Magazine
Losing Lake Coeur d'Alene
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June 24, 2019

In this issue, we travel to Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where tribal and state officials grapple with a wicked pollution problem that threatens the lake, its economy and its communities. We check in on the Interior Department, which has named an opponent to the Endangered Species Act as an assistant secretary and quietly continued deployments of rangers to the Borderlands. We also interview a U.S. Fish and Wildlife whistleblower, examine the West’s poor record of regulating “forever chemicals,” and highlight one Colorado rancher's efforts to raise water buffalo. We examine the spread of wildfire in sagebrush country and reveal disparities within two California communities struggling to recover from devastating wildfires. We look at the lingering power of mining laws and into Montana's obsession with vigilantism. We review a new history on the Continental Divide Trail, as well as a film that portrays the struggle of Indigenous women to escape violence.

Feature

A dangerous cocktail threatens the gem of North Idaho
A dangerous cocktail threatens the gem of North Idaho
Upstream mining has left a toxic legacy at the bottom of Coeur d’Alene Lake.

Editor's Note

Why invisible dangers are the hardest to face
Why invisible dangers are the hardest to face
Evolved as humans are, we’re terrible at solving problems we can’t actually see.

Current

Interior combatant confirmed to department
Interior combatant confirmed to department
Endangered Species Act opposer Susan Combs officially takes role as assistant secretary after long delay.
Interior Department border deployments are mired in secrecy
Interior Department border deployments are mired in secrecy
Law enforcement agents guarding wildlife refuges have been sent to the border, leaving public lands more exposed.
See where PFAS pollution has been confirmed in the American West
See where PFAS pollution has been confirmed in the American West
Western states lag behind in both monitoring and regulating the class of ‘forever chemicals.’
One rancher’s plan to establish water buffalo in Colorado
One rancher’s plan to establish water buffalo in Colorado
The challenges and possibilities of water buffalo ranching in the Roaring Fork Valley.
The ‘shenanigans’ behind a federal employee’s decision to blow the whistle
The ‘shenanigans’ behind a federal employee’s decision to blow the whistle
Pressured by higher-ups, a Fish and Wildlife field supervisor smoothed the way for a 28,000-home development along a fragile Arizona river.
Fires are indiscriminate. Recovery isn’t.
Fires are indiscriminate. Recovery isn’t.
The disparate timeframes of rebuilding in California’s wine country and its poorest county, shown by data.
The West’s worst fires aren’t burning in forests
The West’s worst fires aren’t burning in forests
Range fires get bigger every year, threatening sagebrush habitat and rural towns.

Arts and Culture

No happy ending in ‘The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open’
No happy ending in ‘The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open’
The new film is a character study of two Indigenous women developing a rocky friendship in real time.

Book Reviews

The history of hiking The Continental Divide Trail
The history of hiking The Continental Divide Trail
Meandering across 3,100 miles, the trail connects Mexico to Canada.

Perspective

Montana’s vigilante obsession obscures the truth
Montana’s vigilante obsession obscures the truth
It’s time to face the facts about the hangmen who helped ‘settle’ Montana.
Mining laws have long been used for recreation
Mining laws have long been used for recreation
In Idaho, a law meant to boost mining actually allows for its end as recreation transforms the West’s economy.

Heard Around the West

Memorial Rock; osprey survivor; fooling fish
Memorial Rock; osprey survivor; fooling fish
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

Dear Friends

Staff dispatch to many destinations
Staff dispatch to many destinations
And one gives a major gift of her own.

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