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High Country News August 13, 2001

No refuge in the Klamath Basin


No refuge in the Klamath Basin

In the Klamath River Basin on the Oregon-California border, farmers, Indians, wildlife refuges and now three endangered fish are fighting over scant water in a dry year, and some say the Endangered Species Act only makes the situation worse.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends

Writers on the Range, redux; tune into Radio HCN; thank you, readers; visitors; what to do with your tax refund.


Boaters float for their rights

In Colorado, a group of river rafters float the Lake Fork of the Gunnison in defiance of a landowner who has filed suit to stop them, part of a statewide struggle over access and ownership of rivers.

The Latest Bounce

Fire czar Lyle Laverty; no gold mine on Wash.'s Buckhorn Mtn.; EPA nixes radioactive waste storage in western Colo.; utilities lobby for nuclear waste site on Goshute Reservation, Utah; Las Vegas to dump more treated wastewater in Lake Mead.

Court helps candidates

The court overturns the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's ban on citizen petitions to list candidates for endangered species protection.

Blackfeet bet on wind

Montana's Blackfeet Indians plan to build the first large-scale wind-energy project on tribal land.

Old firefighters need not apply

Some Forest Service firefighters say a rule requiring firefighters to retire at age 55 cuts longtime seasonal workers out of permanent jobs with health and retirement benefits.

Depot neighbors are on a short fuse

Some residents of Herlong, Calif., and other communities near the Sierra Army Depot say the depot's open-air munitions burning harms human health and the environment.

Predators keep their pelts

The Colorado Wildlife Commission decides not to allow live-cage trapping and shooting seasons for the swift fox, pine marten and opossum.

Montana tribes drive the road to sovereignty

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes fight a plan to four-lane Highway 93 through Montana's Flathead Reservation, winning a new highway plan with tough protections for wildlife, safety and cultural resources.

Book Reviews

On the trail of an exotic 'native'

"El Caballo," a new documentary by Drury Gunn Carr and Doug Hawes-Davis, takes a look at the history of wild horses in America and the problems they face today.

Disappearing cowboys get exposure

Photographer Adam Jahiel seeks to document the authentic cowboys of the Great Basin and their disappearing way of life.

Invasive invaders

In western Oregon, volunteers from the nonprofit group Friends of Buford Park and Mount Pisgah fight invasive plant and animal species on the ground.


Klamath's federal agencies map differentrealities

Maps reveal that the Bureau of Reclamation and Fish and Wildlife Service have very different views on water use that have long made it difficult for the agencies to work together.

The man in the rubber boots

A day spent helping to "bring in the water" on an irrigation ditch leads the writer to muse about the green landscapes in the dry West.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West

Animatronic Smokey Bear; snowmobiler drowns; "pet eating" contest; Park City, Utah, police blotter; Sandra Echols shuts off her electricity; "monopine" in Carson City; deer crashes through Butte, Mont., auto showroom; nuclear missile nostalgic.

Related Stories

Will farmers harvest a legal take?

Klamath Basin farmers see a precedent in irrigators in the Tulare Lake Basin, Calif., who sued the federal government, claiming it unfairly took $25 million worth of water when it shut down pumps to protect endangered fish.

Digging for liquid gold

Many Klamath Basin farmers are drilling wells to supplement their water supply, but more wells may only exacerbate the water shortage by depleting the aquifer.

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