Merrill Bitter found dead

Merrill was one of those rare types who shunned fame, but his climbing could have put him up there with the ‘greatest’. Peter Lev

LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah (ABC4) – We’re learning more about a skier found deceased in Utah’s backcountry Thursday.

68-year-old Merrill Bitter, of Cottonwood Heights, was discovered by search and rescue crews near Alta Ski Area Thursday morning around 9 a.m.

Rescue crews discovered him in the Wolverine Bull area of Grizzly Gulch. The area is considered a backcountry area with an intermediate-level run amid several expert runs.

Family members say Bitter spent his entire life devoted to the outdoors. As an expert rock climber, he also loved backcountry skiing. 

His cause of death is still unclear. 

But what is clear — is that Merrill Bitter was an icon in the outdoor community and family members tell  ABC4 they are shocked by his passing.

When family didn’t hear back from him by afternoon, search and rescue teams mobilized.

It wasn’t until this morning that his body was recovered.

Usually — when talking backcountry danger, it’s avalanches. But avalanche danger is low in Utah right now. What can be dangerous are, though, are these slopes that face the sun all day.

“And in the morning or late in the day, that is a very hard slick surface. So it’s super easy that we lose our footing under our skis, our board, our snowshoes. and once you start sliding on a steep slope, you accelerate extremely rapidly,” Craig Gordon of the Utah Avalanche Center told ABC4.

Family members of Merrill Bitter describe him as just the healthiest outdoorsman, cautious and experienced.

Knowing he died in these mountains, they say is bittersweet.

~~~~~~~~~~

‘His stories are legends’: Friend remembers life, impact of Utah skier killed in backcountry

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah — Merrill Bitter was an icon in the rock climbing community.

The 68-year-old from Cottonwood Heights went skiing Wednesday and was supposed to return at 3 p.m.

According to officials, the Alta Ski Area received a call at 9 p.m Wednesday from someone who knew Bitter, concerned he hadn’t returned. Bitter was then found dead Thursday morning in the Grizzly Gulch skiing area, adjacent to Alta Ski Area. 

Lance Merrill called Bitter his friend for the past 50 years. Merrill respected Bitter so much that he included him in his book, “We Should Have Died Young.” 

The book includes stories of people who Merrill thought were the best of the best at their craft.

“Merrill was more of a technical climber, where he would take a specific route on a section of a route and climb the part that everyone thought could not be climbed,” Lance Merrill said.

Merrill says he talked to Bitter just two weeks ago.

“I called him at about 11 in the morning and said, ‘Hey, Merrill, let’s go to lunch,’ and he was like ‘I’ve got plans today, Lance, let’s get together sometime this month,'” said Merrill, which is why it hit him hard when found out Bitter had died.

“I sat right here and cried this morning, there are some people you meet in your life that have a huge heart and they get along with everybody, and that’s how Merrill was.”

Merrill says Bitter took a strong interest in rock climbing in the 1970s and he even climbed with him from time to time.

“He wasn’t super human, but he just, because he was in such incredible condition and he had so much stamina, he just had this fortitude that allowed him to do things that a lot of people wouldn’t even consider,” said Merrill.

That’s why he feels that Bitter left such an impact on the rock climbing community.

“His stories are legends and I’m sure they will grow as time goes on,” said Merrill.

~~~

MAGIC IN THE MESSAGE ~ The WAshington Post

Disney's 'Encanto' has a simple but powerful message: It's not what you do, but who you are that counts
Encanto’s Mirabel, Disney’s first bespectacled “princess,”  investigates the source of her family’s waning magical gifts.

Mirabel Madrigal has a problem — or maybe she is the problem.

The 15-year-old heroine of Encanto, Disney’s latest shoo-in for an animated-feature Oscar nomination, belongs to a very special family. Years ago, when her grandmother (voice of María Cecilia Botero) was forced to flee her home with infant triplets, she was “granted a miracle,” though by whom and why is never explained.

