Magazine
Blast from the Past

September 4, 2006

As the global warming threat increases, nuclear energy enjoys a renaissance, but the industry’s own checkered past hints that nuke power will be neither easy nor cheap. Also in this issue: The BLM’s decision to lease land for energy exploration in the watersheds of Grand Junction and Palisade, Colo., reveals the way oil and gas leasing works.

Feature

Reborn
With global warming an increasing threat, some are urging a return to nuclear energy, but the industry’s own checkered past reminds us that a nuclear renaissance will be neither easy nor cheap
The Fourth Wave
With uranium prices rising, speculators are looking anew at busted mining towns like Jeffrey City, Wyo., but locals have learned to be skeptical
Navajo Windfall
The Navajo Nation is fighting to keep uranium mining off the reservation, but eager uranium companies are determined to mine– and the federal government is on their side
Retooling a Leviathan
The nation’s nuclear infrastructure is aging, and in need of very expensive – and very complicated – retooling just to survive

Sidebar

Navajos pay for industry's mistakes
The federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act was created to compensate uranium miners and mill workers sickened by their jobs, but on the Navajo Reservation, Dr. Bruce Baird Struminger says the program has proved flawed
The Hot West
Graphics show the location of the West’s nuclear sites and uranium sources, and the nuclear fuel cycle is described
Waste disposal the industry's Achilles' heel
The French have dealt with their radioactive waste for decades by reprocessing it, but the process is more problematic than it sounds, particularly in an age of terrorism

Editor's Note

HCN's secret past
High Country News reveals its odd historical connection with the West’s uranium obsession of the 1950s

Uncommon Westerners

The rural West's pragmatic booster
Economist and demographer Larry Swanson wants to help rural Western communities find a way to survive

Essays

Underworld
In a dark, narrow storm drain below the border town of Douglas, Ariz., eight illegal immigrants drowned in the summer of 1997

Book Reviews

Endangered Species 101 — in poetry
The Dire Elegies laments the plight of North America's endangered wildlife in poetic detail
Destroyer of worlds
In 109 East Palace, the granddaughter of one of the Manhattan Project's administrators re-examines the story of the atomic bomb built in Los Alamos
A life of brutal grace
The Boy Who Invented Skiing" is the memoir of Swain Wolfe, who spent his boyhood in a Colorado Springs tuberculosis sanatorium in the '30s

Perspective

The green Republican: back from the dead?
Worried about falling poll numbers, some Republicans, led by Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, are resisting some of the Bush administration’s more far-reaching attacks on environmental protection

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Dirk Kempthorne and luxury RVs; The Farmer Wants a Wife, maybe; no rules (or bras) at Sturgis; look before you pee; hard-working Washington pot-growers; Arizona’s biggest marijuana farm; with defense lawyers like this one, who needs a prosecutor?; and big bird with a bad grip

Dear Friends

Dear friends
Bikers, filmmakers, engineers, cheesemakers all visit HCN; Ed Wayburn celebrates 100th birthday

News

The anatomy of an energy lease
The BLM’s decision to lease land for energy exploration in the watersheds of Grand Junction and Palisade, Colo., reveals the way oil and gas leasing works
When can the BLM say 'no'?
BLM and Forest Service officials say they have little power to prevent drilling in an area once it’s been OK’d for leasing, but critics say the government simply refuses to use its power
Anti-government attack has many fronts
Across the West, anti-government activists from out of state are funding ballot measures that attack government spending and the judiciary as well as land-use planning
States crack down on illegal immigrants
With Congress stalled on immigration reform, Western states such as Colorado are tackling the issue with tough new laws

Two Weeks in the West

Two weeks in the West
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne kicks off "listening tour" on "cooperative conservation"; court shoots down Forest Service’s anti-public input rules; Idaho judge blasts BLM’s similar anti-public input rules; feds ignore states’ requests for roadless acreage

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
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  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Wild Rockies Field Institute is seeking a visionary Executive Director to lead the organization in Missoula, Montana. Individuals with a proven track record in...
  • LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION DIRECTOR
    The Land and Water Conservation Director is a full-time salaried position with the Mountain Area Land Trust in Evergreen, CO. The successful candidate will have...
  • ARIZONA PROGRAM MANAGER
    National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), the nation's oldest and largest national parks nonprofit advocacy organization seeks an Arizona Program Manager. The Arizona Program Manager works...
  • CROWN OF THE CONTINENT COMMUNITY CONSERVATION SPECIALIST
    THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY is seeking a Community Conservation Specialist, for the Crown of the Continent DEPARTMENT: Conservation CLASSIFICATION: Grade 6 Specialist/Representative (Low of $54K) REPORTS...
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    About The Organization Building community through fresh vegetables is at the heart of the Sisters-based non-profit, Seed to Table Oregon. Based on a four-acre diversified...
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    CARPENTER WANTED. Come to Ketchikan and check out the Rainforest on the coast, Hike the shorelines, hug the big trees, watch deer in the muskeg...
  • DYNAMIC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    VARD is seeking an Executive Director to lead a small legal & planning staff dedicated to the health and sustainability of Teton Valley Idaho and...
  • WATER PROJECT MANAGER, UPPER SAN PEDRO (ARIZONA)
    Based in Tucson or Sierra Vista, AZ., the Upper San Pedro Project Manager develops, manages, and advances freshwater conservation programs, plans, and methods focusing on...
  • CAMPAIGNS DIRECTOR
    Southeast Alaska Conservation is hiring. Visit https://www.seacc.org/about/hiring for info. 907-586-6942 [email protected]
  • FINANCE & GRANTS MANAGER
    The Blackfoot Challenge, located in Ovando, MT, seeks a self-motivated, detail-oriented individual to conduct bookkeeping, financial analysis and reporting, and grant oversight and management. Competitive...
  • WADE LAKE CABINS, CAMERON MT
    A once in a lifetime opportunity to live and run a business on the shore of one of the most beautiful lakes in SW Montana....
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    High Country News is seeking a Contributing Editor for Books, Culture and Commentary to assign and edit inquisitive, inspiring, and thought-provoking content for HCN in...
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    ABOUT US Better Wyoming is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization that educates, organizes, and mobilizes Wyoming residents on behalf of statewide change. Learn more at...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    TwispWorks is a 501(c)3 that promotes economic and cultural vitality in the mountainous Methow Valley, the eastern gateway to North Cascades National Park in Washington...
  • CLEAN ENERGY ADVOCATE OR DIRECTOR
    Location: Helena, Montana Type: Permanent, full time after 1-year probationary period. Reports to: Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs. Travel: Some overnight travel, both in-state...
  • PROFESSIONAL GIS SERVICES
    Custom Geospatial Solutions is available for all of your GIS needs. Affordable, flexible and accurate data visualization and analysis for any sized project.
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Restore Hetch Hetchy, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, seeks experienced development professional to identify and engage individuals and institutions who are inspired to help underwrite...
  • PUBLIC LANDS COUNSEL
    The successful candidate will be the organization's lead counsel on public lands issues, including reviewing federal administrative actions and proposed policy and helping to shape...
  • GUIDE TO WESTERN NATIONAL MONUMENTS
    NEW BOOK showcases 70 national monuments across the western United States. Use "Guide10" for 10% off at cmcpress.org