Wednesday, August 1, 2007

In the Papers, 8/1/07

One proposed settlement in a major water rights negotiation would be the largest grant to irrigators since the creation of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, representing 15% of the federally-controlled water in California. The recipient of these rights would be the Westlands Water District, a group of large agribusiness operations in the San Joaquin Valley. This is a complicated situation; also at issue is an old unsettled lawsuit by the district against the U.S. government for pollution of the cropland, and potential associated cleanup costs. Coming to an agreement may be a win/win for the feds and the agribusiness group, but who's losing?


Fortunately, the ecological effects of the proposed border fence with Mexico are starting to be discussed in the mainstream news media. Such fencing would inhibit the movements of large migratory species, as well as those of smaller, but crucial, dispersers such as insects and pollen. It would also restrict species' access to water in many places. The Sonoran Pronghorn, mentioned in my first post, is of especial concern. Land of Enchantment has been blogging on this subject at Daily Kos for some time: here, and here, for instance. Her diaries are worthwhile reading.


Small-town police reports: feel the love.

A man fishing at Hyalite Reservoir snagged a wallet that had been on the bottom of the water for 30 years. The wallet will be returned to its original owner.

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