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
  • FOR SALE
    Yellowstone Llamas Successful Yellowstone NP concession Flexible packages
  • DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT & MARKETING
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners is seeking a full-time Director of Development & Marketing. This is a senior position responsible for the development of all marketing...
  • LEGAL DIRECTOR
    The Legal Director will work closely with the Executive Director in cultivating a renewed vision at NMELC that integrates diversity, equity, and justice. Black, Indigenous,...
  • VICE PRESIDENT, LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION
    The Vice President for Landscape Conservation leads Defenders' work to promote landscape-scale wildlife conservation, focusing on four program areas: federal public lands management; private lands...
  • NOVA SCOTIA OCEAN FRONT
    Camp or Build on 2+ acres in Guysborough. FSBO. $36,000 US firm. Laurie's phone: 585-226-2993 EST.
  • COMMUNITY FORESTER
    The Clearwater Resource Council located in Seeley Lake, Montana is seeking a full-time community forester with experience in both fuels mitigation and landscape restoration. Resumes...
  • GUNNISON BASIN ROUNDTABLE
    The Gunnison Basin Roundtable is currently accepting letters of interest for ten elected seats. Five of the elected members must have relevant experience in the...
  • PCTA TRAIL CREW TECHNICAL ADVISORS IN WASHINGTON'S NORTH CASCADES
    Seasonal Positions: June 17th to September 16th (14 weeks) - 3 positions to be filled The mission of the Pacific Crest Trail Association is to...
  • WE'RE LOOKING FOR LEADERS!
    As we celebrate 50 years of great Western journalism, High Country News is looking for a few new board members to help set a course...
  • MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR
    Job Announcement Job Title: Membership Director Supervisor: Executive Director Salary: Up to $65,000/year DOE Benefits: Generous benefits package — health insurance, Simple IRA and unlimited...
  • UTAH PUBLIC LANDS MANAGER
    Who we are: Since 1985, the Grand Canyon Trust has been a leading voice in regional conservation on the Colorado Plateau. From protecting the Grand...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Executive Director Walker Basin Conservancy Reno & Yerington, NV Background The Walker Basin Conservancy (Conservancy) leads the effort to restore and maintain Walker Lake while...
  • WIND RIVER WRITERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS RETREAT BY THE NATIONAL BIGHORN SHEEP CENTER
    Enhance your writing or photography skills with world-class instructors in the beautiful Wind River Mountains. All skill levels welcome. Continuing education credits available.
  • EARTH CRUISER FX FOR SALE
    Overland Vehicle for travel on or off road. Fully self contained. Less than 41,000 miles. Recently fully serviced Located in Redmond, OR $215'000.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS
    identifies suspect buried trash, tanks, drums &/or utilities and conducts custom-designed subsurface investigations that support post-damage litigation.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    They [Northern Plains] confound the common view that ordinary people are powerless in the face of industry. - Billings Gazette editorial The venerable Northern Plains...
  • SMALL FARM AT BASE OF MOUNT SHASTA, CALIF.
    Certified organic fruit/berry/veggie/flower farm. Small home, 2 barns (one has an apartment), and more. Approx. two acres just in the City limits. Famously pure air...
  • TAOS HORNO ADVENTURES
    A Multicultural Culinary Memoir Informed by History and Horticulture. Richard and Annette Rubin. At nighthawkpress.com/titles and Amazon.
  • 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.
  • 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.