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High Country News March 15, 2004

The New Water Czars

Feature

The New Water Czars

In Arizona, a historic water deal could give the tiny, impoverished Gila River Indian Community a path back to its farming roots – and turn it into one of the West’s next big power brokers

Editor's Note

A tempered victory

The Gila River Indian Community in Arizona is on the verge of a huge and historic water rights victory, but even the most successful Indian crusades for water are always compromises

Dear Friends

Dear friends

Adam Jackaway plans film about energy; hcn.org prints letters for discussion; Beth Wohlberg Casper climbs high for cancer; condolences to Brian Maffly on the death of his wife, Karen Sclafani; and corrections

Uncommon Westerners

Persistence frees the Mokelumne: River advocate Pete Bell

Former rock-n-roll drummer Pete Bell is dedicated to keeping California’s Mokelumne River as free-flowing as possible

News

Ranching's worst enemy? It's not greens

Western ranchers rejoice when a federal court jury finds that the nation’s largest meatpacker, Tyson/IBP, has illegally squeezed $1.28 billion from independent cattle producers

Follow-up

Campaign to Protect America’s Lands seeks tips from Interior Department employees; Montana Mining Association wants to repeal state’s cyanide ban; Reps. Henry Waxman and Tom Davis complain to USDA after they learn Washington mad cow wasn’t a downer; and R

The de-icer that tames Western roads

Using magnesium chloride on winter highways in Colorado and the West makes mountain driving safer, but critics worry about its impacts on vehicles – and on wildlife, trees, water and people

Defense company turns from rockets to real estate

Aerospace and defense company GenCorp wants to build a new development on its former rocket-testing site near Sacramento, Calif., but critics are worried about old pollutants in the groundwater

Gas well slated for state park

Energen Resources Corp. wants to put a gas well on Navajo State Park in Colorado, near Navajo Lake

Should the Forest Service be blamed for a snowmobile wreck

Judge Don Molloy finds the Forest Service partly liable in the 1996 Montana snowmobile wreck that injured Brian Musselman, and some snowmobilers are worried about the ruling’s impacts on their sport

More lynx, less habitat

Colorado’s lynx reintroduction program has so far been a success, but a new Forest Service management proposal would put energy development, forest thinning, and snowmobile trails ahead of the threatened animal’s habitat

Book Reviews

A new look at Yellowstone

With its beautiful photographs and fine writing, Pete Bengeyfield’s Incredible Vision: The Wildlands of Greater Yellowstone succeeds in giving readers a new look at an often-photographed landscape

Calendar

Heroes for the wild

The upcoming 40th anniversary of the Wilderness Act is being celebrated with "Wilderness Hero" award nominations, sponsored by a range of conservation groups

Can't we all just get along

A new report, Making the Most of Science in the American West: An Experiment, aims at teaching Westerners to work with scientists to avoid environmental conflicts, according to co-author Patricia Nelson Limerick

Essays

President Bush should consider a “land grab“ of his own

A visit to Arizona’s new Agua Fria National Monument – one of those designated by Clinton at the end of his presidency – points up the failure of the Bush administration to protect and preserve the public lands

The charm of a dying place

A South Dakota native ponders the lure of the Dying Plains

Heard Around the West

Heard Around the West

Hot tubs vs. wilderness; Grand Junction, Colo., vs. new logo; teenager survives spectacular snowmobile smash; Michael Jackson in Wal-mart; "For Christ’s sake go vegetarian"; and weakest excuse for speeding

Related Stories

Tribe defeated a dam and won back its water

The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, which defeated a dam that would have flooded tribal farmland, uses water from the Central Arizona Project to grow profitable crops like pecans and citrus fruits

The great Central Arizona Project funding switcheroo

The state of Arizona and the federal government have long bickered over who should pay for the Central Arizona Project, but a recent agreement reduces the state’s share, and puts money toward funding Indian water projects

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