Quenching the big thirst

May 21, 2001

Under the "4.4 Plan," California will begin a water diet, designed to reduce the state's use of Colorado River water over the next 15 years to the 4.4 million acre-feet it has long been allocated, but always exceeded.


Quenching the big thirst
Under the "4.4 Plan," California will begin a water diet, designed to reduce the state's use of Colorado River water over the next 15 years to the 4.4 million acre-feet it has long been allocated, but always exceeded.


Living off a leaky canal
A plan to line with concrete the border's All-American Canal would save water for California, but endanger the livelihood of 30,000 people in Mexico's Mexicali Valley, who use the "wasted" water in agriculture.
Will the Met wring the desert dry?
The Metropolitan Water District's plan to tap aquifers at Cadiz, Calif., for Los Angeles could harm the fragile groundwater system that sustains the desert, including the Mojave National Preserve.

Uncommon Westerners

The sublime delight of backtracking
For 20 years, David Bertelsen has been in love with the same five-mile trail up Finger Rock Canyon north of Tucson, keeping track of its animal and plant life and watching out for the well-being of a fragile landscape.


Bush administration blinks on roadless rule
Republican attacks on the national forest roadless rule, although supported by a federal judge, still may backfire in a country that shows ever-increasing environmental concern.

Book Reviews

Finding home
In their book, "Tunnel Kids," writer Lawrence J. Taylor and photographer Maeve Hickey take a compassionate look at a group of homeless Mexican teenagers who live amid a network of dirty, dangerous tunnels on the Mexico-U.S. border.
Sacred Objects and Sacred Places
In "Sacred Objects and Sacred Places: Preserving Tribal Traditions," writer Andrew Gulliford explores Indian attempts to preserve tribal traditions, identity, language and sacred landscapes.
Tribal leaders go to school
The newly established Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management and Policy will give tribal leaders practical, specialized instruction in the real-world challenges faced by tribes today.
Hard work in progress
Dale Shewalter's group, the Arizona Trail Association, has been working since 1988 on establishing a north-south route all the way across Arizona.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Smokey Bear's new life as a controlled-burn advocate; Joseph, Ore., vs. pink pig-shaped barbecue; Californians fight back; California road rage and gender dysphoria; Seattle carpooling via Internet; ferret-lover vs. Aurora, Colo.

Dear Friends

Dear Friends
June potluck; Storytelling 101 with HCN and Ira Glass; summer interns Laurel Jones and Rachel Jackson.


County tax collectors visit public lands
The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that counties can now tax ski areas, park concessionaries, and others who use public lands for profit.
Mud-boggers get mud in their eye
Twenty Sheridan, Wyo., four-wheelers have been fined for destroying national forest land last June during their annual "Spring Run" across the Bighorn National Forest.
Idaho reaches for control of the ESA
Idaho's new Office of Species Conservation is supposed to oversee endangered species recovery in the state, but some fear the office and its first director, Jim Caswell, will be more concerned about industry's needs than wildlife.
The Latest Bounce
22,000+ communities at risk for wildfires; Sen. Wayne Allard for alternate energy sources; Craters of the Moon to become Nat'l Preserve; Nature Conservancy starts huge program in Idaho; Quinault Nation wants to undo Chinook Tribe's recognition.
Plutonium in your potatoes?
Tests of four wells on the site of the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory reveal that minute traces of plutonium have leaked into the Snake River Aquifer.
High court weeds out pesticides
Under the Clean Water Act, aquatic pesticides can no longer be used in public waterways without a federal permit.
Wolf assassin on the loose
At least nine endangered gray wolves have died so far in Idaho, deliberately poisoned with the banned Compound 1980.
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