Magazine
The Royal Squeeze

September 16, 2002

For nearly a century, the Imperial Valley's wastewater has kept the Salton Sea alive. Now, the push to make California more watertight may threaten this wildlife haven - and Imperial's agricultural economy. Also in this issue: The San Juan Basin, on the New Mexico-Colorado border, has long been an oil and gas hotspot. It's about to get hotter: A new BLM management plan could add nearly 10,000 new wells over the next 20 years.

Feature

The Royal Squeeze
California's Imperial Valley is under pressure to reduce the amount of Colorado River water it uses for irrigation, but some fear changes could inadvertently dry up the Salton Sea, imperiling birds and animals that depend on it.

Sidebar

Sherman Alexie in his own words
Writer Sherman Alexie talks about Hollywood, tokenism and being an Indian.
Some see economic upside in loss of farm water
Fallowing land in California's Imperial Valley may temporarily put farmworkers out of work, but in the long run the extra money could help diversify the local economy and produce more skilled and permanent jobs.

Essays

Working among the West's newcomers
New Western immigrants - illegal or not - often work hard in odd places, following the American dream.

Book Reviews

Yes, I'm gonna eat that!
In Coming Home to Eat, Lebanese-American writer Gary Paul Nabham describes how eating "local" food for the first time in the Fertile Crescent convinces him to try to "eat locally" in Tucson, Ariz.
Learn about everything
Forth Annual Sustainable Communites Symposium
Island Hoping
In On Oct. 19, 2002, a group of people working to preserve the diversity of the Sky Islands is holding a one-day conference to promote awareness of the region.

Writers on the Range

A modest forest proposal for President Bush
Pres. Bush can talk about "common sense" forest management all he wants, but until he --- and the rest of us - use common sense in our forests, wildfires and other problems will keep happening.

Heard Around the West

Oh, the things you see
Cars pulled from river; Great Salt Lake smells; water cops bust pot plants; duckie race relocated; Mrs. Kan. International leaves kids home; Bush on the ranch with the bovines; armed SUVs; stealing barbecue; Kentucky Fried accident; opera by flashlight.

Dear Friends

Balacing act
California's balancing act; new staffers JoAnn Kalenak, Denise Massart-Isaacson April Reese & Laura Paskus; staffers Robyn Morrison and Gretchen Aston-Puckett change jobs; congratulations - and thanks.
A legend of the land
Geologist J. David Love, who loved and understood the Wyoming landscape, dies at the age of 89.

News

The BLM stabs at a tired land
Near Farmington, N.M., some local ranchers and environmentalists are fighting a push to greatly increase oil and gas drilling in the area's San Juan Basin.
The Latest Bounce
BLM reconsiders approval of coalbed methane leases in Wyoming; Montana judge says salty groundwater from coalbed methane wells is not pollutant; California's Cadiz water project gets go-ahead; Valles Caldera National Preserve, N.M.,opens grazing.
Drought unearths a water dinosaur
"The Big Straw" - a massive, extravagant scheme to bring water from Colorado's Western Slope to its crowded Front Range, is being seriously reconsidered in a state faced with drought and a growing population.
Toxic fish taint tribal diet
A new study shows Columbia River fish to be contaminated with chemicals that could harm the health of the Native Americans that eat them.
Museum collections hit the roof
Lack of adequate storage for artifacts in museums throughout Colorado and the West is creating a messy backlog that could eventually stall construction projects on public lands.
Traveling dunes
Photographer Andrew Harvey has created the Algodones Photographic Tour to draw attention to California's Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area and protect it from ATV use.
Rough riding
A new report, the ATV Safety Crisis Report, blames off-road vehicles for death and injury and suggests that their use should be regulated.
A cow of a time
"Bovines or Biodiversity: The National Campaign to End Abusive Public Lands Grazing," is this year's RangeNet conference, set in Boise, Idaho, October 9.
With golden cottonwoods
High Plains Films
The big show with braids
Not surprisingly, Alexie's new release, The Business of Fancydancing, explodes our preconceptions about race, sexuality and artistry.

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Mountain Time Arts, a Bozeman-based nonprofit, is seeking an Executive Director. MTA advocates for and produces public artworks that advance social & environmental justice in...
  • BEND AREA HOME WITH AMAZING CASCADE PEAKS VIEW
    Enjoy rural peacefulness and privacy with one of the most magnificent Cascade Mountain views in sunny Central Oregon! Convenient location only eight miles from Bend's...
  • MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
    High Country News, an award-winning media organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks a Marketing Communications Manager to join our...
  • EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
    High Country News, an award-winning media organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks an Editor-In-Chief to join our senior team...
  • RESEARCH FELLOW (SOUTHWESTERN U.S. ENERGY TRANSITION)
    The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) in partnership with the Grand Canyon Trust is seeking a full-time Fellow to conduct topical research...
  • LENDER OWNED FIX & FLIP
    2 houses on 37+ acres. Gated subdivision, Penrose Colorado. $400k. Possible lender financing. Bob Kunkler Brokers Welcome.
  • ONCE OR TWICE
    A short historical novel set in central Oregon based on the the WWII Japanese high altitude ballon that exploded causing civilian casualties. A riveting look...
  • HISTORIC LODGE AND RESTAURANT - FULLY EQUIPPED
    Built in 1901, The Crazy Mountain Inn has 11 guest rooms in a town-center building on 7 city lots (.58 acres). The inn and restaurant...
  • HOUSE FOR SALE
    Rare mountain property, borders National Forest, stream nearby. Pumicecrete, solar net metering, radiant heat, fine cabinets, attic space to expand, patio, garden, wildlife, insulated garage,...
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER- NORTHERN PLAINS RESOURCE COUNCIL
    Want to organize people to protect Montana's water quality, family farms and ranches, & unique quality of life with Northern Plains Resource Council? Apply now-...
  • CONSERVATION MANAGER
    The Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT) is hiring an energetic and motivated Conservation Manager to develop and complete new conservation projects and work within...
  • POLLINATOR OASIS
    Seeking an experienced, hardworking partner to help restore a desert watershed/wetland while also creating a pollinator oasis at the mouth of an upland canyon. Compensation:...
  • ELLIE SAYS IT'S SAFE! A GUIDE DOG'S JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE
    by Don Hagedorn. A story of how lives of the visually impaired are improved through the love and courage of guide dogs. Available on Amazon.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY
    All positions available: Sales Representative, Accountant and Administrative Assistant. As part of our expansion program, our University is looking for part time work from home...
  • RUBY, ARIZONA CARETAKER
    S. Az ghost town seeking full-time caretaker. Contact [email protected] for details.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Powder River Basin Resource Council, a progressive non-profit conservation organization based in Sheridan, Wyoming, seeks an Executive Director, preferably with grassroots organizing experience, excellent communication...
  • ADOBE HOME
    Passive solar adobe home in high desert of central New Mexico. Located on a 10,000 acre cattle ranch.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Eastern Nevada Landscape Coalition, based in Ely, Nevada is looking for a new executive director to replace the long-time executive director who is retiring at...
  • STEVE HARRIS, EXPERIENCED PUBLIC LANDS/ENVIRONMENTAL ATTORNEY
    Comment Letters - Admin Appeals - Federal & State Litigation - FOIA -