Magazine
Gold from the Gas Fields

November 28, 2005

Energy companies are reaping billions in the West today, but few states are making sure that enough of that wealth stays at home and is invested wisely. Also in this issue: The long and carefully planned campaign to protect the Ojito Wilderness in New Mexico holds useful lessons for wilderness activists across the West.

Feature

Gold from the Gas Fields
Energy companies are reaping billions from the West, but few states outside Wyoming are making sure that wealth stays at home and is invested wisely.

Sidebar

Energy companies plow some profits back into Western ground
Raymond Plank, chairman of Apache Corp., says responsible companies like his prove that the energy industry can reduce its environmental impacts and give more back to local communities

Editor's Note

Storing fat from the feeding frenzy
Westerners need to prepare for the next economic bust by saving money from today’s energy boom, just as black bears store calories in the form of fat in order to get through the winter

Uncommon Westerners

'Sticking around' for an alpine valley
Attilio Genasci has devoted himself to preserving land in Sierra Valley, Calif., where he has lived and farmed for 96 years

Essays

‘Death is stingless indeed and as beautiful as life’
Writer and activist Michael Frome looks back on more than 80 years of a life filled concern for the environment and social justice

Book Reviews

Yellowstone fires still ignite controversy
In Scorched Earth, journalist Rocky Barker describes firsthand the chaos and consequences of the Yellowstone fires
Life — and death — in grizzly country
Werner Herzog’s new documentary, Grizzly Man, takes a thoughtful look at the life and death of Timothy Treadwell, an amateur bear biologist who was killed and eaten by an Alaskan grizzly
Buffalo Calf Road Woman
In Buffalo Calf Road Woman, Rosemary and Joseph Agonito give a fictionalized account of the only woman warrior to fight at the Battle of the Little Bighorn
The Ardent Birder
The Ardent Birder, written by Todd Newberry and delightfully illustrated by Gene Holtan, salutes the "lovely madness" of bird-watching
Hear Him Roar
Andrew Wingfield’s tensely told novel, Hear Him Roar, describes what happens when Puma concolor, the mountain lion, collides with Homo dingus dongus, the suburban homeowner

Perspective

In Washington, the most outrageous sins are legal
Given the incestuous nature of politics and lobbying in Washington, D.C., and the corruption inherent in the gambling industry, the rise of an opportunist like Jack Abramoff was all but inevitable

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Oscar Goodman sounds off; Tom Chapman vs. the Yankee Girl; LeRoy Becker loved Montana; Andrew Bisharat vs. baby boomers; cats vs. electricity; miners vs. bloomers in the Old West

Dear Friends

Dear friends
HCN Holiday Open House; People’s Choice Awards for HCN stories; thanks to Mark Lellouch and Alison Davis; visitors

News

The little wilderness that could
The long and carefully planned campaign to protect the Ojito Wilderness in New Mexico holds useful lessons for wilderness activists across the West
The Latest Bounce
Richard Pombo wants new offshore drilling; Nevada gold mines spew mercury across West; grazing fees don’t pay for program; judge slams Forest Service over refusal to look at environmental impacts of fire retardant
Trouble on the Valles Caldera
The Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico was supposed to be a grand experiment in collaborative management, but the current board’s push to expand grazing and curtail public input has led to clashes with local environmentalists
Public-lands agenda turns more radical, urgent
Rep. Richard Pombo has inserted a provision in the House budget bill that will reform United States mining law to allow for the selling off of public lands
Congress loosens organic standards
Large-scale organic food producers have beaten back an attempt to strengthen national organic standards
Agriculture gets a half-step greener
Protected Harvest is a nonprofit that offers certification to farmers who are interested in more eco-friendly practices, but not willing to become organic

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
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    The Grand Canyon director, with the Grand Canyon manager, conservation director, and other staff, envisions, prioritizes, and implements strategies for the Grand Canyon Trust's work...
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    Great Old Broads for Wilderness seeks a part-time Administrative Assistant to support the organization's general operations. This includes phone and email communications, office correspondence and...
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    by Edith Tarbescu. "One Will: Three Wives" is packed with a large array of interesting suspects, all of whom could be a murderer ... a...
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  • LAND STEWARD
    San Isabel Land Protection Trust seeks a full-time Land Steward to manage and oversee its conservation easement monitoring and stewardship program for 42,437 acres in...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Ventana Wilderness Alliance is seeking an experienced forward-facing public land conservation leader to serve as its Executive Director. The mission of the Ventana Wilderness Alliance...
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    The Quivira Coalition (www.quiviracoaltion.org) is a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that builds resilience on arid working lands. We foster ecological, economic, and social health through education,...
  • GRANT WRITER
    "We all love this place we call Montana. We believe that land and water and air are not ours to despoil, but ours to steward...
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    The Development Director is responsible for organizing and launching a coherent set of development activities to build support for the Natural History Institute's programs and...
  • WILDLIFE PROJECT COORDINATOR
    Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF or Federation) is America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 53 state/territorial affiliates and more...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Cinnabar Foundation helps protect and conserve water, wildlife and wild lands in Montana and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem by supporting organizations and people who...
  • TRUSTEE AND PHILANTHROPY RELATIONS MANGER,
    Come experience Work You Can Believe In! The Nature Conservancy in Alaska is seeking a Trustee and Philanthropy Relations Manager. This position is critical to...
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    Non-Profit Management Professional specializing in Transitional Leadership, Strategic Collaborations, Communications and Grant Management/Writing.
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    Close to town but with a secluded feel, this eco-friendly home includes solar panels, a graywater reuse system, tankless hot water, solar tubes, and rainwater...
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    Organize with Northern Plains Resource Council to protect Montana's water quality, family farms and ranches, & unique quality of life. Starts $35.5k. Apply now- northernplains.org/careers