Image of the day: River of No Return

“The Middle Fork of the Salmon is not so much a river as an exuberant expression of water at play,” writes Joel K. Bourne, Jr. “It tumbles and turns and trips over itself for a hundred miles through the largest unbroken wilderness in the lower 48, the 2.3-million-acre Frank Church–River of No Return Wilderness, named for the pristine Salmon River gorge and the Idaho senator who made sure most of its vast watershed would stay that way. No dams temper its flow. No roads line its banks. It dances down its canyon much as it has since the glaciers receded 10,000 years ago—in spring as a raging, tree-felling torrent, in late summer as a spare, crystalline rivulet.

“Today it is one of the ultimate white-water experiences in the United States, drawing thousands of visitors each year. But 60 years ago its future—and that of hundreds of other rivers across

The Dry Garden: In search of a ‘water ethic’ for America

Most high-level arguments about how to conserve water in the garden take place without involving home gardeners. Rather, as water managers weigh what an imaginary average consumer would and would not do by way of conservation, we real-life consumers are alternately offered carrots in the form of ephemeral rebate programs and sticks in the form of emergency sprinkler ordinances. 

The new book, “Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis,”  knocks this tired see-saw off its axis. Author Cynthia Barnett argues that no conservation program will truly succeed unless embraced by the public as part of a universally adopted “water ethic.” After research took her across the US, to the Netherlands, Singapore and Australia, Barnett concluded that the only way that a water ethic can be reintroduced to places that have lost it is if a primal sense of the importance and beauty of water is restored. 

It’s unorthodox to

The Dry Garden: Capturing rain

With the first rain of the season comes a question: How best to capture it for the garden? There is no single answer. Each property has dramatically different opportunities and challenges. Get it right and rainy season becomes a time of unrivaled beauty and pleasure. Get it wrong and you can ruin your house, or your neighbor’s.

This week “The Dry Garden” in the Los Angeles Times is soaked. Click here to keep reading about harvesting rain. 

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    Emily Green by e-mail at emily.green [at] mac.com
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