Rivers & Lakes

Climate change increases rare earth elements in Colorado’s Snake River
Climate change increases rare earth elements in Colorado’s Snake River
A new study suggests lower stream flows as a primary culprit.
Klamath River issues explained
Klamath River issues explained
Confused about what’s happening on the Klamath? Dams, salmon, irrigation and more.
The familial bond between the  Klamath River and the Yurok people
The familial bond between the Klamath River and the Yurok people
How a tribal community’s health is intimately connected to the health of the river.
See what the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act preserves
See what the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act preserves
Over 50 years, the landmark law has protected more than 13,000 miles of American waterways.
An Alaska ballot measure could kill Pebble Mine
An Alaska ballot measure could kill Pebble Mine
In November, voters will decide how to balance resource development and salmon habitat protections.
Tiny bits of plastic permeate our world
Tiny bits of plastic permeate our world
From alpine headwaters to city water supplies, the West is awash in microscopic pollutants.
Paddling the Colorado’s headwaters reveals a wrung-out river
Paddling the Colorado’s headwaters reveals a wrung-out river
Shrinking snowpacks and low waterways will affect everyone from tourists to farmers.
The arresting quiet of a crane migration in Washington
The arresting quiet of a crane migration in Washington
Sandhill cranes, cattle and the surprising benefits of their coexistence in the West.
Mining protections lapse on one of Oregon’s wildest rivers
Mining protections lapse on one of Oregon’s wildest rivers
The Department of Interior’s failure to extend restrictions exposes the weaknesses of a key environmental law.
The Colorado, lifeblood and sculptor of an arid West
The Colorado, lifeblood and sculptor of an arid West
In a new book, a longtime river-runner invites readers to sit down by the Colorado’s riverside and listen to its stories.
Supreme Court to states: Live up to your treaty obligations
Supreme Court to states: Live up to your treaty obligations
Will future courts order states to take down fish-blocking dams?
An inventory of loss on the Los Angeles River
An inventory of loss on the Los Angeles River
The city weighs revitalization of an unruly river, since transformed into a concrete ditch.
Aspen may stockpile water under its golf course
Aspen may stockpile water under its golf course
As climate change looms, towns look to store water without dams.
How the Yurok Tribe is reclaiming the Klamath River
How the Yurok Tribe is reclaiming the Klamath River
For the first time, the largest tribe in California has one of its own to lead its legal battles.
The dark secrets of the Animas River
The dark secrets of the Animas River
A 2015 spill that turned the waterway orange is a reminder of mining’s disastrous legacy.
Below Mount Shasta, a fight burbles over bottled water
Below Mount Shasta, a fight burbles over bottled water
Selling water to Nestlé, Crystal Geyser and others could strain aquifers.
Interior revives the push for a higher Shasta Dam
Interior revives the push for a higher Shasta Dam
But the state of California and Winnemem Wintu Tribe oppose the project.
Tribal nations hold some of the best water rights in the West
Tribal nations hold some of the best water rights in the West
But to use them, tribes often must negotiate settlements that need federal approval.
Colorado says fishing next to private land is trespassing
Colorado says fishing next to private land is trespassing
But that could change on the Arkansas River if a legal decision declares it navigable.
The playground of Lake Powell isn’t worth drowned canyons
The playground of Lake Powell isn’t worth drowned canyons
Before a writer knew the true cost of Glen Canyon Dam, ‘ignorance was bliss.’
Arizona agency angers Colorado River users upstream
Arizona agency angers Colorado River users upstream
The spat offers a preview of what water politics could look like in a drier future.
Climate extremes are putting species in sync – and in danger
Climate extremes are putting species in sync – and in danger
Shifts in coastal weather systems could make the West’s species less resilient.
The House passes a bill limiting water for salmon
The House passes a bill limiting water for salmon
The legislation would override a court ruling calling for more water over dams.
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