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High Country News November 12, 2007

L.A. Bets on the Farm


L.A. Bets on the Farm

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California – the West’s most powerful water agency – uses a shrewd blend of Wall Street tactics and rural diplomacy to keep the water flowing to L.A. and its environs.

Editor's Note

Coming to a farm near you: Los Angeles

In this issue of High Country News, Matt Jenkins dives into the murky world of L.A.’s water system

Dear Friends

Dear friends

Editor John Mecklin to step down, Jonathan Thompson to step up; visitors; clarification on Rebecca Solnit interview.

Uncommon Westerners

Sniffin’ out scat for conservation

Wicket – a wildly energetic dog discovered in an animal shelter – serves scientists by looking for grizzly poop in the Montana wilds.


Safe crossing

Traffic engineers work with biologists to protect both wildlife and motorists on hazardous highways.

Tractor politicking

High Country News talks to Dennis McDonald, the Montana rancher who also leads the state’s Democratic Party.

West Nile finds a home in the West

The West Nile virus is thriving in the West, as scientists work to find ways to control it.

Book Reviews

How a restaurant changed the world

A famous French natural-foods restaurant in Berkeley, Calif., is the subject of Thomas McNamee’s book, Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution.

The power of music, the power of obsession

Sarah Bird’s well-written novel The Flamenco Academy weaves the history of this dramatic dance form into a obsessed young woman’s search for identity.


Even four-footed employees deserve to retire

Susan Ives tells the story of Edith Ann, a faithful horse that narrowly escaped euthanasia when the Park Service decided she was too old and gimpy to be of further use.

The Sunflower State says a historic no to coal

Allen Best applauds Kansas for denying permits to two proposed coal-fired power plants because of concerns about greenhouse gases.

Bury it standing

When his old canoe shows signs of aging, Alan Kesselheim decides to bury it upright in his yard, a contemporary totem pole.

Heard Around the West

Heard Around the West

The Long Arm of the Law hits Western yards; un-damming a Montana waterway; a modern-day farmer’s daughter; clueless CEOs; smart moose.

Two Weeks in the West

Two weeks in the West

A look at the recent California wildfires details how much they’ve cost so far and how many acres were burned, especially in the expanding wildland-urban interface.

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