Yarnell Lessons Slow To Emerge

Mar 31, 2014
Laurel Morales

For this story I assumed there were lessons to be learned from the Yarnell Hill Fire. But when I called Stephen Pyne, a fire historian at Arizona State University, he said, “for all of the sort of graphic and horrible qualities of the fire that made it so compelling to the general public, I don’t think it taught the fire community anything.”

Photo by Laurel Morales

Federal officials are cutting off water to some California farms stuck in the worst drought on record. At the same time Arizona farmers are irrigating their fields with the diminishing Colorado River. They’re using the water to grow most of the country’s winter vegetables, and even shipping some crops to China. In the final part of the series Pipe Dreams, a look at the controversy of indirectly exporting water overseas.

Laurel Morales

Most people are squeamish about the notion of consuming recycled wastewater. But experts say we might have to get used to the idea, given our current drought and the growing population in the Southwest. How does that water get clean enough to drink?

Photo by Laurel Morales

California is coping with the worst drought in recorded history. California’s governor has asked state residents to cut back water use by 20 percent. The rest of the Southwest is also experiencing extreme to severe drought. In the first part of a water series we’re calling Pipe Dreams, Laurel Morales of our Changing America Desk went to Las Vegas to talk to a woman who has redefined water management in the west — outgoing water czar Pat Mulroy.

Impact of the Long Walk Still Felt 150 Years Later

Jan 22, 2014
Courtesy of The Bosque Redondo Memorial and Shonto Begay

It’s been 150 years since the U.S. Army forced the Navajo and Mescalero Apache to walk 400 miles to a prison camp in eastern New Mexico in an attempt to wipe out their culture.

“Just to walk the grounds a lump in your throat like something bursting forth and I felt all the anguish of the ancestors,” says artist Shonto Begay.

The impacts of the Long Walk are still felt today.