Opinions

The long and winding road of dam removal

If you're familiar with the Klamath River Basin, which straddles the Oregon-California border, you've likely heard the story. Leafing back through the High Country News archives, we've certainly told it enough times. It goes something like this: The largely agricultural basin received just one...
September 27, 2011

A bear of a season

The developed Yellowstone campground where John Wallace set up his tent last Wednesday probably made the national park seem relatively innocuous to the 59-year-old Michigan resident. It's peak season, after all, and the place was likely humming with human activity, cars, chatter -- those signs of...
September 14, 2011

House Reps Attempting to Dismantle the EPA

With so much dust kicked up over the debt-ceiling debate it's been easy for partisan interests to obscure the mischief that the Republican controlled House Committee on Appropriations has been up to. With the passage of H.R.2584, the Interior and Environmental Appropriations Bill, the U.S. House of...
August 25, 2011

Concealed weapons against the environment

While almost no one was looking, House Republicans embarked on a broad assault on the nation’s environmental laws, using as their weapon the 2012 spending bill for the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency. When debate began Monday, the bill included an astonishing 39 anti-...
August 10, 2011

Doing the unspeakable

Can the U.S. take a big bite out of its greenhouse gas emissions without muttering the words climate change? The Obama administration is betting it can. And it's testing the political waters with a new round of vehicle emissions rules to cover cars made between 2017 and 2025. From the Washington...
July 6, 2011

Oil, gas drilling in the Rocky Mountain West near 2-decade high

Whether it’s coal, uranium, oil or natural gas, Wyoming’s industry and political leaders proclaim that onerous regulations are dogging domestic energy development. Yet evidence continues to emerge suggesting otherwise. This morning, Headwaters Economics released its statistical analysis, “Drilling...
June 23, 2011

BLM should expand public-comment period on Las Vegas water plan

Las Vegas wants to pump ground water out of counties to its north and send it to Sin City through 306 miles of pipelines. Utah has a dog in this fight because plummeting water tables in Nevada could cause vegetation to die, sending dust clouds roaring into the Wasatch Front. Sucking 177,000 acre-...
June 21, 2011

The pulse of the river

For a journalist, sitting through last week's conference on the Colorado River, hosted by the Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado, was a great way to take the river's pulse -- to get a sense of how the river's water czars, academic wonks, scientists and other minders are...
June 15, 2011

Arizona wildfire burns through collaborative process

When the tragedies surrounding the enormous Wallow Fire are counted - they will be myriad - one in particular will rise up near the top of the list: That, given perhaps a few more years, is the fact that the vast destruction might have been averted. In April 2009, a coalition of environmental...
June 8, 2011

A fishy reversal on "wild lands" policy

The Obama administration's about-face on a policy that would allow temporary protection of pristine federally owned land is disappointing, particularly here in Colorado, where residents so clearly value wilderness. In a memo Wednesday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said his agency would not...
June 7, 2011
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