Writers on the Range


Writers on the Range is opinion from the ground up.


McClure-Andrus wilderness bill is worse than nothing
The McClure-Andrus package is obviously superior, statewide, to McClure's 1984 proposal. But the transformation of public perceptions that we require has not occurred. Now the exigencies of substantially improving or fighting this legislation will dominate our time.
Hapless DOE: What a long, strange trip it's on
Transportation of nuclear waste is an issue waiting to get hot. Federal plans for finding a place to put it are unclear, but the government's ultimate goal is disposal of radioactive debris from the civilian reactor and nuclear weapons industries in a deep geologic formation.
Bringing wolves back will kill more than sheep
There is much to admire about the wolf. He is strong and brave and invisible to all except the lucky who catch fleeting glimpses of rare individuals. But let's save him for real wilderness where he won't impact ranchers or eagles or grizzlies. Let's be thankful he roams the Snake River plain no more.
Watt and Hodel succeeded in turning back the clock at Interior
The war fought by the Reagan administration for the Department of Interior and the 500 million acres of public land it manages occurred in two great battles, waged by Secretary James Watt and his successor, Donald Hodel.
Clean Water Act hasn't done the job
Few of our waters are free of polluting discharges. There are local success stories, but many state water agencies say they are barely able to maintain water quality at 1972 levels.
In search of a few long levers
Environmentalists should look beyond the regulate-litigate approach and consider things like superconductivity, which could have substantial long-term environmental benefits.
The Forest Service kowtows while forests burn
Our belief is that America will recover itself by the end of this decade, and stop the destruction of the forests. To do that, it will have to destroy the once-proud U.S. Forest Service. That will be easy, for the agency has deeply wounded itself.
The destructive death throes of Oregon I
The old "Oregon I" was built upon the seemingly endless supply of never-cut timber called old-growth. After 40 years of accelerated logging of these towering forests after World War II, less than 10 percent now remain.
The EPA is hunting those who kill by degrees
There are a thousand and one ways to get rid of a drum of hazardous waste, but only a handful of them are legal. Despite shelves of hazardous waste laws and regulations with their well-defined civil and criminal penalties, environmental crime is increasing roughly in proportion to the country's escalating chemical production.
Marriage of convenience
Even as we make our alliances, there is no doubt that the environmental movement's next great effort will be to contain and civilize the "recreation" industry, the "retirement" industry, and whatever else moves into the economic vacuum in the rural Rockies.
The West's top stories: land, land, land, land
The 1986 High Country News index beginning on page 8 lists hundreds of individual stories, but all are about the same question: the use and control of the land.
Post mortem on FOE
With the closure of Friends of the Earth's western Colorado office in Palisade and its branch offices in Tucson, Ariz., Crested Butte, Colo., and Moab, Utah, FOE's 17-year conservation program in the intermountain West is now history.
Edward Abbey is an optimist
"The world is older, bigger and more interesting than we are. Growth is the enemy. Every organism grows to optimum space, then stops." If it doesn't, he says, it's a freak, which means our overblown and overdone technological civilization is headed for a great explosion, followed by collapse. "That's why I'm an optimist."
Real reclamation
The choice by Kennecott and Asarco to clean up their smelters early on rather than be pushed out because of pollution shows that reduced livestock and logging industries can also survive -- but only if they adapt.
On playing mouse to a hungry wild cat
The lion now crouched directly in front of the truck, staring at me ...
This race of lemmings built power plants
Electrical utilities, water agencies, gas companies, nuclear reactor builders and multinational oil giants all share a volatile and difficult future.
Fishing bridge must be destroyed
Since 1976, biologists have attributed 90 percent of Yellowstone National Park's grizzly bear mortality to Fishing Bridge, which contains a 308-unit campground and a 358-unit recreational vehicle park.
A feudal mentality holds back the West
Unless the trashing and privatization stops, the intermountain Rockies will never escape their feudal social and economic situation. Those who now control the land and the land managers don't have a glimmer of how to lead the region out of its downward slide.
Environmental leaders stand up for orthodoxy
Things are grim if you identify the vigor of the environmental movement with the major groups -- but they are not the movement.
A rancher argues cattle grazing helps everyone
Many people misunderstand the role of the rancher who grazes cattle or sheep on public land.
High Country News Classifieds
  • GENERAL MANAGER
    The Board of UYWCD seeks a new GM to manage operations & to implement our robust strategic plan. Details at www.upperyampawater.com. EOE
  • IN TUCSON, FOR SALE: A BEAUTIFUL, CLASSIC MID-CENTURY MODERN HOME
    designed by architect David Swanson in 1966. Located a block from Saguaro National Forest, yet minutes to Downtown and the UofA campus, 3706 sqft, 6...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Friends of the San Juans is seeking a new leader guide our efforts to protect and restore the San Juan Islands and the Salish...
  • 80 ACRES
    straddles North Platte Fishery, Wyoming. Legal access 2 miles off 1-80. Call 720-440-7633.
  • DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT AND MARKETING
    High Country News seeks a Director of Product and Marketing to join our senior team during an exciting chapter of innovation and growth. This individual...
  • OWN A THRIVING MOUNTAIN GUIDE SERVICE.
    Eastern Sierra guide service for sale to person with vision & expertise to take it onwards. Since 1995 with USFS & NPS permits. Ideal for...
  • IMPROVED LOT
    Private road, hillside, views. Well, pad, septic, 99 sq.ft. hut. Dryland permaculture orchard. Wildlife. San Diego--long growing season
  • UNIQUE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
    Profitable off-the-grid business located 2 miles from Glacier National Park. Owner has 6 years operating experience. Seeking investor or partner for business expansion and enhancement....
  • REMOTE SITKA ALASKA FLOAT HOUSE VACATION RENTAL
    Vacation rental located in calm protected waters 8 miles from Sitka, AK via boat with opportunities to fish and view wildlife. Skiff rental also available.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Colorado Plateau Natural & Human History Field Seminars. Lodge, river, hiking options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • OJO CALIENTE COMMERCIAL VENTURE
    Outstanding location near the world famous Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring Resort. Classic adobe Mercantile complete w/living quarters, separate 6 unit B&B, metal building and spacious...