Re: NANFA-- Klamath sucker --> Rio Grande minnow

Bruce Stallsmith (
Fri, 13 Jul 2001 20:06:50 -0400

The settlement of the arid West was begun in the 1870s under the slogan,
"Rain follows the plow." If you plow the prairie or irrigable desert, this
causes rain. Huh? So now we subsidize strange crop choices and the
construction of cities like Las Vegas and Phoenix which couldn't exist
without essentially free water.

Chris, I'm impressed you can sit through Rush, the mouth that's a mile wide
and an inch deep.

--Bruce "I love talk radio" Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A

> > I sympathize with the families in the basin who can't raise crops in a
> > drought like this year. They and their families accepted the land back
> > in good faith, and it was given to them in the same good faith, thinking
> > they'd always have water. But it's humorous and hypocritical to me that
> > here we have a community of people screaming about government
> > (protecting endangered species) while they themselves have been the
> > recipients of government handouts of land and water for decades.
>This reminds me of what's going on with the Rio Grande silvery minnow
>(Hybognathus amarus) in New Mexico. Farmers are at the receiving end of a
>huge federally funded network of diversion dams and irrigation ditches, yet
>cry bloody murder when the feds want to use some of the water to keep the
>middle Rio Grande from running dry and killing the minnow. Yes, the water
>rightfully theirs, but why can't they share? Why must they be entitled to
>every single last drop of it? Why is it necessary to attempt to squeeze in
>third end-of-summer crop in the middle of a drought? The situation got so
>ugly at one point that a few really angry farmers threatened with violence
>the federal biologists who were rescuing minnows that were stranded in
>drying pools! A 3-year agreement between feds and the State was signed a
>weeks ago, but it doesn't guarantee that the Rio Grande won't run dry. It
>merely guarantees that it won't run dry as quickly! Luckily, federal
>biologists will continue monitoring the river from airplanes looking for
>stranded minnows, and send in minnow rescue teams when needed. And the
>Albuquerque Aquarium is raising the minnow for reintroduction in the few
>sections of the river that aren't completely diverted to irrigate hay and
>alfalfa in the middle of the desert.
>Chris Scharpf

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