Delta Blues

September 30, 2002

California's sprawling San Joaquin-Sacramento river delta has been mercilessly shaped by agriculture and water-development projects. A massive $8.7 billion plan holds hope for restoring the Delta and helping sate California's growing thirst, but political infighting and a lack of funding have clouded the project's future. Also in this issue:</b> In central New Mexico's Sandia and Manzano mountains, drought, hunting and traffic accidents have cut black bear populations in half. But for the second year in the row, the state's Department of Game and Fish has extended the bear hunting season.


Delta Blues
CALFED, a huge Clinton-era project designed to restore the California Delta, now seems to be stalled and unraveling under an indifferent Bush administration.


Dam busters win symbolic victory
California anvironmentalists are pleased that the Bureau of Reclamation has given up on completing the planned Auburn Dam for the Middle Fork of the American River.
Flow charts for the Golden State
The Water Education Foundation's beautiful color maps make California's natural and human-made water systems comprehensible, even for the layperson.


This land holds a story the church won't tell
The Mormon Church would like to buy all of Martin's Cove, Wyo., where Mormon pioneers died 146 years ago, but the writer believes the historical site should stay in the hands of the public, so the full story can be told.

Book Reviews

A new planning tool takes flight
CommunityViz's powerful new planning software allows citizens to get a clear look at how planned developments will actually look in the local landscape.
A dry old time
The Quivira Coalition is offering a workshop in low-tech river restoration methods on the Dry Cimarron River in northeastern New Mexico.
A flood of admirers
In the anthology The River We Carry With Us, writers and poets celebrate the enduring beauty of Montana's Clark Fork River and grapple with the environmental problems facing it.
Magical, mystical and down-to-earth
At the Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, Calif., scientists, activists, artists and dreamers meet to talk about sustainability and ecological and social restoration.

Writers on the Range

Idaho seeks a reputation - and a reality - free of hate
As Boise celebrates the opening of its Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, the late Bill Wassmuth is remembered as the activist who helped lead the charge against Idaho's neo-Nazi extremists.

Heard Around the West

Heard Around the West
Bumper stickers and sheepdog trials; PETA billboards go after fat carnivores; pro-polygamy billboards irk Utahans; activist mauled by bear; keeping golf courses green without water; political ponytails; and "edgy" ads pulled for being annoying.

Dear Friends

Balancing act, part 2
California's balancing act, part 2; fall interns Jamie McEvoy and Joshua Zaffos; Visitors; correction and credit due; and a message to Iraq.


It's open season on New Mexico's bears
The black bear population of New Mexico's Sandia and Manzano mountains is already under stress from nearby population growth and development, but the state's Game Commission wants to keep an extended fall bear hunting season.
The Latest Bounce
Groups appeal White River Plan; Wyoming Game and Fish wants dual classification for gray wolf; judge orders BuRec to release Rio Grande water; Interior Sec. and Assistant Sec. held in contempt; woman's body strapped to hood of vehicle.
Independent ranchers fight corporate control
Montana ranchers Steve and Jeanne Charter say that mandatory "checkoff" payments, taken from cattle sales to promote the beef industry, favor corporate and foreign producers at the expense of small and independent ranchers.
Golfers may oust eagles
The plan for a golf course and housing development on the Snake River near Jackson Hole, Wyo., would allow the developer to displace or kill up to 18 bald eagles.
Environmentalists fight chemical weapons burns
Environmentalists are battling the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility in northwestern Oregon over its plans to burn chemical weapons.
BLM gets a land-swap lemon
The BLM says a congressionally mandated land swap will trade public land on the Utah-Colorado border for Moffatt County, Colo., acreage that has not been identified as necessary or desirable.
Nuclear waste road accidents don't faze WIPP
Recent road accidents involving nuclear waste-carrying trucks on the road from Idaho to the Waste Isolation Pilot Project in Carlsbad, N.M., are statistically normal, WIPP says, and no cause for special concern.
Thumpers hit a speedbump
In southwestern Colorado, a judge has temporarily halted the use of seismic "thumper trucks" to explore for oil and gas in the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.
Crawdads get the boot, but not the boil
Volunteers at Arizona's Fossil Creek tackled the problem of invasive crawfish by rounding them up and leaving them on the ground to die, when they proved too small to eat.


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