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
  • DESCHUTES LAND TRUST EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Deschutes Land Trust, based in Bend, Oregon, seeks a collaborative and strategic Executive Director to lead us in pursuing our mission: to conserve and care...
  • DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
    Job Title: Development Manager Supervisor: Senior Director of Development Effective Date: May 17, 2021 Job Status: Full-time (40 hours/week), exempt Location: Within the Colorado Plateau...
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    - The Land, History, and People of the Bears Ears Region - The Bears Ears and Cedar Mesa region is one of the most beautiful,...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Job Title: Executive Director Reports To: Board of Directors Compensation: $75,000 to $80,000, plus generous benefits and paid leave. Funding for relocation expenses available. Classification:...
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    High Country News, an award-winning magazine covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks applicants for a climate justice fellowship. The fellowship...
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  • COLORADO WILD PUBLIC LANDS VIDEO CONTEST
    Please submit your video of 30 seconds or less, taken on public lands, to [email protected] by May 15th for a chance to win in one...
  • WMAN NETWORK COORDINATOR
    WESTERN MINING ACTION NETWORK (WMAN) CONTRACT OPPORTUNITY CLOSING DATE: Feb. 19, 2021 WMAN is seeking a team member to coordinate the various network activities to...
  • FRIENDS OF THE INYO IS HIRING TRAIL AMBASSADORS FOR THE SUMMER OF 2021
    Friends of the Inyo's Trail Ambassadors (TAs) support the Inyo, Sierra, & Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests and other partners by providing positive public service, outreach, interpretation,...
  • LAND & CABIN ON CO/ UT LINE
    18 ac w/small solar ready cabin. Off grid, no well. Great RV location. Surrounded by state wildlife area and nat'l parks.
  • MANAGER PERMACULTURE LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR
    Permaculture / Landscape Company Manager / Site Lead Red Ant Works, Inc. - 20+ year landscape construction and horticultural care company seeks manager and site...
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Field seminars for adults in natural and human history of the Colorado Plateau with lodge, river trip and base camp options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
    San Juan Citizens Alliance is looking for a passionate, dynamic, organized, and technology-savvy communications professional to help grow our membership and presence in the Four...
  • ENERGY AND CLIMATE PROGRAM ASSOCIATE
    San Juan Citizens Alliance seeks an Energy and Climate Program Associate to focus on public outreach, education and organizing to advance campaigns to mitigate climate...
  • REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST
    This position provides professional real estate services and is responsible for managing and completing real estate projects utilizing a project management database that is designed...
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    The Wildfire Mitigation Specialist is responsible for delivering wildfire risk mitigation information, recommendations and programmatic resources to wildland urban interface homeowners, community members and partners....
  • DEVELOPMENT POSITIONS
    Thorne Nature Experience is hiring for a Development Director and Senior Individual Giving Manager. Individuals will work collaboratively with Thorne's Executive Director to develop and...
  • SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER, LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION & ENERGY
    The National Parks Conservation Association, a 100-year-old nonprofit advocacy organization and the nation's leading voice for national parks seeks a Senior Program Manager, Landscape Conservation...
  • BACKCOUNTRY AND FRONTCOUNTRY STEWARDSHIP CREW MEMBERS
    The San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA) is hiring a crew of ambassadors to work in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to educate visitors on...