Sometimes, helping a worthy cause just melts in your mouth. Delicious. No other word for it.
Plan would dramatically expand reintroduction range for Mexican wolf
A federal plan to dramatically increase the range of reintroduced Mexican gray wolves to include most of Gila County has provoked a flurry of reaction — much of it critical.
The seven prop-driven faux fighter planes roared overhead in perfect, heart-stopping formation. A single red plane flew alone at the rear — channeling the Red Baron.
‘General Excellence’ award from Arizona Newspapers Association
The Payson Roundup picked up more than a dozen awards Saturday night at the annual Arizona Newspapers Association’s Better Newspapers Contest, including the top, statewide award for general excellence among non-daily newspapers between 3,500 and 10,000 circulation.
Some of the best cowboys in the country gathered in Payson last weekend. Didn’t matter a bit that they were all Indians. Well, actually, maybe it does matter they were Native Americans, gathered for the regional finals the Southwestern Indian Rodeo Association, on a perfect day in a nearly empty arena.
Forest Service transfer of thinning contract draws praise, questions
The names have changed — but the plan’s the same. The U.S. Forest Service on Friday announced it will transfer a contract to thin 300,000 acres of Arizona forests to Good Earth, an international company that operates thinning and logging projects in Africa that turn wood into electricity.
Western voters should crusade to force the federal government to turn its vast holdings over to the states, Utah state lawmaker Ken Ivory told about 65 people in a provocative speech in Payson Wednesday.
General Plan: Money-losing houses vs. tax-paying business
Here’s a simple business concept: Don’t sell at a loss. But towns sell at a loss all the time when it comes to new development.
Forest Service concepts draw mostly bad reviews at overflow Pine meeting
Confronted with more than 100 mostly irate citizens, U.S. Forest Service rangers and planners stressed that they don’t really want to slam the Fossil Creek door on Rim Country.
Perhaps the biggest Payson Demolition Derby crowd ever turned out for the smallest-ever number of cars and trucks, but a smash ’em-up finale and a bunch of muddy kids saved the day.
Fish and Wildlife Service agrees to let Mexican gray wolves expand out of remote area on Arizona-New Mexico border
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will settle a decade of lawsuits by allowing Mexican gray wolves to spread outside the long-standing recovery area in a wilderness on the Arizona-New Mexico border.
General Plan update ponders impact of frontage on growth
Payson remains a prisoner of the state highway, which generates most of the traffic accidents, congestion and sales tax revenue that pays for police, fire and other town services.
Time Out Shelter and Meals on Wheels team up for sell-out benefit as they struggle to cope with deep funding cuts
The only domestic violence shelter in Rim Country continues to struggle to adapt to disastrous state and federal budget cuts.
Despite studies on danger to wildlife, humans, groups fiercely oppose ban on lead ammunition
Lead bullets threaten the long, expensive effort to return condors to the wild in northern Arizona, but key groups continue to oppose a ban on lead ammunition in the range of the reintroduced birds.
Fire danger soars as Forest Service air tanker fleet drops from 44 to 8
The U.S. Forest Service’s fleet of firefighting air tankers has dropped from 44 in 2002 to eight, even as the danger from major wildfires has soared.
Officials worry about economics of thinning contract process
Wood pellets. Power plants. Plywood. Particle board. Lots of companies have proven they can make money producing those items from wood scraps and tree branches, given a cheap, stable supply of the raw material.
State Rep. Bob Thorpe recently got a taste of the perils of social media — and touched off another little political dust devil.
Report brims with glittering promise – despite setbacks
As Payson grows from a struggling tourist town of 15,000 to a diverse college town of 40,000, much of the new development will concentrate along the highway, around the proposed campus, along Main Street and in industrial and high-density residential areas around the Payson Airport.
Gila Community College board member Thomas Loeffler abruptly resigned his position this week, blasting fellow board members for “irresponsible decision making.”
Let me explain why my heart’s a little broken today.
FS signs off: Drury ‘elated’
Tonto National Forest Supervisor Neil Bosworth this week signed off on the environmental assessment for the sale of 253 acres to build a university in Payson, clearing one of the key hurdles in the long struggle to transform the local economy.
I stand somber on the shore, listening to the laughter of ghosts.
Study reveals town short on facilities, programs, prospects
Payson remains a tiny private island in a public forest sea.
