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Billboard corporations use money and influence to override your vote
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January 23, 2012

In Salt Lake City and other Western communities, billboard companies battle local democracy. Also in this issue: Buying out grazing permits to solve public lands conflicts, mom-and-pop energy companies risk a lot to find new reserves, A lawsuit raises questions about how far environmentalists should go to keep wilderness 'untrammeled.', and much more.

Feature

Billboard corporations use money and influence to override your vote
Billboard corporations use money and influence to override your vote
In Salt Lake City and other Western communities, billboard companies battle local democracy by fighting attempts to regulate the giant signs.

Editor's Note

Billboard corporations and other big industries make their own rules
Billboard corporations and other big industries make their own rules
Burning down billboards isn't a good idea, but can a citizen fight the corporate power behind the big signs?

Current

Detente in the rancher v. environmentalist grazing wars?
Detente in the rancher v. environmentalist grazing wars?
Buying out grazing permits from willing ranchers could help solve conflicts over grazing on public lands.
Shadow Wolves track down smugglers on the Arizona-Mexico border
Shadow Wolves track down smugglers on the Arizona-Mexico border
An elite team of Native American customs agents, the Shadow Wolves use their tracking skills to find drug smugglers on the U.S.-Mexico border.
A mom-and-pop oil company prospects for gas in central Wyoming
A mom-and-pop oil company prospects for gas in central Wyoming
Wold Oil Properties is a wildcatter - a small company that explores for oil and gas in areas where the fuels aren't known to exist in valuable quantities.
The logging town of Darrington, Wash., fights to save a fire lookout
The logging town of Darrington, Wash., fights to save a fire lookout
A lawsuit raises questions about how far environmentalists should go to keep wilderness 'untrammeled.'
How much time does Congress spend discussing the issues you care about?
How much time does Congress spend discussing the issues you care about?
Capitol Words, a visualization tool, tracks the contents of the Congressional Record, storing frequently used words as searchable data.

Uncommon Westerners

 Richard West Sellars’ distinguished National Park Service career
Richard West Sellars’ distinguished National Park Service career
After 35 years in the agency, historian Sellars' impact still resonates.

Essays

Residents of Montana's High Plains are angry - but not at the real threats
Residents of Montana's High Plains are angry - but not at the real threats
Though climate change and the economy are the issues threatening their livelihoods, many of the High Plains people are angry at almost everything else.

Book Reviews

From the Old World to the Old West: A review of The Little Bride
From the Old World to the Old West: A review of The Little Bride
Anna Solomon's fascinating first novel follows a young Jewish woman from Odessa, Russia, to the hardscrabble prairie of South Dakota in the late 1800s.
A second chance at love: A review of Liberty Lanes
A second chance at love: A review of Liberty Lanes
Liberty Lanes, Robin Troy's second novel, tracks the lives of a group of senior citizens in a small Montana town.

Writers on the Range

Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast
Photographers and artists -- and scientists, too -- discover that a terrible beauty can be found in ravaged industrial regions.

Dear Friends

Welcome, Eric and Kati
Welcome, Eric and Kati
High Country News hires Eric Strebel as Web developer and Kati Johnson as circulation assistant; visitors; Holiday Open House; and corrections.

Letters

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