Magazine
Catron County's politics heat up as its land goes bankrupt

June 24, 1996

Catron County, N.M., the home of the county independence movement, is a study of contrasts - its people heavily dependent on the federal government and its land and rivers dying.

Feature

Catron County's politics heat up as its land goes bankrupt
Catron County, N.M., the home of the county independence movement, is a study of contrasts - its people heavily dependent on the federal government and its land and rivers dying.

Sidebar

The County Attorney
Catron County Attorney Jim Catron, in his own words, on the "rural Western resistance to the federal empire."
The Businessperson
An anonymous Catron County businessperson, in his words, on the tensions between factions in the county.
The Forest Ranger
Forest Service District Ranger Mike Gardner, in his own words, on dealing with the tensions in Catron County.
The Psychologist
Psychologist Melinda Garcia, in her own words, on working with people in Catron County's "war zone."
The Country Doctor
Reserve, N.M., Dr. Mark Unverzagt, in his own words, on the often overlooked middle ground in Catron County.

Essays

Canyonlands is a park in name only; in truth only highly organized chaos reigns
A river trip through Utah's Canyonlands National Park leads a winter-naturalist to muse about the geologic chaos inside the park's human-imposed boundaries.

Book Reviews

Lessons of Lewis and Clark
Daniel Botkin's book, "Our Natural History: the Lessons of Lewis and Clark," describes the Western wilderness the explorers saw in 1804-1806 and compares it to the West of today.
It's the pits
Summo USA Corp. plans to mine 34 million pounds of copper each year for 10 years in the Lisbon Valley southeast of Moab, Utah.
Can the silence be unbroken?
Transportation Secretary Federico Peûa proposes a ban on commercial scenic overflights in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park.
Making history on the prairie
The Prairie Plains Resource Institute in Nebraska seeks to preserve and celebrate the prairie.
Living with wildlife
The Colorado Division of Wildlife's guide, "Developing With Wildlife in Mind," hopes to educate people about the possible conflicts with wildlife in suburbia.
Still stealing trees
A report, "Unindicted Co-Conspirator," says that since the Forest Service disbanded its special timber-theft task force last year, investigations of large-scale timber stealing have ground to a halt.
Mountain outposts of empire
A review of Tom Wolf's "Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Mountains."

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
High Country Shopper, Rocky Mountain News scorns rural Colorado cows, low wages for Wyoming women, husband wife team of wilderness rangers needs money in Montana, quips from Myles Rademan, New York Times' Freemen blooper.

Dear Friends

Dear friends
HCN's summer break, odds and ends, summer interns Greg Hanscom and Jared Farmer, Paul Larmer visits Utah rancher Hardy Redd.