But move to reopen Snowflake biofuel power plant hailed
Vexing questions continue to swirl around the fate of the largest forest restoration project in history, but news of the reopening of a two shuttered power plants in Snowflake have boosted the hopes of advocates.
Agreement on pottery shards another ‘milestone’
The Rim Country Educational Alliance has signed an agreement with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to allow the purchase of 260 acres of Forest Service land to move forward while consultants excavate an archaeological site.
Payson next week will make history when it starts installing a segment of the CC Cragin/Blue Ridge pipeline along Houston Mesa Road. The pipeline will secure the region’s water future.
Visits to the nation’s 193 million acres of National Forest land add $13 billion to the gross domestic product and sustain about 190,000 full and part-time jobs, according to a just-released survey by the Department of Agriculture.
Amid fresh furor, the U.S. Forest Service is considering letting a troubled timber company transfer the biggest forest restoration project in history.
Jump for joy Rim Country residents! We have water!
Both Republican Paul Gosar and Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick voted for a largely symbolic effort to delay federal penalties for people who don’t obtain health insurance under the terms of the federal Affordable Care Act.
The ponderosa pine forests that remain Rim Country’s biggest draw could fade away as a result of rising temperatures, deepening drought and spreading wildfires, according to a recent study published in Forest Ecology and Management.
Forest chief predicts final sale by Jan.
The Tonto National Forest has settled nearly all of the remaining questions that have bedeviled the effort to sell 253 acres for a university campus in Payson.
Hearing hits on deadly dilemma, but a partisan divide hobbles efforts to find consensus on forest woes
The deadly increase in Western wildfires and the federal government’s failure to develop a coherent response last week triggered an emotionally charged congressional subcommittee meeting that veered between pleas for a consensus solution and partisan blame-placing.
Two rare garter snakes found in Rim Country streams added to endangered species list
After years of lawsuits, court rulings, studies and allegations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) this week declared the Mexican and narrow-headed garter snakes as threatened species.
We’re going to run out of water. Well, not Payson: Two decades of effort have secured Rim Country’s water future. But everyone else is starting to feel a little panicked.
On the brink of the deadliest fire season in decades, federal agencies cut the ranks of their wildlands firefighters by 600, thanks to the automatic spending cuts contained in the “sequester” that grew out of the budget standoff in Congress.
Sitting and praying for rain
I sit on the edge, feet dangling over layers of extinction.
Inspired by news that the land sale for a university in Payson is moving forward, a couple this week pledged a portion of their estate to benefit the effort.
Man, I’m flying. Well, I’m not flying, exactly — but my little caddis fly dry pattern is whipping back and forth overhead with the insectish verisimilitude of Superman in 3-D.
Gila County and other Arizona jurisdictions will escape automatic federal oversight of redistricting and other election decisions as a result of a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the federal Voting Rights Act.
Their fate was sealed five miles overhead as the top of the roiling mushroom cloud of hot air began to disintegrate.
State House Rep. Robert Thorpe (R-Flagstaff) this week strongly urged defeat of a bipartisan overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws supported by both of Arizona’s U.S. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake.
Detailed critique of crucial, two-million-acre forest thinning plan worries Forest Service guidelines would cause a return to deadlock
Great idea. Not so sure about the plan.
Approval of university land sale unleashes complex chain of events
The “watershed” Forest Service approval of the direct sale of 253 acres for a university campus has unleashed a fury of pent-up activity on the part of the Rim Country Educational Alliance.
Colorado wildfires consume 450 homes and kill two people.
Forest Service approves direct sale of 260 acres for university campus; construction to start this year
The Forest Service this week approved the direct sale of 260 acres for a university campus, clearing the way for the start of construction later this year.
New studies link repeated ‘mega droughts’ to wrenching changes stretching back 1,000 years
You don’t need human beings to produce devastating droughts in the Southwest.
Confusing process leaves officials scrambling to assess the impacts
State and local officials continued to scramble this week to crank out lists of winners and losers in the wake of the adoption of an $8.8 billion state budget after months of deadlock and days of outrage and trauma.
Rim Country faces another windy week of hot, dry conditions with no hint of the fire-quenching monsoons in sight.
A Tucson jury this week convicted former Congressman Rick Renzi of 17 felonies related to his involvement in federal land swaps and sales that ended up benefiting contributors and business associates.