« More from early Phoenix | Main | David William Foster, an appreciation »

June 22, 2020

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Yep!
Thanks Jon.

Good Seattle Times column Jon.
I see you still have an admiring group of commentors!

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/the-depression-shattered-and-changed-america-now-history-may-rhyme/

Take away Air Conditioning and the CAP and you have Cal's beloved desert back.

Unfortunately Cal's (and my) beloved desert is melting away like a snowbank in June. The ongoing fires in the Catalina and Superstition Mountains are taking out Sonoran desert vegetation that will not recover in our lifetimes, if ever. Invasive species such as red brome, bufflegrass, and globe chamomile are fueling unnatural fires.

The Sonoran desert ecosystem is not fire-adapted, but these invasives now can carry a fire and the native vegetation is catastrophically affected. Every time there is a wet winter in the desert, these destructive fires follow. They are beating climate change to the punch in altering the ecosystem.

I know and I care, Jon. However, I feel powerless to change anything when the vast majority only appear to care about consuming and being entertained. It seems that all we can do is mourn what has been lost and try to adhere to our personal ideals as we adapt to the present reality.

Wish you would've mentioned in more deatail,
The CAP Sham.."CAGRD" (Central Arizona Ground Water Replenishment District)
And its Groundwater Recharge Tax.
Which is imposed on Property Taxes at the end of the year. Charging new homeonwers who have had homes built on former irrigated lots.

Along with its backdoor elected complacent Crony CAGRD Commision.

Regards,
Veterano

DoggieC and Kevin in Presskit, you've echoed my sentiments exactly. I first went up the Beeline in 1959 and the passage from exquisite upland Sonoran Desert to piñon and juniper to Ponderosa pine, while skirting riparian biomes along the way, was a drive I looked forward to, always. The journey through that splendid country was every bit as much the reward as any destination. Mostly all gone now. Effectively forever.

With climate change and too many abusers of the land among our seven million, none of it is coming back. My drive through almost any part of Arizona, either destroyed by irresponsible development or wrecked by the "personal freedom" mob, is now elegaic rather than joyful -- a one-car funeral parade for a dead landscape.

Thanks Rogue. Water is nothing but trouble in the desert now. It used to be a blessing, but was cruelly whored out by the real estate hustlers.

When your waters gone
Your Dead!

Google this.
Media Lens.
Six months to Avert Climate Crisis

I have often wondered what fuels these fires, so DoggieCombovers comment is much appreciated. At least one of these, bufflegrass, was planted by the government for "erosion control and cattle forage".
"One car funeral parade"...very good Sir I will borrow that in the future.

Old west saying: "Whiskey is for Drinkin and Water is for Fighting", is still true today.

Pertinent charts re: surface and groundwater here.

In a previous working life I worked for a company that provided insurance coverage for water producers, storage, users and water rights issues. We ended up getting out of that area of coverage. The battles were getting to numerous and too severe. I remember one battle in Colorado over a small trickle of a stream with about a dozen users fighting over its use.

I find it interesting that most media companies want to know if a fire was” human caused “ They rarely talk about why the fire started or why we have so many fires that we didn’t used to have.I guess they are still afraid of offending the real estate-Industrial complex. Folks,we have these fires because we are building in the desert/mountains or because of the extreme drought.It doesn’t matter if it was “human caused “or not.We have a fire problem because there are too many of us.That’s right,but nobody wants to leave.

T.R. Failure. Not declaring everything West of the Rockies a National Park.

Perhaps the next best thing to Cals wish of a Western United States National Park is the John Wesley Powell map of state lines drawn along watersheds.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/visionary-john-wesley-powell-had-plan-developing-west-nobody-listened-180969182/

In any event, it's all over now but the shouting.

Some science on buffelgrass here (abstract and highlights).

Robert Glennon, U of A, is a water policy and law attorney. Recent book will educate. Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis and What To Do About It.

And India's water crisis.
And the 8 billion human working on more,
crisis.
But there's hope.
The plague is reducing the number of new births.
And I recieved legal notification that Greenlee County is still beautiful.
The Blue!

Note
See Cronkite news article re Water under Jon's Phoenix and Arizona section

Bufflegrass is spreading like COVID around here, that is, exponentially. In just a few years, it has migrated up every ephemeral waterway in the Superstion Wilderness and continues, 5 years ago I never saw it there. Same thing with globemallow, I had never seen it before 3 years ago, and after a couple of wet winters, it was ubiquitous, even spreading to urbanized areas.

We are entering an era of desertification. I've warned for years that corporate and state interests (in Cali, AZ and others) would suck this river dry. I've been rebuffed for it many times.

There is a group of investors trying to buy out the Harquahala Valley farmers so they can pool it all into one so they can sell it to the cities as a replacement for the CAP. The groundwater in that valley in total is about what Phoenix uses in 1 year.

The Arizona Hydrological Society had a guest speaker this past Tuesday that discussed the Arizona Arabia links and how we let them take as much as they want in rural areas of the state- never mind that the communities nearby are losing their water (Kingman is a good example). All of this is legal. The state doesn't care.

No one factors in the environment. The animals. The plants. The very thing that makes this desert so beautiful is being destroyed daily (mines, expansive communities, flora fauna, public lands).

The farmers in Pinal County, once the CAP is gone, have stated in industry meetings that mining groundwater to depletion is expected to be the new normal. In other words, the CAP was a short term bandaid to the cancer that is perpetual growth at all costs. Capitalism.

I love this desert. I hate the politics and business of this state. We are considered an extraction state and yet we pull in more federal dollars than we are taxed at. I wouldn't be surprised to see a study that shows more wealth has left the state than has been brought in.

Much like what these wildfires are doing, I say burn it all down. The system is incapable of reform.

DoggieC -- you mean "globe chamomile," a.k.a. stinknet, the invasive species from South Africa. Globe mallow is an Arizona native and adds much to our spring desert wildflower display.

Bordering on Revolution?

"your country is desolate,your cities are burned with fire;your land,strangers devour it in your presence,and it is desolate,as overthrown by strangers"
-ISAIAH 1-7
A entry to the beginning of Red Line by Charles Bowden

Joe, you are correct, I had identified it as globe chamomile in my first post above, had flowers on the brain in the second. Globemallow also had a very good year this spring.

The 1922 Colorado Compact.

"The history of the Colorado River is progressive murder."
Charles Bowden

In "Wrenched From The Land"
A compilation of readings in a new publication.

"Hoover dam killed the Colorado Delta that was considered Earths greatest Wilderness by Aldo Leopold. And murdered the Vaquitos."

Front pages: Russian Bounty hunters.
Trump didnt know?
Trump doesn't know chit and could only care if it would make him look good.
The whole scenario looks like more bullshit to keep the world wars going.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)