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George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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(File | The Salt Lake Tribune) Rancher Dean Baker looks over what was once a lush meadow in the Snake Valley in this 2008 photo. While the Bureau of Land Management excluded the valley on the Utah-Nevada line from its recently released final Environmental Impact Statement, the battle over groundwater is likely to continue.
Editorial Sampler: Water, water everywhere ...

Mark Twain is supposed to have said, ""Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over."

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So, we're fighting over water. [Of course, in Utah, we fight over whiskey, too.]

- Pipeline folly: Las Vegas water plan unwise - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

The Bureau of Land Management’s final environmental impact study grants the water barons of Las Vegas rights of way to build a 263-mile pipeline to siphon huge quantities of ground water from valleys in eastern Nevada to Sin City. This could easily kill off plant and animal life in these valleys, not by design, but because when the predictable environmental disaster is realized, it could be too late to reverse it.

Creating a dust bowl in eastern Nevada could spew air pollution downwind into Utah, all the way to the Wasatch Front. Sapping the underground aquifers in Nevada’s Spring Valley could deplete ground water down slope in adjoining Snake Valley, which straddles the Nevada/Utah state line. For these reasons, the Las Vegas water pipeline project is environmental folly. [Read the rest...]

- The 'necessary resources': BLM signs off on water pipeline plan - Las Vegas Review-Journal Editorial

... The water authority would just as soon not build this project, which comes with a price tag variously estimated from $2 billion to $15 billion. Unfortunately, changing the law of the Colorado to allow interstate water purchases at market rates - the best solution - is not politically feasible right now.

Though certainly, if that day ever comes, it will help Nevada's case to be able to say everything else has been tried.

[In this editorial, anyway, not one word about the ecological damage this project could cause. Just an assumption that Las Vegas should get everything it wants, if not this way, somehow.]

Another water fight:

- Why is governor picking a water fight? - San Francisco Chronicle Editorial

What the governor's office billed as a "path forward on California's water future" turned into a step back. In announcing a plan Wednesday for a pair of pipes to move water south around the eastern periphery of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, Gov. Jerry Brown told the assembled officials and press, "We're going to make stuff happen. We're going to take into account the opposition. And if we have to fight initiatives and referendums, we'll fight those too."

Why is the governor going out of his way to pick a fight? ...

- Give the Bay Delta Conservation Plan a chance - Los Angeles Times Editorial

It has the potential to untangle some of the knots in California's water supply system while repairing damage done to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

In California, apparently, they elect water managers. (Ick?)

- Joe Judge retires, honorably, from water board - San Jose Mercury News Editorial

... We believe most people who run for public office have the public good at heart. But over time, public service can morph into a sense of entitlement. Real corruption is rare, but officials become invested in the status quo and lose perspective. ...

More on managing natural resources:

- More Doing, Less Talking in Rangeland Management - Twin Falls Times-News Editorial

... When you talk about wildfire prevention in southern Idaho, you inevitably talk about grazing. You talk about the fuels — the sagebrush, the cheat grass, the juniper. And you talk about the cows and sheep that spend some of the year feeding on those fuels. ...

And not just in the West:

- These lakes must be saved - Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union Editorial

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