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High Country News February 18, 2013


Farmers agree to tax those who deplete groundwater

Amid drought and climate change in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, farmers vote for a new approach to rein in their overpumping of groundwater.


Sierra Club fights Keystone XL with civil disobedience

The act will be the first of its kind sanctioned by the group’s board of directors in its 120 year history, and may push the conversation over the controversial tar-sands oil pipeline to a new level.

China v. Utah: Whose air is worse?

It’s hard to tell Beijing from Salt Lake when pollution clouds the air.

Economy, distrust complicate allocation of tribal settlement money

$1 billion tribal settlement mostly goes to individuals, although tribe-wide investments would have greater benefit.

The BLM fights for the Southwest’s last free-flowing river

A federal agency asserts its water rights to the San Pedro river in a case that might eventually lead to limits on growth in Arizona.

My Dakota: A photo essay and conversation

Rebecca Norris Webb’s South Dakota is both an elegy to a lost brother and a celebration of place.

Editor's Note

Drought forces a new era of agricultural water conservation

Whether converting open ditches into pipelines or fallowing fields, farmers and ranchers in the West are being forced to change the ways they use water as climate-induced drought tightens its grip.

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Book Reviews

A Montanan walks into a Cairo bar: A review of Evel Knievel Days

A homebody from Butte travels to Cairo to learn about his father.

Reading the Brautigan Bible: A review of Jubilee Hitchhiker: The Life and Times of Richard Brautigan

Even if you’re not a Brautigan fan, it’s worth picking up novelist and screenwriter William Hjortsberg’s definitive new biography, Jubilee Hitchhiker.

Book review: Quilts: California Bound, California Made 1840-1940

Sandi Fox pairs full-page color images of quilts with historical narrative, excerpts from diaries, period photos and illustrations to shed light on the lives of early Californians.



A writer’s quest to find the people behind her great-grandfather’s New Mexico drawings.

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