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
  • CONSERVATION ASSOCIATE - OKANOGAN LAND TRUST (NORTH CENTRAL WA)
    Do you enjoy rural living, wild places, and the chance to work with many different kinds of people and accomplish big conservation outcomes? Do you...
  • CARDIGAN WELSH CORGIS
    10 adorable, healthy puppies for sale. 4 males and 6 females. DM and PRA clear. Excellent pedigree from champion lineage. One Red Brindle male. The...
  • A CHILDREN'S BOOK FOR THE CLIMATE CRISIS!!
    "Goodnight Fossil Fuels!" is a an engaging, beautiful, factual and somewhat silly picture book by a climate scientist and a climate artist, both based in...
  • DIGITAL ADVOCACY & MEMBERSHIP MANAGER
    The Digital Advocacy & Membership Manager will be responsible for creating and delivering compelling, engaging digital content to Guardians members, email activists, and social media...
  • DIGITAL OUTREACH COORDINATOR, ARIZONA
    Job Title: Digital Outreach Coordinator, Arizona Position Location: Phoenix or Tucson, AZ Status: Salaried Job ID Number: 52198 We are looking for you! We are...
  • DESCHUTES LAND TRUST VOLUNTEER PROGRAM MANAGER
    The Deschutes Land Trust is seeking an experienced Volunteer Program Manager to join its dedicated team! Deschutes Land Trust conserves and cares for the lands...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming seeks an experienced fundraiser to join our team. We're looking for a great communicator who is passionate about conservation and...
  • INDIAN COUNTRY FELLOWSHIP
    Western Leaders Network is accepting applications for its paid, part-time, 6-month fellowship. Mentorship, training, and engaging tribal leaders in advancing conservation initiatives and climate policy....
  • MULESHOE RANCH PRESERVE MANAGER
    The Muleshoe Ranch Preserve Manager develops, manages, and advances conservation programs, plans and methods for large-scale geographic areas. The Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area (MRCMA)...
  • ARTEMIS PROGRAM MANAGER
    Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF or Federation) is America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 52 state/territorial affiliates and more...
  • ASSISTANT OR ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES
    Assistant or Associate Professor of Environmental Humanities Whitman College The Environmental Humanities Program at Whitman College seeks candidates for a tenure-track position beginning August 2023...
  • ANNUAL FUND MANAGER
    Working closely with the Foundation's leadership, the Annual Fund Manager is responsible for the oversight and management of the Foundation's annual operating fund. This is...
  • DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR
    Looking for someone who loves public land and understands the value and importance of data in reaching shared goals as part of a high-functioning team....
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    High Country Conservation Advocates (HCCA) in Crested Butte, CO is seeking an enthusiastic Executive Director who is passionate about the public lands, natural waters and...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS
    Are you passionate about connecting people to the outdoors? The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) is looking for someone with volunteer management experience to join...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The conservation non-profit Invasive Species Action Network seeks an executive director. We are focused on preventing the human-caused spread of invasive species by promoting voluntary...
  • NEW BOOK: A FEAST OF ECSTATIC VERSE AND IMAGERY
    Dynamic fine art photographer offers use of images to raise funds. Available for use by conservation groups. Contact at www.anecstaticgathering.com.
  • WANTED: TALENTED WRITER
    Write the introduction to A Feast of Ecstatic Verse and Imagery, a book concerning nature and spirituality. Contact at www.anecstaticgathering.com. Writer who works for conservation/nature...
  • MT STATE DIRECTOR- THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY
    The Montana State Director is a member of The Wilderness Society's (TWS) Conservation program team who plays a leading role in advancing the organization's mission...
  • HIGH COUNTRY NEWS EDITORIAL INTERNS
    High Country News, an award-winning magazine covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, is looking for its next cohort of editorial interns....