The California fires continue to burn at a record-setting pace, the worst of them along the central coast; the danger that Utah’s Great Salt Lake will shrivel into a puddle; Washington’s governor looks to a carbon tax to pay back state reserves that are committed to school costs, and other highlights of environmental news from around the West this week.
Marci Kwon meditated on the fragility of history and the good fortune by which prints and backdrops from a popular Chinatown photo studio have remained accessible – after collectors such as Wylie Wong and George Berticevich rescued them from dumpsters and flea markets. Without them, Kwon said, “May's would be little more than a footnote in the history of San Francisco's Chinatown, if even that.”
This year’s massive West Coast fires have left an expanding list of environmental and political challenges; California gets an early Christmas present as statewide greenhouse gas emissions fall faster than expected; the Supreme Court will not reconsider a decision giving the Agua Caliente tribe groundwater rights; and more of the past week’s best western environmental journalism.
As deadlines loom for the re-evaluation of western National Monuments, new hints of what is to come; the Salton Sea receives a comprehensive mitigation plan for its toxic dust and drying lakebed; Secretary Zinke’s push to expand drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska threatens the nation’s most remote lands; the world’s largest living organism falters in Utah; and more of this week’s best stories on the West.