News

Marvel ups the ante
Conservationist Jon Marvel bid against rancher Mike Ward over a 10-year lease, raising the fee to $12,050, then folded and declared victory.
Fire sweeps through the Southwest
The Southwest's drought brings an early and ferocious forest fire season.
Wyoming climbers win equal footing
A federal judge rules that Devils Tower National Monument cannot prohibit commercial climbing in June to accommodate Native American religious practices at the tower.
State lands: money isn't everything
Colorado Gov. Roy Romer drafts a ballot initiative to force the state land board to consider long-term stewardship and protection of state-owned lands.
Ranger charges ranchers with assault
Forest Service Range Conservationist Chuck Oliver is physically assaulted when he tries to attend a meeting in Eagle, Ariz., between public-lands ranchers and wise-use attorney Karen Budd-Falen.
Ski industry masters the sneak attack
The ski industry seeks to slip a bill through Congress that would preserve the current low Forest Service fees resorts pay and let them renew 40-year leases without environmental review.
Twenty-something takes Sierra Club's helm
The Sierra Club elects 23-year-old Adam Werbach as its new president.
Proposed hatchery breeds conflict
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's plan to build the $4 million Grandy Creek steelhead hatchery faces stiff opposition from fishing groups, scientists and conservationists.
Predator control: more pain than gain
A survey in Montana shows that predators account for just 2.2 percent of all cattle losses in the state in 1995.
Idaho air base guns for more space, again
Idaho opponents assail Mountain Home Air Force Base's latest training-range expansion plans.
Clean air victory in Colorado
The polluting, coal-fired Hayden Power Plant in northeastern Colorado agrees to reform, to activists' delight.
No pay for pooches
Defenders of Wildlife, which compensates ranchers for livestock killed by wolves, says it cannot compensate for pets killed by wolves.
Pact promises cleaner canyon air
The Grand Canyon Visibility Transport Commission issues an ambitious proposed air-quality cleanup blueprint for the Colorado Plateau.
Development plan breaks consensus on grizzlies
A pact between Plum Creek Timber Co., Montana state and federal agencies, to preserve some land for grizzlies falters when Plum Creek decides to sell some of the land to developers.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • WATERSHED PROGRAMS COORDINATOR
    Are you looking for a positive and success oriented work environment, the opportunity to join a (small but) dynamic group of people supporting watershed activities...
  • BACKCOUNTRY FILM FESTIVAL MANAGER
    Boise-based Winter Wildlands Alliance is looking for an experienced and highly motivated individual to organize our annual Backcountry Film Festival and Tour and coordinate additional...
  • LAND CONSERVATION MANAGER
    SUMMARY Leads, administers and manages the land conservation, conservation easement stewardship, and property management activities of the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department within...
  • CLEAN ENERGY PROGRAM ATTORNEY, NEVADA
    Position Summary: Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is seeking a Staff Attorney who is passionate about Western communities and the protection of the natural environment to...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Deschutes River Conservancy in Bend, Oregon
  • WATER POLICY ANALYST WITH WRA (BOULDER)
    Position Summary: Western Resource Advocates seeks a passionate Water Policy Analyst with knowledge of western water issues to join our Healthy Rivers Team to strengthen...
  • GILA NATIONAL FOREST
    9+ acre inholding. Passive solar strawbale off the grid and next to the Continental Divide Trail in ponderosa pine/doug fir forest at 7400.
  • HIRING BEARS EARS EDUCATION CENTER DIRECTOR
    Conservation nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa in Bluff, Utah is hiring an Education Center Director to oversee the operation of the Bears Ears Education Center....
  • PROGRAM MANAGER, SUSTAINING FLOWS
    Friends of the Verde River, Cottonwood, AZ. Apply at https://verderiver.org/employment-opportunities/
  • PROGRAM ASSOCIATE - VERDE RIVER EXCHANGE
    Verde River Exchange - Friends of the Verde River, Cottonwood, AZ. Apply at https://verderiver.org/employment-opportunities/
  • CODE COMPLIANCE OFFICER
    Teton County Planning & Building is hiring! Our ideal candidate is a team-player, a problem-solver, pays attention to detail, and can clearly communicate technical material...
  • ARCHITECTURE DRAFTSPERSON/PROJECT MANAGER
    Studio Architects is seeking a full time Architectural drafts-person/project manager with1-3 years of experience to join our firm. At Studio Architects our mission is to...
  • ASSISTANT MANAGER/TRAINEE, COLORADO RANCH
    needed for 16,000+ acre conservation property in south central Colorado. Qualified candidate would have experience working on a ranch or wilderness property, general forestry/fire management...
  • FARM HAND &/OR NANNY IN ESCALANTE
    Nanny for 18-mnth-old. Yearly salary, vacation, health insurance. Spanish/other foreign-language native spkr prefrrd.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Washington Association of Land Trusts seeks an ED to build on WALTs significant success & to lead the association to new levels of achievement. See...
  • BEAUTIFUL CUSTOM STRAWBALE HOME IN WESTERN COLORADO!
    Secluded, energy efficient Southwestern home on 40 wooded acres. Broker - Rand Porter - United Country Real Colorado Properties. 970-261-1248, $425K
  • FORMER RETREAT CENTER/CONSERVATION PROPERTY FOR SALE
    57 acres in Skull Valley, AZ, 17 miles from Prescott, year-round creek, swimming holes, secluded canyon, hiking/meditation trails, oaks, pines, garden, greenhouse. House, office building,...
  • HISTORIC RANCH HOME W/ 20 ACRES
    Historic 1893 Ranch Headquarters. 4 Bdrm, 3.5 Ba, 4000 ft2. Remodeled 2002. Includes 2 studio apts, stables, arena, workshop, 5 RV hookups. Chirachua & Peloncillo...
  • VICE PRESIDENT OF RETAIL OPERATIONS
    The Vice President of Retail Operations will provide overall leadership and accountability for purchasing, product development, merchandising planning, visual merchandising, retail operational excellence, oversight and...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners seeks an experienced fundraiser with excellent communication and organizational skills.