Magazine
Squeezing Water from a Stone

September 19, 2005

With only a tiny share of the Colorado River available to it, Las Vegas decides to get the water it needs from elsewhere in the state – underneath the rural high-desert Basin and Range country. Also in this issue: The Park Service lands in hot water when Deputy Assistant Interior Secretary Paul Hoffman secretly rewrites the agency’s management manual, and the revision is leaked to the press.

Feature

Squeezing Water from a Stone
With only a tiny share of the Colorado River available to it, Las Vegas decides to get the water it needs from elsewhere in the state – underneath the rural high-desert Basin and Range country

Sidebar

‘Tributary issue' could force a seven-state showdown
Nevada is fighting with the four Upper Basin states of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico over its right to use water from the Colorado River’s tributaries, in particular the Virgin and the Muddy rivers

Editor's Note

Weighing our water options
As the rapidly growing city of Las Vegas, Nev., schemes to find more water, it reminds those of us who live outside big cities that we also need to rethink the way we use water

Uncommon Westerners

Dinosaur tracks on a desert shore
When drought shrank Lake Powell this summer, paleontologist Martin Lockley went to work scouring the shoreline for newly revealed rare dinosaur tracks in the sandstone

Essays

Dam breaching gets a surprise endorsement
A longtime consultant to the hydropower industry, biologist Don Chapman, shook the Northwest this summer when he declared that four dams on the Lower Snake River should be breached to save the salmon

Book Reviews

An honest take on a tough land
Ordinary Wolves, Seth Kantner’s extraordinary debut novel, is the coming-of-age story of a young man on the remote Alaskan tundra
The grasslands — humanity's big backyard
In Sonoita Plain: Views from a Southwestern Grassland, biologists Carl and Jane Bock convey the subtle beauty of the wildlife and people of Arizona’s Sonoita Valley.
The Boys of Winter
In The Boys of Winter, Charles Sanders tells the true stories of three champion skiers who joined the Army’s 10th Mountain Division during World War II and fought in Italy’s rugged Apennine Mountains
To Save the Wild Bison
In To Save the Wild Bison, Mary Ann Franke traces the controversial history of Yellowstone National Park’s wild bison herd
Wounded
Wounded by Percival Everett is a modern-day Western novel with a twist

Writers on the Range

Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: Not out of the woods yet
Many environmentalists say the Yellowstone grizzly is a long way from being recovered, and that delisting the bear is premature and could spell disaster for the species
Yellowstone's Grizzlies: A success story
The National Wildlife Federation believes that the federal government’s proposal to remove Yellowstone’s grizzlies from the endangered species list represents a tremendous achievement

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Montana cowgirls go "bareback riding" for calendar; Forest Service worker vs. mountain lions; winery pollution in Napa Valley; violent clown nabbed; plague of toads; Durango high school reunion

Dear Friends

Dear friends
Gloria Flora speaks in Paonia; visitors; fun with salmon and eagles in Spokane

