Currently viewing the tag: "irrigation"

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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Stream dried up for irrigation of livestock forage. Photo by George Wuerthner

Recently the Greater Yellowstone Coalition (GYC) announced they were working to reduce the wildlife impacts of fences. Not by removing the fences, but by changing the wire on them to facilitate easier wildlife passage. Fences, as GYC, noted […]

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The Fish and Wildlife Service will soon be reviewing a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for Oregon’s Deschutes River written by contractors working for the Central Oregon irrigators. The HCP will dictate the future of the river.

The goal of the irrigators is to obtain a “get out of jail free” […]

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An article in the Nov. 9 Bulletin reported that due to low water reserves, the Bureau of Reclamation that controls water release from Prineville Reservoir might limit flows in the Crooked River to preserve water for irrigators to the detriment of fish and the Crooked River’s aquatic ecosystem.
A number of other […]

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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