Magazine
Written in the Rings

January 24, 2005

The study of tree rings opens a window into the West’s distant past, and warns us that the region’s future may be dangerously hot and dry. Also in this issue: As the Colorado River Basin enters its sixth year of drought, the seven states that rely on the river for water are forced to work together on a new plan for water use.

Feature

Written in the Rings
The study of tree rings opens a window into the West’s distant past, and warns us that the region’s future may be dangerously hot and dry

Sidebar

So, you want to be a dendrochronologist?
The art of counting tree rings requires a lot of patience, strong legs, and a love of statistical gymnastics
Tree rings reveal a fiery past — and future
Tree-ring scientists Tom Swetnam and Julio Betancourt study past climatic conditions seeking clues to better forest management
Glaciers offer a glimpse of the distant past
Like tree rings, ice cores create a record of the climate of the past, and the National Ice Core Laboratory in Denver houses the largest collection of polar ice cores in the world

Editor's Note

Who'll stop the rain?
January may have brought rain and snow to parts of the West, but the study of past climates warns us that we still have to learn to live with drought

Essays

The wind eternal
The warm chinook winds of Cody, Wyo. keep temperatures mild as they sand away at the town with a steady gale.

Writers on the Range

It's the West's turn to call the shots
The neglected, underestimated Interior West might plant the seeds of change for the current American empire

Book Reviews

Capturing a Chediskai childhood
In Don’t Let the Sun Step Over You: A White Mountain Apache Family Life, anthropologist Keith Basso collects the reminiscences of Eva Tulene Watt
A bear book that tames the fear factor
In Great Wyoming Bear Stories, Tom Reed takes a compassionate and entertaining look at the life, lore and legend of the grizzly bear
Civil Disobedience: Poetics and Politics in Action
Civil Disobedience: Poetics and Politics in Action is an inspiring anthology by Anne Waldman and Lisa Birman
A Place to Stand
In A Place to Stand, New Mexico’s finest poet, Jimmy Santiago Baca, has written a stunning memoir of his turbulent life
One with Ninevah: Politics, Consumption and the Human Future
Paul R. and Anne H. Ehrlich look at the ways the human race is jeopardizing the planet in One with Nineveh: Politics, Consumption and the Human Future

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Top-secret lab has a secret squatter; turtle-helpers in Boulder; the news and the Good News in Colorado Springs; child in pinata; kids write to Santa in Jackson, Wyo.

Dear Friends

Dear friends
Jodi Peterson is HCN’s news editor; Andy Robinson, fund-raiser extraordinaire; John Nutting visits; corrections

News

A crisis brews on the Colorado
As the Colorado River Basin enters a sixth year of drought, the Interior Department orders seven states to start coordinating their management of the dwindling water supply.
Follow-up
Greater sage grouse will not be listed under Endangered Species Act; cleanup of Nevada’s Yerington Mine is turned over to the EPA; wilderness supporters plan to reintroduce bills in new Congress
Feds to hand wolves to states
A change in the federal Endangered Species Act will give Idaho and Montana more control over threatened gray wolves, but deny the Nez Perce Tribe a role in wolf management.
The Utah backcountry gets crowded
Cross-country skiers and environmentalists clash with a heli-skiing company over use of the Tri-Canyon area in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains
Seattle's rural neighbors rise up
Inspired by Oregon’s Measure 37, a private-property rights group in King County, Wash., is fighting to repeal recently adopted land-use ordinances
Graves halt a highway project
An ambitious highway construction project has been put on hold in Port Angeles, Wash., following the discovery of the state’s largest prehistoric village
Butterfly escapes endangered species net
Cloudcroft, N.M., creates its own conservation plan to protect the rare Sacramento Mountains checkerspot butterfly without waiting for an endangered species listing
Wyoming wildlife faces twin threats
A major pronghorn migration route near Pinedale, Wyo., gets squeezed by new subdivisions and oil and gas drill rigs

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
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    We are hiring a Wyoming Conservation Associate Full time, competitive pay and benefits. Location: Cody, WY (preferred), Jackson, WY, or Lander, WY Visit www.greateryellowstone.org/careers for...
  • SOUTHWEST REGIONAL DIRECTOR
    The National Parks Conservation Association, the nations leading national park advocacy organization, seeks a Regional Director to lead and manage staff for the Southwest Regional...
  • DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
    This newly created position with The Nature Conservancy's Colorado River Program will play a key role in the development and implementation of strategies to achieve...
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    The Foundation NoVo Foundation acts from the original meaning of philanthropy: the love of humanity. The Foundation is dedicated to catalyzing a global social transformation...
  • ARMY OF THE DOG
    A new generation of monkey wrenchers hits the Front Range?
  • ANNIE CLARK TANNER FELLOWSHIP IN ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES
    The Tanner Humanities Center and the Environmental Humanities Program of the University of Utah seek an environmental writer to offer classes in Utahs Environmental Humanities...
  • ALASKA STATE DIRECTOR
    The Wilderness Society works to protect Wildlands and inspire Americans to care for our public lands. We seek to hire a strategic, experienced leader who...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Idaho Conservation League (ICL) seeks an individual to lead this 45-year-old organization as executive director, to carry on ICLs work as Idahos leading voice...
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    Guardians is expanding and looking for a few great people to join us in protecting and restoring the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health...
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    Organic grocery/cafe at Glacier Bay needs a vibrant leader. Love good food, community, and Alaska? Join us!
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    Ouray County, Colorado, a popular tourist destination, has dramatic mountains and amazing winter ice climbing. Challenging terrain and high altitude can push visitors to their...
  • CALIFORNIA PROGRAM ASSOCIATE - TAHOE AREA
    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Associate-Tahoe Area. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
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    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Coordinator-Tahoe Area. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
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    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Manager-Tahoe Area. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
  • CALIFORNIA PROGRAM ASSOCIATE, SOUTHERN CA
    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Associate-Southern CA. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
  • THE BOOK OF BARLEY -
    Collector's Item! The story of barley, the field crop. 50 years of non-fiction research. www.barleybook.com
  • RIVER TRIP LEADER & EDUCATOR
    Colorado Canyons Association (CCA) is a growing nonprofit organization fostering community stewardship of our National Conservation Lands with a focus on Dominguez-Escalante, Gunnison Gorge and...
  • RIVER GUIDE AND EDUCATOR
    Colorado Canyons Association (CCA) is a growing nonprofit organization fostering community stewardship of our National Conservation Lands with a focus on Dominguez-Escalante, Gunnison Gorge and...