Opinions

Old Mines, New Dangers

The cause of mining law reform — long the province of the environmental community — has now gained an important ally in Earl Devaney. Mr. Devaney is the independent-minded inspector general of the Interior Department, which oversees the antiquated 1872 mining law, approves new mining...
August 6, 2008

The end of an affair

I hate to say it, but it’s true: I’m in love with my lawn. My love affair began romantically in the promising early days of spring, as regular rain showers turned my backyard in Wyoming into something very Southampton-like. My lawn was worthy of a respectable English cricket game: A...
August 5, 2008

Believe it or not: Ranching has something to teach us

As the 21st century unfolds, it’s becoming clear that we need more family farmers and ranchers on the land, not fewer. We need them not only for the food they provide, but also for a lesson in how to live on the land. It’s an ironic turn of events.   For decades, livestock...
August 5, 2008

The next fires will be anytime, all the time

The warm wind of July 14, 1988, signaled the beginning of a remarkable series of fires that burned into Americans’ consciousness. Before that day, the managers of Yellowstone National Park and nearby national forests were confident that their efforts to restore natural fire were a success...
July 30, 2008

Gas industry secrets and a nurse

This July, an emergency room nurse named Cathy Behr wanted to tell Colorado’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission the story of how she nearly died after being exposed to a mystery chemical from a gas-patch accident. Regulators said she wasn’t scheduled to testify and they didn’t...
July 30, 2008

The World to come

In the world to come, there will still be oak trees and pine trees and the golden leaves of aspen in the fall. The sweet sounds of birdsong will still wake us on spring mornings.  In the world to come, the beauties of nature will still be found. But what will be lost?   That was...
July 23, 2008

Advice from a rancher: The risks make it fun

The other day I heard a newsman refer to “these perilous times” for business people. No kidding, I thought. The gloomy picture featured rising costs, increased property taxes, deepening recession, employee demands for more insurance and benefits, market risk – the list went on...
July 23, 2008

Playing with fire

I live in a part of the West where protecting houses from fire is a dangerous and expensive business. It’s that incendiary mix of homes and forest alongside publicly owned lands, the kind of place that’s bankrupting the U.S. Forest Service. My home is in northwestern Montana. It...
July 23, 2008

Pipeline costs: Lake Powell project looks less like smart idea

More scientists are making more dire predictions about how much the Colorado River water levels could shrink in coming years.  At the same time, the estimated price tag on a pipeline to carry 100,000 acre feet of that dwindling water from Lake Powell 139 miles to three Utah counties grows ever...
July 22, 2008

An ancient place to wonder about our survival

I’ll never forget losing two clients somewhere in the 164,000-acre Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in southern Colorado. On a glorious May morning, the two friends walked too fast ahead of the group I was leading for the Smithsonian Associates Program. The couple disappeared, and...
July 17, 2008
Copyright © 2017 Red Lodge Clearinghouse. All rights reserved.