for an energetic individual with strong communication and organizing skills. The Grassroots Organizer works to ensure our campaigns are...
  • JOHN DEERE SNOW BLOWER 24"
    Newly refurbished and tuned. Older model, great condition. Gasoline engine. Chains on tires. Heavy duty for mountain snow. Call cellphone and leave message or email.
  • CARPENTER RANCH MANAGER
    Hiring a part-time ranch manager to live on The Nature Conservancy's Carpenter Ranch property in Hayden, CO. Responsibilities include: facility maintenance of historic ranch house,...
  • STRAW BALE, ADOBE, TIMBER FRAME, HEALTHY HOME, NEAR LA VETA PASS, CO
    unique custom home in Sangre de Cristo Mountains of CO near La Veta Pass, 3 bed, 2 1/2 bath, private gated park, two hours from...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, KANIKSU LAND TRUST
    Kaniksu Land Trust, a community-supported non-profit land trust serving north Idaho and northwest Montana, is in search of a new executive director. The ideal candidate...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Flathead Lakers are seeking a dynamic, self-motivated and proven leader to be our next Executive Director (ED).
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Blackfoot Challenge, a renowned collaborative conservation org in MT, seeks our next ED.
  • COPPER CANYON MEXICO CAMPING & BACKPACKING
    10-day tour from Los Mochis airport, 2/nyts El Fuerte, train, 2/nyts canyon rim hotel, 5/nyts camping. 520-324-0209, www.coppercanyontrails.org.
  • STAFF ATTORNEY, ALASKA
    Earthjustice is hiring for a Staff Attorney
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    to lead an organization that funds projects in National Parks. Major gift fundraising and public lands experience critical. PD and app details @ peopleinparks.org.