Magazine
The War on Wildfire

April 17, 2006

Four years after President Bush launched his Healthy Forests Initiative, the Western woods are abuzz. Also in this issue: "Nevada style" wilderness bill comes to Utah and Citizens unite against gas field chaos.

Feature

The War on Wildfire
President Bush says the Healthy Forests Restoration Act and Initiative were needed to fight wildfire, but several years into the new rules, critics question whether the changes they brought were helpful or even necessary

Sidebar

Slim margins
Loggers say forest-restoration work, which involves the thinning and cutting of small, skinny trees, doesn’t bring in much money
National Fire Plan vs. the Healthy Forests rule changes
The National Fire Plan, the Healthy Forests Initiative and the Healthy Forests Restoration Act are explained and compared

Uncommon Westerners

Pete McCloskey rides again
Former California Rep. Pete McCloskey says the need to defend the environment is behind his decision to run against Richard Pombo in the Republican primary

Essays

Mute, riven, blessed
Mute, riven, blessed
All over the West, white roadside crosses and spontaneous, humble shrines mark the holy sites where the souls of human beings have left this world

Writers on the Range

Eco-terrorism and the Trial of the Century
The upcoming trial of 11 alleged "eco-terrorists" may not be the Trial of the Century, but it reminds the writer, a longtime activist, of the Boston Tea Party

Book Reviews

A law born from the ashes
In George W. Bush’s Healthy Forests: Reframing the Environmental Debate, authors Jacqueline Vaughn and Hanna Cortner demonstrate that under Bush, "there has been a rollback of environmental standards and regulations."
On the wing again
In Condor: To the Brink and Back, science reporter John Nielsen surveys the life and times of "one giant bird."
Legend of the Eagleman
Wayne Parrish’s Legend of the Eagleman is a suspenseful and engaging novel set in the world of tribal casino gambling
Communities and Forests: Where People Meet theLand
Communities and Forests: Where People Meet the Land, is a collection of essays, edited by Robert G. Lee and Donald R Field, examining changing styles of forest management

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Driving a little too far off-road in California; HOV Lane is not for dummies; scrap metal thieves get creative; dream home turns nightmare; St. George, Utah, gets expensive; military recruiters get desperate

Dear Friends

Dear friends
Matt Jenkins leaves the HCN office to become California-Great Basin correspondent; Western Slope Environmental Resource Conference and North Fork River Improvement Association hold annual meetings; visitors; "secretary" Bruce Babbitt

News

Enviros wary of 'Nevada-style' wilderness bill
A controversial proposed wilderness bill for Utah’s Washington County includes utility corridors, motorized-vehicle trails, and public-land sales designed to accommodate urban growth
The Latest Bounce
Sens. Max Baucus and Ron Wyden want to raise money for rural schools by closing tax loopholes; Yates Petroleum won’t drill in Bitter Lake Wildlife Refuge; Montana wants to keep Wyoming’s coalbed methane from harming rivers’ water quality
Dam removal considered for Klamath
Farmers, environmentalists, fishermen and tribes are talking with PacifiCorp officials about the possible removal of four dams on the Klamath River
Citizens unite against gas field chaos
In western Colorado, the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance is trying to work with industry to set protections for landowners before more drilling gets under way
City makes desperate bid for watershed
Grand Junction and Palisade, Colo., try unsuccessfully to bid on oil and gas leases to protect their water supply from contamination by drilling
Valle Vidal Coalition gathers momentum
As drill rigs get closer to New Mexico’s Valle Vidal, the coalition seeking to protect the area is attracting more support
Norton eases road claims
Outgoing Interior Secretary Gale Norton has opened the door for counties and states to claim control of roads crossing federal lands
Mass wolf kill rests on shaky science
Idaho’s Fish and Game Department wants to boost dwindling elk numbers by killing wolves in the Lolo management zone

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • PROGRAM OFFICER, INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES, NOVO FOUNDATION
    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...
  • IDAHO RIVERFRONT:
    2+ acres, 400+ feet on Snake River, 2800 sf residence, NWF-certified wildlife habitat, excellent hunting, fishing, birdwatching, stargazing, sunsets & panoramic views. In the heart...
  • WILDEARTH GUARDIANS IS EXPANDING - THREE JOB OPENINGS
    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...
  • SUNNYSIDE MARKET SEEKS NEW PROPRIETOR
    Organic grocery/cafe at Glacier Bay needs a vibrant leader. Love good food, community, and Alaska? Join us!
  • NO INDIVIDUAL HEROES: OURAY MOUNTAIN RESCUE TEAM
    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...
  • CALIFORNIA PROGRAM COORDINATOR - TAHOE AREA
    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...
  • CALIFORNIA PROGRAM MANAGER - TAHOE AREA
    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
  • TEMPORARY ASSISTANT EDITOR
    Are you a climber and a writer who is passionate about mountain literature? Do you love searching through old alpine journals for stories of esoteric...
  • OWN YOUR OWN CANYON - 1400 SF STRAW-BALE ECO-HOME ON 80 ACRES - 3 HOURS FROM L.A.
    1400 sf of habitable space in a custom-designed eco-home created and completed by a published L.A. architect in 1997-99. Nestled within its own 80-acre mountain...
  • GRASSROOTS LEADERSHIP DIRECTOR
    Great Old Broads for Wilderness seeks a full-time grassroots leadership director to oversee all aspects of the Grassroots Leadership Program. This includes ongoing development of...
  • 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...
  • POLICY AND RESEARCH ASSOCIATE
    The Center for Western Priorities (CWP) is a nonpartisan communications and policy center that serves as a source of accurate information, promotes responsible policies and...