News

Revealed — secret changes to park rules
The Park Service lands in hot water when Deputy Assistant Interior Secretary Paul Hoffman secretly rewrites the agency’s management manual, and the revision is leaked to the press
The Latest Bounce
Forest Service accidentally cuts a designated botanical area in southwest Oregon; California, New Mexico and Oregon sue Bush administration over repeal of Roadless Rule; Utah won’t let group test Great Salt Lake fish for mercury; BLM admits grazing regs need more work
In the orchards, questions about immigration reform
In Yakima County, Wash., the California-based labor contractor Global Horizons is stirring up controversy among local Latino farmworkers by bringing in hundreds of guest workers from Thailand to pick fruit
Western military bases still reporting for duty
Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico and Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota narrowly escape being shut down by the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission
Judge leaves Front Range cities mile-high and dry
A Colorado judge cancels the water right of a private company that had planned to build the state’s largest dam and use it to pipe water from the Western Slope to the cities of Denver and Colorado Springs
Agency slashes critical habitat for salmon
Faced with a lawsuit by the National Association of Home Builders, NOAA Fisheries decides to strip protections from four-fifths of the currently designated critical habitat for salmon
Conservative legislator takes on Wal-Mart
Idaho’s Republican Speaker of the House, Rep. Bruce Newcomb, wants to force Wal-Mart to either provide health insurance for its Idaho employees or reimburse the state for providing Medicaid coverage
High Country News Classifieds
  • OPERATIONS AND FINANCE MANAGER
    Great Old Broads for Wilderness, a national grassroots organization led by women, seeks a resourceful, self-motivated, team player to serve as Operations and Finance Manager....
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    ORGANIZATIONAL BACKGROUND Colorado Canyons Association (CCA) fosters community stewardship, education and awareness of our National Conservation Lands with a focus on Dominguez-Escalante, Gunnison Gorge and...
  • WYOMING STATE DIRECTOR
    Save the World ... or at least a piece of it! Join The Nature Conservancy and make a tangible and lasting impact by creating a...
  • PROGRAM DIRECTOR FOR AN ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCACY NON-PROFIT NEAR YOSEMITE
    Demanding, but rewarding, advocacy work on forest, water, wildland, and wildlife issues. Applicants should have experience dealing with land management planning, public speaking, grassroots organizing,...
  • NEW AGRARIAN APPRENTICESHIP
    Quivira Coalition's 2020 New Agrarian Apprenticeships in Regenerative Ranching and Farming -Apprenticeships run 4/20 - 11/20 Applications accepted 10/15/19 - 12/1/19 NAP partners with skilled...
  • PHILANTHROPY DIRECTOR AT WILDERNESS WORKSHOP
    Wilderness Workshop seeks a full time Philanthropy Director to raise funds for our team. Learn more: www.wildernessworkshop.org
  • EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT WITH WESTERN RESOURCE ADVOCATES
    Western Resource Advocates (WRA) seeks an enthusiastic and organized problem solver to join our growing team as an Executive Assistant. The Executive Assistant is instrumental...
  • WYOMING OUTDOOR COUNCIL
    Two positions: Development Director OR Development Writer, Communications Director. Full job descriptions at https://wyomingoutdoorcouncil.org/careers.
  • CONSERVATION PROJECT MANAGER
    Great Land Trust seeks to hire a Conservation Project Manager. Position is full-time, based in Anchorage, Alaska. First review of applications will be on October...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Eagle Valley Land Trust Executive Director Position Description Summary of Position: The Executive Director, working with and reporting to the Board of Directors, has overall...
  • FINANCE & LOGISTICS COORDINATOR
    The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, founded in 1928 as an independent nonprofit organization, is a biological field station located near Crested Butte, Colorado. Our primary...
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    See Full Job Description
  • DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
    Position: Development Coordinator Responsible to: Executive Director Time Commitment: 15-20 hours per week, or as otherwise agreed upon General Description: The Development Coordinator assists the...
  • EDUCATION CENTER MANAGER
    Friends of Cedar Mesa seeks a full-time Education Manager for the Bears Ears Education Center to provide day to day operational and administrative oversight. See...
  • TROUT UNLIMITED SCP SOUTHWEST REGIONAL DIRECTOR
    Seeking to hire an experienced advocate/manager to oversee the organization's sportsmen/women-driven advocacy in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. Open until filled
  • PROGRAM MANAGER
    for northern AZ collaborative conservation ranchlands group
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Partners are seeking an experienced and energetic Executive Director who is excited about the opportunity to lead our growing organization! A full description of the...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    High Country News Seeks an Executive Director to advance its mission, grow its audience and influence, and strategically and sustainably guide the organization through a...
  • 2 PROPERTIES ON THE WESTERN EDGE OF THE GILA WILDERNESS
    Organic farm, hot springs, San Francisco River runs through both. [email protected]
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.