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

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

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

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
  • WYOMING CONSERVATION ASSOCIATE
    We are hiring a Wyoming Conservation Associate Full time, competitive pay and benefits. Location: Cody, WY (preferred), Jackson, WY, or Lander, WY Visit www.greateryellowstone.org/careers for...
  • SOUTHWEST REGIONAL DIRECTOR
    The National Parks Conservation Association, the nations leading national park advocacy organization, seeks a Regional Director to lead and manage staff for the Southwest Regional...
  • DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
    This newly created position with The Nature Conservancy's Colorado River Program will play a key role in the development and implementation of strategies to achieve...
  • 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...
  • 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...