Curving through Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park, Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park on its journey to meet the Columbia River in Washington, the Snake River is a mix of scenic wilderness areas, 25 dams that support extensive irrigation, hydro-electric plants and industry. When irrigation was begun in the last century, the abundance of fish and other wildlife seemed limitless. Now, though, over-irrigation threatens habitats of many endangered species, from eagles to salmon; results in soil depletion; and poses a threat to the future of Idaho's thriving agricultural communities. Having studied the waterway along its 1056-mile length, Palmer ( The Sierra Nevada: A Mountain Journey ) passionately argues against the status of the Snake as a ``working river'' and in favor of preservation and reforms. Buttressing his opinions with scientific data, interviews with both farmers and naturalists and suggestions for improvement, he makes an effective case for restoring greatness to a beleaguered national treasure. Photos not seen by PW . (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991 Release date: 06/01/1991 Genre: Nonfiction
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