Currently viewing the category: "Water"

If cattle graze to bare soil, it is true that fires are slowed under such conditions, but the ecological impacts are enormous. Photo George Wuerthner 

When I worked for the BLM, us “ologists” (hydrologist, ecologists, biologists, archaeologists, geologists, and botanists) used to refer to Range Conservationists as Range “Cons” because they conned […]

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Upper Deschutes River is essentially an irrigation cancel for irrigators. Photo George Wuerthner

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will soon decide whether to approve a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the Deschutes River Basin. The HCP was initiated by local irrigators and the city of Prineville who want to maintain their privilege […]

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Most land trusts and many conservation groups frequently ignore the impacts of Agriculture and focus on urbanization and sprawl as the main threat to biodiversity and ecosystems.

A good example is the Teton Land Trust, Idaho. A recent story about their board president, John Nedrow, a farmer, talks about how he put a conservation easement […]

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Senators Steve Daines of Montana and Diane Feinstein of California have once again introduced legislation, the “Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act of 2020” that is based upon misguided assumptions that fuel reductions will preclude the large blazes occurring as the West.

Never mind that climate change is the driving force in all these fires […]

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The recent article “Low Flows On Deschutes” highlights why irrigation is a significant threat to our river’s ecological integrity. https://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/environment/sudden-drops-in-deschutes-river-worries-biologists/article_c0f8df66-e3df-11ea-8d00-53d8f511683c.html

The majority of water removed from the Deschutes is used to grow irrigated pasture and hay for livestock not crops consumed directly by humans.  Photo by George Wuerthner

 

According to […]

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Paradise Valley, Montana. Photo by George Wuerthner

 

Paradise Valley, Montana, is aptly named. The Yellowstone River flows north to Livingston, Montana, framed by the Absaroka Mountains on the east and the Gallatin Range on the West. It’s one of the most stunning landscapes in the entire West.

Due to its location […]

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Looking down Cache Creek from Republic Pass, Yellowstone NP, WY

 

One of the many excuses used to justify “thinning” and logging today is to preclude massive wildfires. Notwithstanding, there is considerable evidence that such actions do not impede large fires, which only occur during extreme fire weather; people still use this as an […]

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Endangered Oregon spotted frog habitat dried up by changes in river flow to accommodate the irrigation district. Photo George Wuerthner

 

I took a run along the Deschutes River in Bend’s Riverbend Park the other day. The one thing I noticed is that the river is nearly opaque. You can see down maybe […]

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The Deschutes River was once one of the gems of the West. Due to numerous springs, its flow was nearly constant throughout the year. Clean and cold, it supported huge numbers of native trout, and other associated wildlife like the river otter, mink, bald eagles, and Oregon spotted frog.

Sadly, the river has been degraded […]

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Photos courtesy of Escalante Watershed Partnership

Among the more egregious recent decisions of the Utah Bureau of Land Management is to open 50,000 acres of the Escalante River within the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument to renewed livestock grazing. The Escalante was so remote that it was the last major river to […]

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Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey