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Little Weed, Big Problem
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June 25, 2018

A rural town in eastern Oregon is dealing with the fallout after a genetically modified grass escapes the confines of experimental fields. The herbicide-resistant turf clogs irrigation canals and ditches — and illustrates the mile-wide regulatory loopholes that are failing to contain the spread of genetically engineered crops. Also in this issue, the Trump administration threatens the delicate balance between tranquility and solar energy development in the California desert, the Grand Canyon may face a new era of uranium mining and a photo essay explores the displaced native creatures of the Los Angeles River.

Feature

GMO grass is creeping across Oregon
GMO grass is creeping across Oregon
Missteps by agribusiness giants allowed the invasion. Now they’re off the hook for cleanup.

Current

Trump administration pauses California’s solar energy truce
Trump administration pauses California’s solar energy truce
The decision imperils the balance between desert conservation and development.
Latest: Sagebrush conservation efforts are failing
Latest: Sagebrush conservation efforts are failing
A new report says weeds and wildfire are major threats to sagebrush habitat.
Latest: Abandoned gas wells aren’t adequately managed
Latest: Abandoned gas wells aren’t adequately managed
A new report found the BLM falls short in overseeing orphan wells.
Timber is Oregon’s biggest carbon polluter
Timber is Oregon’s biggest carbon polluter
A new study finds that forests are key to reducing the state’s climate impacts.
A new era of uranium mining near the Grand Canyon?
A new era of uranium mining near the Grand Canyon?
With scant data on risk, Republicans push to open a ‘perfect’ mining opportunity.

Editor's Note

Rural Oregon has a weedy mess on its hands
Rural Oregon has a weedy mess on its hands
On GMO and seed misdeeds, has the punishment fit the crime?

Essays

An inventory of loss on the Los Angeles River
An inventory of loss on the Los Angeles River
The city weighs revitalization of an unruly river, since transformed into a concrete ditch.
Monument Valley
Monument Valley
The spectral lines between life and the inert.

Perspective

Trump’s coal and nuclear bailout helps execs and hurts the grid
Trump’s coal and nuclear bailout helps execs and hurts the grid
In a heavy-handed directive, the Department of Energy caters to industry barons.

Book Reviews

‘Little House’ and the identity of the prairie struggle
‘Little House’ and the identity of the prairie struggle
The gritty reality behind Laura Ingalls Wilder’s writings.
The wonder of White Sands
The wonder of White Sands
A photographer lovingly documents New Mexico’s desert national monument.

Heard Around the West

Aridity heads east; a geyser wakes up; activists young and old
Aridity heads east; a geyser wakes up; activists young and old
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

A publishing pause and river flotsam
A publishing pause and river flotsam
A reader finds an HCN artifact on a rafting trip.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
    This newly created position with The Nature Conservancy's Colorado River Program will play a key role in the development and implementation of strategies to achieve...
  • PROGRAM OFFICER, INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES, NOVO FOUNDATION
    The Foundation NoVo Foundation acts from the original meaning of philanthropy: the love of humanity. The Foundation is dedicated to catalyzing a global social transformation...
  • ARMY OF THE DOG
    A new generation of monkey wrenchers hits the Front Range?
  • ANNIE CLARK TANNER FELLOWSHIP IN ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES
    The Tanner Humanities Center and the Environmental Humanities Program of the University of Utah seek an environmental writer to offer classes in Utahs Environmental Humanities...
  • ALASKA STATE DIRECTOR
    The Wilderness Society works to protect Wildlands and inspire Americans to care for our public lands. We seek to hire a strategic, experienced leader who...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Idaho Conservation League (ICL) seeks an individual to lead this 45-year-old organization as executive director, to carry on ICLs work as Idahos leading voice...
  • IDAHO RIVERFRONT:
    2+ acres, 400+ feet on Snake River, 2800 sf residence, NWF-certified wildlife habitat, excellent hunting, fishing, birdwatching, stargazing, sunsets & panoramic views. In the heart...
  • WILDEARTH GUARDIANS IS EXPANDING - THREE JOB OPENINGS
    Guardians is expanding and looking for a few great people to join us in protecting and restoring the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health...
  • SUNNYSIDE MARKET SEEKS NEW PROPRIETOR
    Organic grocery/cafe at Glacier Bay needs a vibrant leader. Love good food, community, and Alaska? Join us!
  • NO INDIVIDUAL HEROES: OURAY MOUNTAIN RESCUE TEAM
    Ouray County, Colorado, a popular tourist destination, has dramatic mountains and amazing winter ice climbing. Challenging terrain and high altitude can push visitors to their...
  • CALIFORNIA PROGRAM ASSOCIATE - TAHOE AREA
    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Associate-Tahoe Area. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
  • CALIFORNIA PROGRAM COORDINATOR - TAHOE AREA
    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Coordinator-Tahoe Area. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
  • CALIFORNIA PROGRAM MANAGER - TAHOE AREA
    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Manager-Tahoe Area. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
  • CALIFORNIA PROGRAM ASSOCIATE, SOUTHERN CA
    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Associate-Southern CA. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
  • THE BOOK OF BARLEY -
    Collector's Item! The story of barley, the field crop. 50 years of non-fiction research. www.barleybook.com
  • TEMPORARY ASSISTANT EDITOR
    Are you a climber and a writer who is passionate about mountain literature? Do you love searching through old alpine journals for stories of esoteric...
  • OWN YOUR OWN CANYON - 1400 SF STRAW-BALE ECO-HOME ON 80 ACRES - 3 HOURS FROM L.A.
    1400 sf of habitable space in a custom-designed eco-home created and completed by a published L.A. architect in 1997-99. Nestled within its own 80-acre mountain...
  • GRASSROOTS LEADERSHIP DIRECTOR
    Great Old Broads for Wilderness seeks a full-time grassroots leadership director to oversee all aspects of the Grassroots Leadership Program. This includes ongoing development of...
  • RIVER TRIP LEADER & EDUCATOR
    Colorado Canyons Association (CCA) is a growing nonprofit organization fostering community stewardship of our National Conservation Lands with a focus on Dominguez-Escalante, Gunnison Gorge and...
  • RIVER GUIDE AND EDUCATOR
    Colorado Canyons Association (CCA) is a growing nonprofit organization fostering community stewardship of our National Conservation Lands with a focus on Dominguez-Escalante, Gunnison Gorge and...