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High Country News May 28, 2012

Feature

The fading Arizona town of Gila Bend bets big on solar

At last -- a place to put utility scale plants that won't ruin the desert. But will politics and the economy get in the way?

Current

Conservation agreements try to head off endangered species listings

Candidate conservation agreements try to keep rare species, like Colorado's Gunnison sage grouse, off the endangered species list, or at least healthy enough to lessen the restrictions that come with listing.

Dead trees, biodiversity, and the black-backed woodpecker

Forests ravaged by fires and beetles are unlikely havens for certain species, including the rare black-backed woodpecker.

Secretly funded Montana sportsmen dive into political fray

The group Montana Hunters and Anglers Action is wielding its cash to help pro-conservation candidates win elections.

Do subdivisions designed for conservation actually help wildlife?

Conservation development is supposed to reduce the habitat fragmentation caused by exurban sprawl -- but it only works if it's done right.

Coping with two-headed fish and other effects of selenium

Researchers try to determine if unhealthy amounts of selenium are entering Western soil and water due to energy development.

Editor's Note

What's the best place for Big Solar?

Environmentalists have been too busy squabbling over proposed solar plants to pay much attention to one of the most promising sites: Gila Bend, Ariz.

Dear Friends

Student visitors from near and far

HCN is visited by students of all ages; meeting Michael Branch; Stephanie Paige Ogburn is a finalist for the 2012 Livingston Awards for Young Journalists; Sierra Crane-Murdoch receives scholarship; Tony Barboza wins fellowship.

Book Reviews

In the desert, questions without answers: A review of Gods Without Men

In Gods Without Men, British novelist Hari Kunzru wanders through time and space in California's Mojave Desert.

Filling empty pages: A review of When Women Were Birds

In her latest memoir, When Women Were Birds, writer Terry Tempest Williams tries to solve the mystery of the cloth-bound journals her dying mother left her -- all of them completely blank.

Essays

Dancing with wolverines

A wolverine snuffling at your throat commands your attention, even if you're in a relatively safe enclosure at a clandestine refuge for the animals.

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