Earth Day 25 staggers into view this month amidst a snarl of backbiting. Mountain-bike cops go to work in Moab, but will anyone listen? As bureaucrats stall, Montana buffalo fall in a hail of eradication gunfire. With retirement looming at season's end, Alberto Tomba returns to frolicsome–and victorious–form. Plus: "Celestial theater" is on the way to the high desert of Arizona, indoor rock jocks debate the merits of a see-through climbing wall, a bionic chicken-of-the-sea gets set to map the ocean floor, and more.
The Wild File
Do opossums play possum? Do goose bumps do any good? Does Gore-Tex work inside-out?
Weekend camping: ten of our favorite easy-access sites, each within a few hours of a major city. The clean-camping quiz: Just how lightly do you actually tread? Wilderness Ed: five programs to hone your backcountry skills. Plus: a rustic campsites-and-cabins resort on Washington's Orcas Island, the Sierra Club's new Mountaineering and First Aid Rescue card, and more.
Your aching back: what you need to know to combat those mysterious pains in the lumbar. Eight stretches and strengtheners to keep you walking tall. Plus: how to maintain a healthy diet when your pantry is a backpack, the sane way to train for a summer marathon, and more.
Warm-weather sleeping bags: eight lightweight, luxurious models just right for the season. Also, sleeping pads to smooth over your site's rough edges. Multifuel stoves for border-crossing backpackers. Sport watches that do much more than tell time. Plus: a drysuit from Kokatat designed for women paddlers; Heart of the Land, a collection of essays by Rick Bass, Louise Erdrich, Peter Matthiessen, Terry Tempest Williams, and others; Errant Journeys: Adventure Travel in a Modern Age, by David Zurick; and more.
Between the Lines
You Won't Have Greg LeMond to Kick Around Anymore
After 14 years of unprecedented highs and tragic lows–including, most recently, the discovery of a rare degenerative disease–America's best bike racer has called it quits. But with unattained goals and an uncertain future, he's not quite your average set-for-life 33-year-old retiree. By Todd Balf
Return of the Hunted
The gray wolf, silent for some 70 years, can again be heard in the American Rockies. But its story is far from over. Photographs by Raymond Meeks, story by Hampton Sides
Mountain-gorilla conservationist José Kalpers, heir to the legacy of Dian Fossey, led a charmed existence while fighting to protect the world's most endangered primates. Then civil war brought his life's labor to a precipitous end. Now, back in Kigali, can he find a way to give his work–and himself–meaning again? By Joshua Hammer
Keeping America's Trees Safe from Small-Curd Bubble Wrap
In the cottonwoods on the banks of the postflood Mississippi, there were reams of it–flimsy strips of plastic draped from every branch. Well, one person's eyesore is another's challenge. By Ian Frazier
A look at modern-day cowboying, both real and imagined–from range riding to line dancing to steer wrestling on the Las Vegas strip. A salute to the most dependable and deconstructed American hero: essays by William Kittredge, Tim Cahill, Ed Zuckerman, Jim Fergus, Lynn Snowden, and Sara Corbett.