Abrahm Lustgarten (left) wrote a nine-part series delving into farm subsidies and water policy. But his efforts to get the actual names of farm subsidy recipients or individual water users were largely thwarted. Read how info flows less quickly to the public than money and water flow to farmers in SPJ's FOI blog. Photo credit: Lars Klove.
Mountain West (CO ID MT NV UT WY)
"The facts show the state's purpose in enacting the statute was to protect industrial animal agriculture by silencing its critics," district Judge B. Lynn Winmill wrote. Sometimes investigative journalists need to go undercover. And sometimes muckraking journalists need undercover whistleblowers to tip them to abuses.
"DENVER — A million-gallon mine waste spill that sent a plume of orange-ish muck down a river in southwest Colorado on Thursday was caused by a federal mine cleanup crew."
"Conservationists declared victory on Wednesday in a legal battle over Idaho's systematic killing of wolves in a national wilderness area after the state notified federal land managers it did not intend to reinstate a controversial kill program."
"A decadelong push to protect central Idaho's Boulder-White Clouds region came to a close yesterday afternoon with the Senate's unanimous approval of H.R. 1138."
"Idaho fisheries managers will not follow the lead of neighboring states in restricting catch-and-release angling, despite a drought and heat wave that have killed or stressed large numbers of trout and other fish."
"Flames roared unchecked through heavy timber for a third day in Montana's Glacier National Park, where the main road has been closed through the eastern half of the park, along with two campgrounds, during its busiest time of year."
"Utah state officials have given the go-ahead for a tar sands mine under construction on the eastern flank of the state. They will, however, require the company to do water and air quality monitoring in a move environmentalists are calling a victory."
"Below the center of Butte flows water tainted with poisons drawn from a mass of mining and smelting waste that has been a pollution problem for more than a century."
"This Montana cattle ranch is trying to ensure its operations benefit wildlife—and yes, that means wolves, too."