Catchup on your Land Desk reading
It occurs to me, as my hands clench up into keyboard claws, that maybe I’ve been overloading my keyboard—and my cherished readers—with words as of late. So here I offer you a post to allow you to pause a bit and catch up on your reading. But first, a quick and kind of distressing visual of the ill health of the southern San Juan Mountain snowpack. It’s early in the season with plenty of time for a turnaround. Still: Ooof!
And now, for the catching up part. About a month ago, I ran a three-part essay on the Dolores River in southwestern Colorado, arguably the most imperiled river in the West, and a raft trip some friends of mine and I made down it during a year when that was still possible. I put the three parts into one place and took it out from behind the paywall, so anyone can read it here:
And then I went on a bit of a rant about backcountry skiers’ resistance to a plan for a winter closure of some parts of the Teton range to help a beleaguered herd of bighorn sheep:
And here’s a long read on the complicated question of whether California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant should be kept running past its 2025 closure date to fight climate change and keep the grid from crashing
And, uggh, as the pandemic continues, it’s worth looking back on another pandemic: the 1918 flu, which wiped out about 10 percent of Silverton, Colorado’s population while largely sparing Gunnison County (which put a strict quarantine into place)
And I talk about the radicalization of the GOP through the lens of a meeting my High Country News colleagues and I had with Mark Gordon, the current Republican governor of Wyoming, back when he was a coalbed methane-fighting moderate:
And how about some history of the New Deal and an overview of the “new New Deal” and the bounty it holds for the West?
Don’t miss the Land Desk rundown and data dump on the Biden administration’s oil and gas leasing report, which was a letdown to many an environmentalist, and which the aforementioned Gov. Gordon derided as an assault on the West.
And, finally, a piece about efforts to unearth the memories of Lake Powell’s voluminous silt
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