Magazine
Calling It Quits

April 4, 2005

Tough economics, drought, and increasing clashes with other public-lands users are leading some ranchers to consider taking the "golden saddle" – a check from conservationists in exchange for their grazing permits. Also in this issue: Two researchers say that the "Sustainable Slopes" program, touted by the National Ski Areas Association as a sign of the industry’s environmental responsibility, is little more than "greenwashing."

Feature

The Big Buyout
Tough economics, drought, and increasing clashes with other public-lands users are leading some ranchers to consider taking the "golden saddle" – a check from conservationists in exchange for their grazing permits

Sidebar

Buyouts by the numbers
The various grazing buyout proposals offer different amounts to ranchers in exchange for retiring their grazing permits
One BLM district grabs the bull by the horns
On the Upper Deschutes area of Oregon, the Bureau of Land Management is working to move cows off the public land
Public-lands ranchers: Should you trust this man?
Paul Larmer interviews longtime activist Andy Kerr, director of the National Public Lands Grazing Campaign, about grazing buyouts and the future of public-lands ranching

Editor's Note

Grazing buyouts help land and ranchers
Some Western ranchers, fed up with economic problems and other conflicts, are handing over their grazing allotments to conservation groups in exchange for a healthy check

Uncommon Westerners

Saving Maidu culture, one seedling at a time
Lorena Gorbet, a Mountain Maidu Indian, has dedicated her life to saving her tribal culture through forest management in the Feather River area of Northern California

Essays

The Far East yearns for the wild West
The Wild West lives on in a distinctly Eastern way at Western Village in Imaichi, Japan, sister city of Rapid City, S.D.

Book Reviews

Showdown over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and its people
Caribou Rising by Rick Bass is an impassioned plea on behalf of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Gwich’in people who have hunted caribou there for thousands of years
The best thing since dams: pouring water underground
In Common Waters, Diverging Streams William Blomquist, Edella Schlager, and Tanya Heikkila argue on behalf of "conjunctive management" – coordinating the use of surface water with underground aquifers
Santa Fe Hispanic Culture: Preserving Identity in a Tourist Town
Santa Fe Hispanic Culture: Preserving Identity in a Tourist Town by Andrew Leo Lovato explores the way Santa Fe, N.M., both preserves and exploits its colorful past
Diminished Democracy: From Membership to Management in American Civic Life
In Diminished Democracy, Harvard University professor Theda Skocpol considers the decline of volunteerism in American life, and what it means for the nation’s democracy
Common Southwestern Native Plants: An Identification Guide
In Common Southwestern Plants, Jack L. Carter, Martha A. Carter and Donna J. Stevens have created a user-friendly botanical guide

Writers on the Range

Do you want fries with that mustang?
A rider in the federal spending bill will end a 34-year-old ban on selling wild horses for slaughter

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Only resident of Monowi, Neb., loves it, but other Great Plains towns struggle to attract people; "no intelligent life out here" is right; no plastic surgery for Hollywood pets; Glenwood Springs, Colo., cops catch Denver bad guy; "low-cow" Internet in Hot

Dear Friends

Dear friends
Tragedy in Paonia; visitors; "Starting West" conference at Stanford discusses frustration; clarification from BLM; Happy 35th birthday, HCN

News

The last happy agency biologist — and other April Foolery
Biologist Mark Intyme is marking time; "Termoonator" takes on wolves; coorections; "Million Bush March" and other oddities
Developer under fire for destroying desert
Developer George Johnson is being sued by the state of Arizona for major violations of environmental laws, committed in the early stages of his planned La Osa Ranch development
Ski areas' 'green' image not backed by action
Two researchers say that the "Sustainable Slopes" program, touted by the National Ski Areas Association as a sign of the industry’s environmental responsibility, is little more than "greenwashing"
Rock jocks fight a mining company
Resolution Copper Company is trying to obtain a land swap in order to mine at Arizona’s Oak Flat campground, a popular rock-climbing spot
The public pays to keep water in a river
Three important "takings" lawsuits claim farmers should be compensated when water is withheld from irrigators in order to help endangered species during times of drought
Who owns Klamath water — farmers or the public?
A judge rules that Pacific Coast fishermen can intervene as a third party in a lawsuit between Klamath River Basin farmers and the federal government

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
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    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....
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    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...
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    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...
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    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...
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    Dynamic fine art photographer offers use of images to raise funds. Available for use by conservation groups. Contact at www.anecstaticgathering.com.
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    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...
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