Opinions

Reverse course on "no more wilderness" policy

Seven years ago, the U.S. Interior secretary and the governor of Utah cut a land management deal that has reverberated across the West ever since. Through an unprecedented interpretation of federal law, this agreement allowed for the removal of federal protections from some 2.6 million acres of...
October 30, 2010

A High-Risk Energy Boom Sweeps Across North America

Energy companies are rushing to develop unconventional sources of oil and gas trapped in carbon-rich shales and sands throughout the western United States and Canada. So far, government officials have shown little concern for the environmental consequences of this new fossil-fuel development boom...
October 28, 2010

Otter’s wrong to quit the wolf game

Gov. Butch Otter's election-season grandstanding on wolves leaves ranchers who suffer depredation with nowhere to turn, leaves sportsmen and women totally handcuffed on wolf management and wrongly pastes a bull's-eye on wolves by directing state law enforcement not to respond to illegal kills.
October 22, 2010

Energy dollars extent of Schweitzer's "green" agenda

Thunderous applause filled the convention hall when Brian Schweitzer, then a political unknown campaigning against incumbent U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns, stood before a packed crowd at the Montana Wilderness Association a decade ago and proclaimed: "Montana's real treasure is the land, not what lies...
October 21, 2010

Tri-state effort bodes well for wolf delisting

News that some Wyoming lawmakers have begun meeting with their colleagues from Montana and Idaho to talk about wolf delisting is an encouraging first step toward resolving the long-running controversy over wolf management in the northern Rockies.
October 21, 2010

Why the Baucus/Tester Wolf Delisting Bill is the Better Choice

The political wrangling over wolves since the latest relisting in August is now in full force. It’s unfortunate that we’ve arrived at a place where the only solution that most Montanans see regarding wolves is political in nature.
October 21, 2010

Wild-horses advocates should use litigation cash to buy land

The Bureau of Land Management in northwestern Colorado is doing the responsible thing in gathering horses near Meeker to prevent range damage from horse overpopulation.
October 13, 2010

Utah county should sell Rose Canyon to be mined

Kennecott Utah Copper is willing to make amends to the taxpayers of Salt Lake County. To end a dispute over access to its mineral claims under county-owned land in Rose Canyon, Kennecott has offered $5.3 million for 800 acres of the west-side wildlands. The County Council, which approved the deal...
October 11, 2010

Good week in court for public, not for BLM and ranchers

The public interest scored a clean sweep in two federal courts this week over the Bureau of Land Management and Western ranchers, including one case that removes secrecy from 18,000 grazing permits that cover nearly 160 million acres of Western public land. Read more...
September 17, 2010

Where's the middle ground on power lines vs. quality of life?

Absent a plague of Mormon crickets, the most unwelcome newcomers to this area are massive electricity transmission lines. As the response to the Gateway West project has demonstrated so vividly in Cassia and Twin Falls counties, farmers, ranchers and others want nothing to do with 18-story-tall...
September 13, 2010
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