Magazine
The Final Energy Frontier

December 12, 2005

The end of the oil and gas era may be in sight, but the current energy boom in the West means that a rough and wild ride is still ahead. Also in this issue: After Michele DeHart of the Fish Passage Center in Portland, Ore., publicly supported a plan to protect salmon, angry lawmakers led by Sen. Larry Craig yanked the center’s funding.

Feature

The Final Energy Frontier
The end of the oil and gas era may be in sight, but the current energy boom in the West means that a rough and wild ride is still ahead
Congress bets on oil shale
Northeastern Utah, southern Wyoming and western Colorado are humming with new talk of oil shale, but industry insiders say that the technology has years to go before oil shale development is financially and environmentally viable
Tapping into energy's fringe
As energy companies go after "unconventional" natural gas – such as tight-sands gas and coalbed methane –the environmental impacts are becoming increasingly apparent
Westerners slowly adapt to high prices
Westerners are making a few small efforts to conserve energy in the face of higher prices, but environmentalists wonder what it will take to inspire a real change in behavior
Forget idealism
With the demand for renewable energy growing and the costs falling, solar and wind power have moved out of the realm of idealism into that of the marketplace

Editor's Note

The view from above
High Country News prides itself on keeping close to the ground, but for this special issue, we look at the energy boom in the West from a global perspective

Uncommon Westerners

Healing the border with words
Award-winning author Denise Chavez created the Border Book Festival, and founded a Cultural Center in Mesilla, N.M., to help heal the cultural wounds of the U.S.-Mexico border

Essays

Alvin Josephy: A gentle, graceful advocate for sovereignty
Writer and historian Alvin Josephy is remembered as a good friend to Indian people, especially the Nez Perce Tribe
Vine Deloria Jr.: Writer, scholar and inspired trickster
Vine Deloria Jr., author of Custer Died for Your Sins, is remembered as a witty, impassioned and iconoclastic writer, historian, and teacher, who fought for Indian peoples and their right to self-determination

Book Reviews

Not just any book about the grasslands
In his serious and poetic first book, Not Just Any Land, John Price takes a literary journey into the heart of America’s grasslands
Coming home to a Montana town
Karen Brichoux’s pensive new novel, The Girl She Left Behind, recounts the challenges faced by a young woman on her return to a small Montana town
Bear
In Bear, Robert E. Bieder traces the history of this fascinating animal across centuries of time and a variety of different cultures
Earth Notes
Earth Notes, edited by Peter Friederici, is a tasty selection of tidbits about the Southwest’s canyon country
Living Within Our Means: Beyond the Fossil Fuel Credit Card
Engineer and city councilman Kamyar Enshayan considers the inevitable end of the fossil fuel joyride

Writers on the Range

Wheelchairs and wilderness can coexist
Accessible trails for wheelchair users should be a part of new wilderness legislation

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
The Lost People of Mountain Village; big-game tax-deduction scam; pigs and developers; coping with the medfly; grizzlies vs. highways in Canada

Dear Friends

Dear friends
Visitors; notes from readers; corrections

News

A bullet for the bearer of bad news
After Michele DeHart of the Fish Passage Center in Portland, Ore., publicly supported a plan to protect salmon, angry lawmakers led by Sen. Larry Craig yanked the center’s funding
The Latest Bounce
"Speed dating" brings Utah legislators and lobbyists together; EPA cleaning up fewer sites; Fallon, Nev., residents breathing dangerous tungsten and cobalt; poaching at Wyoming drill rigs
Flood insurance crimps Western waterways
Critics say that FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program is encouraging development in flood-prone areas alongside Western rivers, such as the Rio Grande
Sheepherders flock to better-paying jobs
Wyoming lawmakers are trying to pass a law to prevent sheepherders from quitting their jobs without notice in search of better-paying employment
BLM boosts winter drilling
The BLM wants to allow oil and gas companies to drill near Pinedale, Wyo., in wintertime, and some conservationists think the change may actually help declining mule deer populations
'Green' seal of approval considered for national forests
The Forest Service is considering "green" certification for timber produced on the national forests, but environmentalists fear it's a form of greenwashing that will wrongly legitimize public-land logging

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • DISTRICT MANAGER
    The San Juan Islands Conservation District is seeking applicants for the District Manager position. The position is open until filled and application plus cover letter...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Mountain Time Arts, a Bozeman-based nonprofit, is seeking an Executive Director. MTA advocates for and produces public artworks that advance social & environmental justice in...
  • BEND AREA HOME WITH AMAZING CASCADE PEAKS VIEW
    Enjoy rural peacefulness and privacy with one of the most magnificent Cascade Mountain views in sunny Central Oregon! Convenient location only eight miles from Bend's...
  • MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
    High Country News, an award-winning media organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks a Marketing Communications Manager to join our...
  • EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
    High Country News, an award-winning media organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks an Editor-In-Chief to join our senior team...
  • RESEARCH FELLOW (SOUTHWESTERN U.S. ENERGY TRANSITION)
    The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) in partnership with the Grand Canyon Trust is seeking a full-time Fellow to conduct topical research...
  • LENDER OWNED FIX & FLIP
    2 houses on 37+ acres. Gated subdivision, Penrose Colorado. $400k. Possible lender financing. Bob Kunkler Brokers Welcome.
  • ONCE OR TWICE
    A short historical novel set in central Oregon based on the the WWII Japanese high altitude ballon that exploded causing civilian casualties. A riveting look...
  • HISTORIC LODGE AND RESTAURANT - FULLY EQUIPPED
    Built in 1901, The Crazy Mountain Inn has 11 guest rooms in a town-center building on 7 city lots (.58 acres). The inn and restaurant...
  • HOUSE FOR SALE
    Rare mountain property, borders National Forest, stream nearby. Pumicecrete, solar net metering, radiant heat, fine cabinets, attic space to expand, patio, garden, wildlife, insulated garage,...
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER- NORTHERN PLAINS RESOURCE COUNCIL
    Want to organize people to protect Montana's water quality, family farms and ranches, & unique quality of life with Northern Plains Resource Council? Apply now-...
  • CONSERVATION MANAGER
    The Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT) is hiring an energetic and motivated Conservation Manager to develop and complete new conservation projects and work within...
  • POLLINATOR OASIS
    Seeking an experienced, hardworking partner to help restore a desert watershed/wetland while also creating a pollinator oasis at the mouth of an upland canyon. Compensation:...
  • ELLIE SAYS IT'S SAFE! A GUIDE DOG'S JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE
    by Don Hagedorn. A story of how lives of the visually impaired are improved through the love and courage of guide dogs. Available on Amazon.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY
    All positions available: Sales Representative, Accountant and Administrative Assistant. As part of our expansion program, our University is looking for part time work from home...
  • RUBY, ARIZONA CARETAKER
    S. Az ghost town seeking full-time caretaker. Contact [email protected] for details.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Powder River Basin Resource Council, a progressive non-profit conservation organization based in Sheridan, Wyoming, seeks an Executive Director, preferably with grassroots organizing experience, excellent communication...
  • ADOBE HOME
    Passive solar adobe home in high desert of central New Mexico. Located on a 10,000 acre cattle ranch.
  • STEVE HARRIS, EXPERIENCED PUBLIC LANDS/ENVIRONMENTAL ATTORNEY
    Comment Letters - Admin Appeals - Federal & State Litigation - FOIA -