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.


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.


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.


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

Balancing 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.


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.


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