Currently viewing the tag: "irrigation"

In Bend in the fall, irrigators draw down of the Deschutes River to the point where fish and other wildlife die or are threatened GEORGE WUERTHNER JANUARY 27, 2023 5:50 AM      

 The Deschutes River narrows after irrigators draw off water in Bend. […]

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ABSTRACT: Livestock production occurs in all deserts (except polar deserts). In many desert areas, it is the single most significant human impact. Livestock production includes grazing plants and all associated activities to produce domestic animals. This consists of the dewatering rivers for irrigated forage crops, killing of predators and “pest” species, forage competition between native […]

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Dried-up bed of the Deschutes River upstream of Bend, Oregon. Photo George Wuerthner 

This past month, irrigators began the annual drawing down of the Deschutes River to the point where fish and other wildlife die or are threatened. Good people have tried to save fish stranded in pools of water. I […]

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The ecological impacts of livestock production is significant and there is seldom a full accounting of these costs. Photo George Wuerthner 

Livestock is responsible for more ecological damage to the western landscape than any other human activity. However, few accounting of these impacts is ever compiled. One source is my book Continue Reading

The cost of a hamburger does not reflect the cost of this cowbombed land in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Photo George Wuerthner 

Do you know what a Big Mac costs? If you say $4.50 or whatever the current price posted at the McDonald’s restaurant may be, you are vastly under-estimating the […]

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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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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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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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‎"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