The Greening of the Plains
A conservation movement is stirring on the Great Plains, but local farmers are stuck with a harsh reality: It still pays to plow up virgin prairie
Big blowups will continue, whether we like it or not
Billions of dollars are being spent to fight Western wildfires, but some scientists now believe that the big blowups can’t be prevented, and that they may be good for the health of the forests
Change comes slowly to Escalante country
Change comes slowly to Escalante country
Just as it seemed the local communities were starting to accept the BLM’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the rise of conservative national politics has helped to revive old grudges and stir up opposition
The Great Western Apocalypse
Record-breaking heat and drought are frying the West, and scientist John Harte of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Gothic, Colo., warns that this summer is only the kick-off for what global warming is likely to bring.
Last dance for the sage grouse?
Across the Interior West, as the sagebrush sea recedes under the environmental stress of human impacts, its emblematic bird, the sage grouse, is also in decline, and no one seems to know what to do about it.
We are the Oil Tribe
Within the American Oil Tribe, oil matters so much and yet means so little that we refuse to even think about the fact that we are going to run out of it.
2001: No refuge in the Klamath Basin
In the Klamath River Basin on the Oregon-California border, farmers, Indians, wildlife refuges and now three endangered fish are fighting over scant water in a dry year, and some say the Endangered Species Act only makes the situation worse.
Bush hits the brakes
Right after taking office, Pres. Bush put a freeze on Clinton's last new regulations -- the USFS's roadless plan, Mexican owl critical habitat, and other environmental rules -- giving the new administration time to review and maybe overturn them.
Holy water
A pastoral letter being prepared by the Catholic bishops of the Northwest calls Catholics and others to a new environmental, economic and spiritual relationship with a sacred river - the Columbia.
The mine that turned the Red River blue
Though the economic future of the area is uncertain, activists welcome a possible Superfund listing for the huge Molycorp molybdenum mine in Questa, N.M., as a way to save the town and the Red River from yet more mine-waste pollution.
'Mr. Dominy, are you a hero or a villain?'
Former Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Floyd E. Dominy, looks back on his dam-building days without any apologies or regrets.
The Oregon way
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, D, is determined to solve difficult problems - such as the recovery of his state's wild coastal coho salmon - at the state level, through consensus.
Longtime foes practice ritual combat in an Idaho forest
The writer goes to central Idaho to visit the heart of the longest-standing Earth First! demonstration, protesting the Cove-Mallard timber sale.
The Land and Water Fund waits to be tapped
Although the money in the Land and Water Conservation Trust Fund is usually taken for other purposes, this year Congress has agreed to spend the conservation trust fund for land and water conservation.
Private rights vs. public lands
Private rights vs. public lands
A ranching family's desire to develop a road to an inholding in Arizona's Arrastra Mounain Wilderness is a microcosm of the huge and unwieldy problem of inholdings on public lands throughout the West.
Haggling over the Grand Staircase-Escalante
Conoco gives up on oil well in Utah's Grand Staircase, but the state School Trust Lands board is insisting that its land - checkerboarded through the monument - must be managed to earn money for the schools, and that may involve oil and gas drilling.
Deconstructing the age of dams
California rice farmers decide to destroy salmon-blocking dams in their Sacramento Valley irrigation district.
If a town is more dead than alive, it's the Old West
Musing on the gravestones in Anaconda, Mont., a writer theorizes that one can tell whether a town is Old West or New West by the ratio of the buried to the currently alive inhabitants.
The West may not be literary, but it's littered with reading matter
A cross-country bicycle trip through the West reveals quirky and sometimes enigmatic road signs everywhere.
Bringing back the bighorn
The Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep has fought its way back from near extinction, but efforts to reintroduce it to all its former range are more difficult than they appear.