Magazine
An Empire Built on Sand

March 21, 2005

Rampant growth in the Phoenix area and a severe drought on the Colorado River challenge the sustainability of the Central Arizona Project. Also in this issue: A groundbreaking settlement between New Mexico environmentalists and the city of Albuquerque may keep water in the Middle Rio Grande and help both farmers and endangered silvery minnows.

Feature

Arizona returns to the desert
Rampant growth in the Phoenix area and a severe drought on the Colorado River challenge Arizona's water sustainability.

Editor's Note

The best-laid plans
It’s high time Arizona realized it’s a desert, and has to share the Colorado River with six other dry Western states

Uncommon Westerners

Colorado couple turns healthy profit from healthy beef
David and Kay James are doing a good business raising "grass-finished" beef on their ranch near Durango, Colo.

Essays

A look at the West, in the funhouse mirror
Old Westerners and New Westerners are equally hypocritical when it comes to caricaturing each other and not looking at themselves

Dear Friends

Dear friends
Sculptor and newspaperman Bob Wick; congrats to Paul Koberstein, Alex Pasquariello, Michelle Nijhuis, and Ed and Betsy Marston; correction

News

Peace breaks out on the Rio Grande
A groundbreaking settlement between New Mexico environmentalists and the city of Albuquerque may keep water in the Middle Rio Grande and help both farmers and endangered silvery minnows
Follow-up
Arizona Snowball ski area can make snow from treated wastewater; California battles Forest Service over logging sequoia; Bush nominates Steve Johnson to head EPA; Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., goes after southwestern willow flycatcher’s habitat
Nevada desert to be sold for debt relief
The Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act is making money from auctioning off the Las Vegas valley desert – and the Bush administration would like to get its hands on that money
BLM land sold without study
The Lincoln County Lands Bill, modeled after the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act, is already selling off land, although an environmental assessment ordered by a judge was never carried out
A leak-proof fuel tank? No such thing
Diesel fuel – leaking from a massive railroad refueling depot –slips into a major drinking water aquifer on the Idaho-Washington border.
Indian tribe to share refuge with feds
The Nisqually Tribe will share management of recently purchased land in Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge in Washington with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Biohazard lab takes shape
A Biosafety Level 4 lab is being added to the National Institutes of Health Rocky Mountain Laboratories campus in Hamilton, Mont.
Cheese producers just say 'no' to Monsanto
The Tillamook County Creamery Association in Oregon votes to uphold its ban on the use of the artificial growth hormone Posilac in its dairy cows
'Safe dose' of rocket fuel now larger
Following a controversial study, the Environmental Protection Agency decides to raise the drinking water standards for perchlorate to a dosage environmentalists say is dangerously high

Book Reviews

The life of an unsung Western water diplomat
Silver Fox of the Rockies by Daniel Tyler tells the story of Delphus E. Carpenter, who sought peaceful resolutions to Western water problems, and helped create the 1922 Colorado River Compact
Gators, dirt and hot tubs in the Cowboy State
Annie Proulx’s new collection of short stories, Bad Dirt, celebrates and skewers the colorful characters of rural Wyoming
Seeds of Deception
Seeds of Deception by Jeffrey M. Smith takes a chilling look at "Frankenstein foods," explaining that new, genetically modified foods are not as safe as their corporate creators claim
State of the World 2005: Redefining Global Security
In State of the World 2005, the Worldwatch Institute takes a hard look at important issues from nuclear weapons proliferation to renewable energy
UFOs Over Galisteo and Other Stories of New Mexico's History
In UFOs Over Galisteo, New Mexico historian Robert J. Torrez creates vivid vignettes of his state’s fascinating past

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Remembering Hunter S. Thompson; out-of-doors Internet; Brian Schweitzer takes on D.C.; more realtors than realty in Vail, Colo.; Top 10 things about being a small-town teen; and Koko the talking ape gets nasty

Letters

Related Stories

What's worse than the worst-case scenario? Real life
Ten years ago, Ben Harding created a worst-case drought scenario for a U.S. Geological Survey study, but the current drought on the Colorado River may be even worse than he imagined