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
  • OUTDOOR PROGRAM - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
    St. Lawrence University seeks to fill the position of Assistant Director in the Outdoor Program. To view the complete position description, including minimum qualifications required,...
  • PUBLIC LANDS DIRECTOR
    Job Announcement Conserve Southwest Utah is seeking a dedicated advocate for conservation and public lands Public Lands Director a "make a difference" position Conserve Southwest...
  • FOR SALE
    Yellowstone Llamas Successful Yellowstone NP concession Flexible packages
  • DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT & MARKETING
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners is seeking a full-time Director of Development & Marketing. This is a senior position responsible for the development of all marketing...
  • LEGAL DIRECTOR
    The Legal Director will work closely with the Executive Director in cultivating a renewed vision at NMELC that integrates diversity, equity, and justice. Black, Indigenous,...
  • VICE PRESIDENT, LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION
    The Vice President for Landscape Conservation leads Defenders' work to promote landscape-scale wildlife conservation, focusing on four program areas: federal public lands management; private lands...
  • NOVA SCOTIA OCEAN FRONT
    Camp or Build on 2+ acres in Guysborough. FSBO. $36,000 US firm. Laurie's phone: 585-226-2993 EST.
  • COMMUNITY FORESTER
    The Clearwater Resource Council located in Seeley Lake, Montana is seeking a full-time community forester with experience in both fuels mitigation and landscape restoration. Resumes...
  • GUNNISON BASIN ROUNDTABLE
    The Gunnison Basin Roundtable is currently accepting letters of interest for ten elected seats. Five of the elected members must have relevant experience in the...
  • PCTA TRAIL CREW TECHNICAL ADVISORS IN WASHINGTON'S NORTH CASCADES
    Seasonal Positions: June 17th to September 16th (14 weeks) - 3 positions to be filled The mission of the Pacific Crest Trail Association is to...
  • WE'RE LOOKING FOR LEADERS!
    As we celebrate 50 years of great Western journalism, High Country News is looking for a few new board members to help set a course...
  • MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR
    Job Announcement Job Title: Membership Director Supervisor: Executive Director Salary: Up to $65,000/year DOE Benefits: Generous benefits package — health insurance, Simple IRA and unlimited...
  • UTAH PUBLIC LANDS MANAGER
    Who we are: Since 1985, the Grand Canyon Trust has been a leading voice in regional conservation on the Colorado Plateau. From protecting the Grand...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Executive Director Walker Basin Conservancy Reno & Yerington, NV Background The Walker Basin Conservancy (Conservancy) leads the effort to restore and maintain Walker Lake while...
  • WIND RIVER WRITERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS RETREAT BY THE NATIONAL BIGHORN SHEEP CENTER
    Enhance your writing or photography skills with world-class instructors in the beautiful Wind River Mountains. All skill levels welcome. Continuing education credits available.
  • EARTH CRUISER FX FOR SALE
    Overland Vehicle for travel on or off road. Fully self contained. Less than 41,000 miles. Recently fully serviced Located in Redmond, OR $215'000.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS
    identifies suspect buried trash, tanks, drums &/or utilities and conducts custom-designed subsurface investigations that support post-damage litigation.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    They [Northern Plains] confound the common view that ordinary people are powerless in the face of industry. - Billings Gazette editorial The venerable Northern Plains...
  • SMALL FARM AT BASE OF MOUNT SHASTA, CALIF.
    Certified organic fruit/berry/veggie/flower farm. Small home, 2 barns (one has an apartment), and more. Approx. two acres just in the City limits. Famously pure air...
  • TAOS HORNO ADVENTURES
    A Multicultural Culinary Memoir Informed by History and Horticulture. Richard and Annette Rubin. At nighthawkpress.com/titles and Amazon.