Magazine
The Efficiency Paradox

February 5, 2007

Water efficiency has long been touted as a silver bullet for the West?s water problems, but too much efficiency can cause problems of its own, especially in the fragile Colorado River Delta. Also in this issue: In Idaho and Wyoming, old eminent domain laws allow private entities to condemn landowners? property ? as Peter and Judy Riede discovered when J.R. Simplot Co. announced plans to expand its phosphate mine and build a road across their ranch.

Feature

The Efficiency Paradox
Water efficiency has long been touted as a silver bullet for the West’s water problems, but too much efficiency can cause problems of its own, especially in the fragile Colorado River Delta.

Editor's Note

Against the current
For a long time, the West used water as if the supply were endless, but nowadays environmentalists are finding that too much efficiency causes problems of its own, especially in fragile ecosystems like the Colorado River Delta.

Uncommon Westerners

Red Feather builds homes and communities
The nonprofit Red Feather Development Group recruits volunteers like Zan Wannemuehler to help build straw-bale homes on Indian reservations.

Essays

Winter Prayer
Winter Prayer
Snowshoeing alone at night in the forest, a woman thinks – and prays – about the friends she loves, and the families they worry about.

Book Reviews

Notes from a place of risk and hope
In Big Wonderful: Notes from Wyoming, Kevin Holdsworth describes his love for a harsh landscape in essays, poetry and fiction.
A tale of shame and glory in the Southwest
Hampton Sides’ new book, Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West, follows Kit Carson through the bloody history of the 19th century Southwest.

Writers on the Range

A Western historian and a Western hero
Las Vegas historian, author and community activist Hal Rothman may be dying from Lou Gehrig’s disease, but he’s determined to go on his own terms – with courage, grace and a sense of humor.
Don’t part out our national parks
If the National Park Service allows commercial bio-prospecting in Yellowstone and our other parks, it will set a dangerous precedent.

Heard Around the West

Heard around the West
Plumber vs. golfers in Soap Lake, Wash.; Welcome to Wyoming; don’t mess with mamma coyote; no intelligent life on Earth; amusing headlines; yummy hospital food?

Dear Friends

Dear Friends
HCN hosts panel discussion in Berkeley about the West’s political future; notes from readers Mark Salvo and Michael Green.

News

Condemned
In Idaho and Wyoming, old eminent domain laws allow private entities to condemn landowners’ property – as Peter and Judy Riede discovered when J.R. Simplot Co. announced plans to expand its phosphate mine and build a road across their ranch.
Energy illusions
A BLM report issued in late 2006 appears to show that less land is available for energy exploration now than in 2003, but a closer look shows that appearances are deceiving.
The West’s public lands are open for business
A close look at the data shows that, despite some restrictions, oil and gas drilling is on the rise in the West.

Two Weeks in the West

Two weeks in the West
Cross-country skiers and snowmobilers clash over access to Logan Canyon, Utah; Mount Jefferson, Mont.; and (of course) Yellowstone; Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth steps down to be replaced by Gail Kimbell; West becomes player in national politics; bor

Letters

High Country News Classifieds
  • PART-TIME EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Mitchell Museum of the American Indian Location: Evanston, IL Salary Range: $45,000 @ 24 hours per week. send resume: [email protected] www.mitchellmuseum.org
  • OUTDOOR PROGRAM - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
    St. Lawrence University seeks to fill the position of Assistant Director in the Outdoor Program. To view the complete position description, including minimum qualifications required,...
  • PUBLIC LANDS DIRECTOR
    Job Announcement Conserve Southwest Utah is seeking a dedicated advocate for conservation and public lands Public Lands Director a "make a difference" position Conserve Southwest...
  • FOR SALE
    Yellowstone Llamas Successful Yellowstone NP concession Flexible packages
  • DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT & MARKETING
    Grand Staircase Escalante Partners is seeking a full-time Director of Development & Marketing. This is a senior position responsible for the development of all marketing...
  • LEGAL DIRECTOR
    The Legal Director will work closely with the Executive Director in cultivating a renewed vision at NMELC that integrates diversity, equity, and justice. Black, Indigenous,...
  • VICE PRESIDENT, LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION
    The Vice President for Landscape Conservation leads Defenders' work to promote landscape-scale wildlife conservation, focusing on four program areas: federal public lands management; private lands...
  • NOVA SCOTIA OCEAN FRONT
    Camp or Build on 2+ acres in Guysborough. FSBO. $36,000 US firm. Laurie's phone: 585-226-2993 EST.
  • COMMUNITY FORESTER
    The Clearwater Resource Council located in Seeley Lake, Montana is seeking a full-time community forester with experience in both fuels mitigation and landscape restoration. Resumes...
  • GUNNISON BASIN ROUNDTABLE
    The Gunnison Basin Roundtable is currently accepting letters of interest for ten elected seats. Five of the elected members must have relevant experience in the...
  • PCTA TRAIL CREW TECHNICAL ADVISORS IN WASHINGTON'S NORTH CASCADES
    Seasonal Positions: June 17th to September 16th (14 weeks) - 3 positions to be filled The mission of the Pacific Crest Trail Association is to...
  • WE'RE LOOKING FOR LEADERS!
    As we celebrate 50 years of great Western journalism, High Country News is looking for a few new board members to help set a course...
  • MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR
    Job Announcement Job Title: Membership Director Supervisor: Executive Director Salary: Up to $65,000/year DOE Benefits: Generous benefits package — health insurance, Simple IRA and unlimited...
  • UTAH PUBLIC LANDS MANAGER
    Who we are: Since 1985, the Grand Canyon Trust has been a leading voice in regional conservation on the Colorado Plateau. From protecting the Grand...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Executive Director Walker Basin Conservancy Reno & Yerington, NV Background The Walker Basin Conservancy (Conservancy) leads the effort to restore and maintain Walker Lake while...
  • WIND RIVER WRITERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS RETREAT BY THE NATIONAL BIGHORN SHEEP CENTER
    Enhance your writing or photography skills with world-class instructors in the beautiful Wind River Mountains. All skill levels welcome. Continuing education credits available.
  • EARTH CRUISER FX FOR SALE
    Overland Vehicle for travel on or off road. Fully self contained. Less than 41,000 miles. Recently fully serviced Located in Redmond, OR $215'000.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS
    identifies suspect buried trash, tanks, drums &/or utilities and conducts custom-designed subsurface investigations that support post-damage litigation.
  • SMALL FARM AT BASE OF MOUNT SHASTA, CALIF.
    Certified organic fruit/berry/veggie/flower farm. Small home, 2 barns (one has an apartment), and more. Approx. two acres just in the City limits. Famously pure air...
  • TAOS HORNO ADVENTURES
    A Multicultural Culinary Memoir Informed by History and Horticulture. Richard and Annette Rubin. At nighthawkpress.com/titles and Amazon.