High Country News - Writers on the Range

Slipping into the holidays
This issue’s cover essay on New Mexico’s gas fields – and our publisher’s adventures during a recent snowstorm in Paonia – reveal the complex links that bind Westerners together for better or worse
Whistling in the park
Whistleblowing is not as romantic as Woodward’s "Deep Throat" makes it sound, but the retired public servants who make up the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees are doing valuable work, blowing the whistle for the sake of the national parks
Doing something about 'anything'
In this issue, Ray Ring offers a top 10 list on the midterm elections and reminds Westerners that the newly empowered Democrats in Congress are still not the sole arbiters of environmental policy
The West is not a zoo
The Peregrine Fund has proven that it can breed and release endangered birds of prey as often as it needs to, but do we want to treat Western wildlife like a crop of annual flowers that has to be re-seeded every year?
Idaho's permissiveness leads to elk on the lam
The escape of 100 domestic elk from self-styled mountain man Rex Rammell’s Idaho game farm shows up the foolishness of the state’s permissive attitude toward the industry
Life in the transition zone
Longtime community activist and HCN board member Luis Torres is delighted to see environmentalists and loggers working together in the forests of his native northern New Mexico
When a gas pipeline blows, you get out fast
When the Windsor gas pipeline blew out near Clark, Wyo., in August, local people were kept in the dark about a dangerous situation
Being a local doesn't make you any better
Robert Struckman confesses he's a knee jerk local who's trying to get over it
An ancient place to wonder about our survival
Andy Gulliford delights in the vast Canyon of the Ancients National Monument-- a living museum subject to increased gas drilling.
Don’t call plugging wolves hunting
Derek Goldman criticizes Wyoming’s policy that allows wolves to be shot on sight.
We thought we were safe
Gordon Gregory watched the house he’d spent four years building go up in flames, then had to flee a rental home when another fire bore down on him and his family near the smoky town of Paradise.
When choosing a house, think past a lifetime
Alan Kesselheim says Westerners should not be shocked when a house built in a floodplain eventually falls victim to a flood.
CON: A housing development that’s a tragedy for condors
The Tejon Ranch agreement, which will allow a housing development to be build in the midst of rare condor critical habitat, is a disaster for the endangered birds, according to Noel Snyder and David Clendenen.
PRO: The Tejon agreement is a true conservation victory
Graham Chisholm believes that an agreement involving open space, a large housing development and condor habitat on California’s Tejon Ranch is a “true conservation victory.”
Don’t trash Joshua Tree National Park
Seth Shteir is appalled at the prospect of a gigantic landfill planned for the fragile desert landscape next to Joshua Tree National Park.
Who you calling terrorist?
Just because you disagree with someone about energy drilling or off-road vehicles doesn’t mean your opponent is a communist pinko – or an eco-terrorist.
A little regulation can be a very good thing
Jim Spehar says proposed new regulations won’t harm western Colorado’s oil and gas industry and may do a lot to help the rest of the region’s economy survive the current boom.
Unlikely alliance?
In most of the West’s complicated environmental problems, so-called “unlikely alliances” between greens and their opposite numbers are really not that unlikely after all.
Cowboy up to the energy boom
In today’s complicated West, where retirees battle energy companies and environmentalists fight transmission lines carrying green power, maybe we need some heroic cowboys to help straighten everything out.