Cows or Condos, a false choice

George Wuerthner updates his arguments about need to have cows to prevent sprawl-

A long time ago I tended to be the kind of conservationist who grudgingly thought we had to give all kinds of perks to livestock interests so they wouldn’t sell and subdivide the West.  I was becoming disillusioned with the results of helping the livestock elite, and Wuerthner’s thinking helped me see appeasing them was not necessary, but counterproductive.

Now he has updated his landmark essay: “Cows or Condos, a false choice.”

Cows or Condos: A False Choice Between Public Lands Ranching and Sprawl. By George Wuerthner in New West.

How the plan to drain Nevada desert valleys suddenly collapsed

Legislation from 2003 had a hidden flaw-

The small oversight that threatens the valley’s big pipeline proposal. Nevada Supreme court cites a wording error in ’03 legislation. By Emily Green and Tom Gorman, Las Vegas Sun.

The seemingly unstoppable “water witch of the West” made an early mistake.

I hope it is truly dead, but Put Mulroy may have more cards up her sleeve. Pipeline not the sole option. Authority exploring other means as predictions for Lake Mead remain grim.By Stephanie Tavares. Las Vegas Sun.

As giant Lake Mead continues to dry up, and the drain-the-desert plan maybe dead, will the economic depression in Nevada keep the Las Vegas area wet?


Condos or Cows? Neither

This is an essay by George Wuerther on the topic whether we have to choose cows or housing development. I put it up in reponse to Wilderness Muse’s query on another post.

Note: this was written in 2003.

Condos or Cows? Neither! (1-20-03 edit)

by © George Wuerthner
Box 839
Richmond, Vermont

FLAWED STRATEGY

Ranching advocates present a false choice when they assert we must preserve ranching or suffer unrestricted sprawl.

Their ranching-as- land- preservation strategy is flawed in several ways.

First, livestock proponents vastly underestimate the ecological costs of livestock production. Growing cows in the West involves more than grazing grass, and the environmental impacts are countless and cumulative. Read the rest of this entry »

Opinion about “Pipelines to Desert for Pumping are Bad Idea and should be scrapped”

Great Basin Water Network tells the “real reason” why Utah politicians laid down for Las Vegas water steal-

The Great Basin Water Network says Utah will give up Snake Valley and state’s air quality to Las Vegas for support of their own urban sprawl pipeline — Lake Powell to St. George, UT.

Pat Mulroy (image), the Southern Nevada Water Authority executive director (said to be the most powerful woman in Nevada).

Snake Valley water split angers Utahns

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Supporters and opponents of pipeline to drain water from Eastern Nevada face off at hearing/vote

Southern Nevada Water Authority and supports face residents of eastern Nevada, conservationists, Native Americans-

“Water war” 25 years out, no end in sight to water pipeline fight. By Stephanie Tavares. Las Vegas Sun

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Earlier in this blog (Aug. 8). Nevada’s “water wizard” to ask for vote of confidence in face of opposition to more draining of the desert-

Posted in Las Vegas, politics. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Supporters and opponents of pipeline to drain water from Eastern Nevada face off at hearing/vote

Nevada Water Authority shaken by growing push-back to their effort to drain groundwater from under the Nevada desert

Nevada’s “water wizard” to ask for vote of confidence in face of opposition to more draining the desert-

Southern Nevada Water Authority’s boss, Pat Mulroy, thought by many to be the most powerful woman in the Interior West, says she wants a quick vote from Water Authority members [this is a board, not the public] to show they are still committed to plans to pipe groundwater to Las Vegas from the eastern Nevada Desert (including maybe Utah’s desert).

Opposition has been growing rapidly, and there may not be enough water for 270,000 more homes for more sprawl in and near Las Vegas, especially with the rapidly falling water level of Lake Mead on Colorado River.

Nevada Water Authority vote sought on pipeline project. Growing opposition prompts call for vote. By Henry Brean. Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Plan to dewater SW Wyoming to fuel growth in Colorado a bad idea

NYT Times thinks so. It should be obvious to everyone-

That’s what we need, more urban sprawl on the front range of the Rockies in Colorado; and the water to fuel it will by pumped in from far away — SW Wyoming — the upper Green River. This kind of thinking is so pre-recession, and it is the kind of thinking that will lead to another bubble if we are lucky enough to ever get out of this economic crisis.

The developer, Aaron Million, deserves our opposition and our contempt.

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More on this-

Pipeline plan would divert water from Green. Some worry effects could be felt all the way to the headwaters of drainage. By Cory Hatch. Jackson Hole News and Guide.

Proposed dam on Cache la Poudre River is controversial in Fort Collins, Colorado

Divide develops over dam. A proposed $431 million dam and reservoir project north of Fort Collins riles those who see it as a disastrous strangling of the picturesque Cache la Poudre River. By Michael Booth. The Denver Post.

The dam is said to be justified by projected growth of new homes. Instead it is a massive subsidy for the continuation of a bad idea and an economy destroying practice.

The governments in this country are having a hard time adjusting to the fact that the home building boom is over. Now they should take a “time out” and consider all they have done to facilitate the creation of an unsustainable hosing market directed at the upper class and the upper middle class* — how many resources were unnecessarily sacrificed. They also need to consider their ethics, or more likely lack thereof, and get out of bed with the developers.

The dollar’s international value is now a joke and the inventory of unsold homes is at least a year from being filled. Nevertheless, we keep hearing proposals for more big developments, ones the average American never could afford to buy into. Many in the West are located in or near scenic mountainous areas where they take a toll on wildlife and require a huge new infrastructure (such as this dam).

If the American economy is to ever prosper again, there needs to be much less investment in housing for the relatively well off and much more in science, technology, environmental protection and remediation, efficient health care, education and reeducation, new energy sources and especially efficient use of energy, etc.

This dam is an illustration of the wrong mentality, and it shows the striking decline in this country is not the work of the Republican Administration in Washington alone.

Related story. Fen-ced in: Protected peat bog blocks growth plan for Grand Valley, Colorado. Grand Junction Sentinel.

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*Ironically, despite the huge number of new homes, few are within the reach of the lower middle class and those with fewer means.