Magazine
High Noon for Habitat

February 20, 2006

In Riverside County, Calif., the conflict between the Endangered Species Act’s critical habitat rule and the West’s booming, sprawling, growth-driven economy comes to a head. Also in this issue: The seven states of the Colorado River Basin have come to a groundbreaking agreement that, among other things, will allow cities such as Las Vegas to lease water from out-of-state farms during times of drought.

Feature

High Noon for Habitat
In Riverside County, Calif., the conflict between the Endangered Species Act’s critical habitat rule and the West’s booming, sprawling, growth-driven economy comes to a head

Sidebar

Critical Habitat: The Inside Story
A behind-the-scenes look at the struggle over critical habitat reveals the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be an agency at war with itself

Editor's Note

The difficulties of cohabitation
Despite its problems and failures – many of them arising from the conflict between the United States’ growing population and our declining wildlife habitat – the Endangered Species Act is a necessary law

Uncommon Westerners

Dr. Sharon and the lion hunters
Small-animal veterinarian Sharon Senezcko has become a fierce advocate for South Dakota’s mountain lions

Essays

Waiting for Rain
The hurricanes in the Gulf and New Mexico’s endless drought lead the author to wonder why it is human beings refuse to take nature seriously

Book Reviews

Stalking the boojum in the Sonoran Desert
Sonoran Desert Plants: An Ecological Atlas is a revised and expanded edition of a classic botanical guide
Just where is that home on the range?
A View from the Inland Empire, a new collection of essays from Stephen J. Lyons, is an honest account of coming to — and later leaving — the West, and in the process learning about home and heart and family
Under Ground: How Creatures of Mud and Dirt Shape Our World
Science writer Yvonne Baskin’s new book, Under Ground, takes an intriguing look at the planet’s soils and sediments and their strange inhabitants
Coyote Warrior: One Man, Three Tribes and the Trial that Forged a Nation
Coyote Warrior by Paul VanDevelder highlights the experience of Raymond Cross, a Mandan/Hidatsa attorney who fights for his tribe’s rights

Perspective

The many problems of Richard Pombo
California Republican Rep. Richard Pombo is having a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad year

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Child-friendly in Salida; new ranchers sell out at a high price; hot real estate in ski country; water fights in L.A.; Bill Richardson’s photograph; "BioWillie."

Dear Friends

Dear friends
Welcome, Lillian Jane Lawrence (Laura Paskus’ daughter); Jonathan Thompson new HCN editor; HCN intern program; William Kent of Moab dies; photo caption correction

News

Colorado River states reach landmark agreement
The seven states of the Colorado River Basin have come to a groundbreaking agreement that, among other things, will allow cities such as Las Vegas to lease water from out-of-state farms during times of drought
The Latest Bounce
Grazing fees to be cut; Russian drill rigs coming to Colorado; new power plant on Navajo Nation gets big tax break; Washington may become sixth Western state with renewable energy standards
Tribe brings on the tourists
The Hualapai Tribe has ambitious plans for Grand Canyon West, a tourist destination on its remote reservation bordering the Grand Canyon
'Ghost fleet' in search of a final resting place
Newport, Ore., decides the environmental and financial risks are too great to allow Bay Bridge Enterprises, a ship-recycling firm, to dismantle decommissioned military vessels at Yaquina Bay
Downwinders say fallout study numbers don't add up
A controversial study says only a fraction of cancer cases can be attributed to nuclear fallout in the U.S.
BLM rolls back environmental review
The BLM adds 11 new categorical exclusions to the National Environmental Policy Act that will make it easier for salvage logging, grazing and energy exploration
Southwestern farmers, lawmakers seek solutions to worker shortages
The Western Growers Association says its farmers need another 20,000 workers to harvest this winter’s crop, and President Bush endorses the idea of a guest-worker program to make it easier for migrant workers in the U.S.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • ANCESTRAL LANDS ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER
    Starting Salary: Grade C, $19.00 to 24.00 per/hour Location: Albuquerque or Gallup, NM Status: Full-Time, Non-Exempt Benefit Eligible: Full Benefits Eligible per Personnel Policies Program...
  • GRAND CANYON DIRECTOR
    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...
  • ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
    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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    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...
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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...
  • PROGRAM DIRECTOR, SALAZAR CENTER FOR NORTH AMERICAN CONSERVATION
    The Program Director will oversee the programmatic initiatives of The Salazar Center, working closely with the Center's Director and staff to engage the world's leading...
  • WILDEARTH GUARDIANS - WILD PLACES PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Salary Range: $70,000-$80,000. Location: Denver, CO, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, Missoula, MT or potentially elsewhere for the right person. Application Review: on a rolling basis....
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    Position Description: Full-time seasonal positions (mid-March through October) Organizational Background: Colorado Canyons Association (CCA) is a 10 year old nonprofit organization fostering community stewardship of...
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    Position Description: Part-time, year-round bookkeeping and administration position (12 - 16 hours/week) $16 - $18/hour DOE Organizational Background: Colorado Canyons Association (CCA) is a 10...
  • 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...
  • COMMUNICATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    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...
  • OLIVERBRANCH CONSULTING
    Non-Profit Management Professional specializing in Transitional Leadership, Strategic Collaborations, Communications and Grant Management/Writing.
  • GREAT VIEWS, SMALL FOOTPRINT
    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...
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER- NORTHERN PLAINS RESOURCE COUNCIL
    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