Magazine
Going Big

September 18, 2006

Mountain bikers are finally winning respect, along with increased access to trails, but a growing breed of gonzo riders with heavy, fast, high-tech bikes — and a thirst for riding in wilderness — could threaten all that. Also in this issue: National pundits say the nation’s political parties are moving toward the extremes, but in the West, Republicans — unhappy with some far-right politicians — seem to be heading back to the middle.

Feature

Going Big
Going Big
Mountain bikers are finally winning respect, along with increased access to trails, but a growing breed of gonzo riders with heavy, fast, high-tech bikes -- and a thirst for riding in wilderness – could threaten all that.

Editor's Note

Leave the wheels out of wilderness
As enjoyable as mountain biking is, bikes simply don’t belong in the wilderness, partly because the faster you travel through a place, the smaller – and tamer – that place begins to seem.

Uncommon Westerners

A pilgrim with a battered Nikon
Albuquerque photojournalist Jaelyn deMaria has devoted the last few years to documenting the pilgrims who come to the shrine of Monte Cristo Rey on the United States-Mexico border near El Paso.

Essays

The memory of mountains
The author remembers a long-ago hike up Pikes Pike with her mother, who later died having no memory of that hike, or of her daughter.

Book Reviews

Hits and missives from Cactus Ed
In Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast, David Petersen assembles some of the correspondence of Western writer Edward Abbey into an eminently readable but ultimately unenlightening collection.

Writers on the Range

Is the great federal land debate over?
Two trends are almost as dangerous as the idea of directly selling off the public lands: land transfers done in the name of economic development, and the outsourcing of jobs in the federal land-management agencies.
Undoing the myth of Western exceptionalism
California’s decision to tackle global warming is a sign that the West is finally growing up enough to realize that it is not an "exceptional" place, entirely detached from the rest of the modern world.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Pretending to be an illegal immigrant; Olympia’s gangsta raccoons; advice on selling Bibles door-to-door; peculiar – and pricey – ads in Colorado; Snakes on the Ground are scaring folks in Arizona.

Dear Friends

Dear friends
New fall interns Fletcher Jacobs and Evan Tea; remembering Sierra Club’s Larry Mehlhaff; visitors.

News

Fractures on the right
National pundits say the nation’s political parties are moving toward the extremes, but in the West, Republicans – unhappy with some far-right politicians – seem to be heading back to the middle.
Will Montanans reject their bagman?
Even Montanans critical of Sen. Conrad Burns admit he’s a genius at bringing home the pork – a fact that may make it harder for his Democratic challenger, Jon Tester, in the November election.
Ballot box hangover
Even as Oregon tries to deal with the chaos of Measure 37, which overturned the state’s old land-use regulations, "The Big Look," an attempt to revive and re-create planning laws, is quietly under way.
Duke City dustup
The nation may be intrigued by the contest between incumbent Republican Rep. Heather Wilson and New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid, but the New Mexicans who will actually vote in the election seem fairly disinterested.
Unpaved with good intentions
A new breed of land trusts seeks not merely to preserve undeveloped landscape, but to keep it in agricultural use – particularly in organic farming.
Running on empty in Sin City
Although many rural Nevadans are unhappy with Las Vegas’ plans for a giant groundwater project, the six other states that rely on water from the Colorado River are hoping the Nevada project goes ahead.

Two Weeks in the West

Two weeks in the West
Bush cuts EPA library budget; BLM admits failure to protect air quality and wildlife around Pinedale, Wyo., gas fields; California announces perchlorate limits for drinking water; Grand Junction, Colo., passes ordinance against drilling
A little wild
Percentage of federally owned land and wilderness in Western states
Energy Colonizes the West
Acres leased for drilling in the West

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • PHILANTHROPY COORDINATOR
    Wyoming Wildlife Federation - collaborates with the Executive Director and staff to ensure the effective implementation of all philanthropic activities. https://wyomingwildlife.org/hiring-philanthropy-coordinator/.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    HawkWatch International is hiring an Executive Director to lead the organization. The next leader of this growing organization must have: 1. Enthusiasm for conservation, birds...
  • EVERLAND MOUNTAIN RETREAT
    Everland Mountain Retreat includes 318 mountaintop acres with a 3,200 square foot lodge and two smaller homes. Endless vistas of the Appalachian mountains, open skies,...
  • PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Home Resource is a non-profit community sustainability center. We work with, in, and for the community to reduce waste and build a more vibrant and...
  • COUNTRY ESTATE NEAR KINGS CANYON AND SEQUOIA PARKS
    Spectacular views of snowcapped Sierras. 15 miles from Kings Canyon/Sequoia Parks. 47 acres with 2 homes/75' pool/gym/patios/gardens. 1670 sq.ft. main home has 3 bdrm/1 bath....
  • BRN DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
    Borderlands Restoration Network 501c3 is hiring a full-time Development Director. Description and job details can be found at https://www.borderlandsrestoration.org/job-opportunities.html
  • GILA NATIONAL FOREST NEW MEXICO
    Beautiful off-the-grid passive solar near the CDT. 9.4 acres, north of Silver City. Sam, 575.388.1921
  • ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING MANAGER
    The City of Fort Collins is seeking an Environmental Planning Manager in the Natural Areas Department. The Department has an annual budget of approximately $13...
  • WEB DESIGN AND CONTENT MANAGER
    We are seeking an experienced designer to be the team lead for web development and digital media. Part creator and part planner, this person should...
  • CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
    at RCAC. See the full description at https://bit.ly/2WJ3HvY Apply at [email protected]
  • GRASSROOTS ORGANIZER
    The Utah Rivers Council is looking for an energetic individual with strong communication and organizing skills. The Grassroots Organizer works to ensure our campaigns are...
  • JOHN DEERE SNOW BLOWER 24"
    Newly refurbished and tuned. Older model, great condition. Gasoline engine. Chains on tires. Heavy duty for mountain snow. Call cellphone and leave message or email.
  • CARPENTER RANCH MANAGER
    Hiring a part-time ranch manager to live on The Nature Conservancy's Carpenter Ranch property in Hayden, CO. Responsibilities include: facility maintenance of historic ranch house,...
  • STRAW BALE, ADOBE, TIMBER FRAME, HEALTHY HOME, NEAR LA VETA PASS, CO
    unique custom home in Sangre de Cristo Mountains of CO near La Veta Pass, 3 bed, 2 1/2 bath, private gated park, two hours from...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, KANIKSU LAND TRUST
    Kaniksu Land Trust, a community-supported non-profit land trust serving north Idaho and northwest Montana, is in search of a new executive director. The ideal candidate...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Flathead Lakers are seeking a dynamic, self-motivated and proven leader to be our next Executive Director (ED).
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Blackfoot Challenge, a renowned collaborative conservation org in MT, seeks our next ED.
  • COPPER CANYON MEXICO CAMPING & BACKPACKING
    10-day tour from Los Mochis airport, 2/nyts El Fuerte, train, 2/nyts canyon rim hotel, 5/nyts camping. 520-324-0209, www.coppercanyontrails.org.
  • STAFF ATTORNEY, ALASKA
    Earthjustice is hiring for a Staff Attorney
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    to lead an organization that funds projects in National Parks. Major gift fundraising and public lands experience critical. PD and app details @ peopleinparks.org.