First part of that miracle? A magical house, high in the mountains of Colombia, that is almost a living organism.

Second: Every member of the Madrigal family (not including in-laws) is given a special ability as a child. Mirabel’s mother (Angie Cepeda) can heal injury and sickness with her cooking. Aunt Pepa (Carolina Gaitan) controls the weather via her emotions. One sister has super-strength, while another is effortlessly graceful, gorgeous, and can summon flowers from thin air. But Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz) has no gift.

Her grandmother reminds her of this often.

When the house’s foundations start to crack, and her relatives’ gifts begin to dim and disappear, Mirabel decides to track down the problem. What follows is delightfully complicated; it’s a quest in which our heroine never leaves home, and the enemy — if there is one — isn’t who you’d expect. Even if the story lacks logic at some points, when you keep in mind that the whole saga started with an unexplained miracle, it’s easy enough to forgive the lack of cohesion.

The characters deepen marvelously as the story goes on, and it becomes clearer that the blessings received as children have now become burdens. If you can manipulate the weather, for example, there’s a lot of pressure to keep things sunny. And the film’s overarching message, while one we’ve heard before — people are worthy of love because of who they are, not what they do — is simple yet powerful.

The visuals are lush and lovely, down to such tiny details as the reflections in Mirabel’s glasses. (In an important step for representation, she’s the first bespectacled Disney “princess.”) Her adorably rumpled curls beg the questions: What product does she use to keep then from going frizzy in the Colombian humidity? Directors Jared Bush, Byron Howard, and Charise Castro Smith rely heavily on close-ups: Watching Mirabel’s “performance” is a joy on par with watching a master actor at work. The slightest movement of an eyebrow or the twitch of her mouth conveys so much meaning that it’s easy to forget you’re watching someone who doesn’t actually exist. Combined with Beatriz’s excellent voice work, the character animation makes Mirabel a welcome addition to the pantheon of Disney heroines.

While Germaine Franco’s score is outstanding, the original songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda don’t have the catchiness or the power we’ve come to expect from other Disney films. They’re also incredibly similar, though inarguably weaker, than Miranda’s earlier work. The big number, “Waiting on a Miracle,” sounds so much like “Burn” from Hamilton that it feels plagiarized. Some of the songs also feel unnecessary; they don’t move the story along or deepen our understanding of the characters. It’s like Miranda was trying to make a quota.

Anyone who has ever felt left out by their family will see themselves in Mirabel. (Frankly, anyone who has a family will recognize — or identify with — someone in this movie.) While Mirabel is at the center of Encanto, the story is really about the Madrigals as a whole. What makes a family? Who belongs in what role? How can familial approval be something that both heals and hurts? It’s a creative, fresh take on a story that is much more complex than your standard fairy tale.

OBSERVING THE COSMOS AND ENVISAGING THE APOCALYPSE ~ Pen

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‘The Last Cosmology’ is an idea, a perspective orientated towards the sky and a theory supported by photographer Kikuji Kawada.

14.10.2021

Words Henri Robert

© Kikuji Kawada

‘I was born at the beginning of the Showa era. During my childhood there was a great war, then I lived [through] the period of reconstruction and growth and now I am slowly approaching the end of life.’ These words spoken by photographer Kikuji Kawa, born in 1933, accompany the collection of his work produced between 1980 and 2000, compiled in 2015 by London-based publisher MACK.

Originally from Ibaraki prefecture, Kikuji Kawada co-founded the renowned collective VIVO in 1959 alongside Eikoh Hosoe, Ikko Narahara, Akira Sato, Akira Tanno and Shomei Tomatsu. In 1974, his work was presented at the MoMA in New York as part of the New Japanese Photography exhibition. As another acknowledgement of the importance of his work, he was recognised by the Photographic Society of Japan in 2011.

Questioning the sky

Struck by illness from childhood, the artist navigates through a state where the barriers between dreams and reality are blurred. This period led him to develop a passion for observing the Tokyo skies, with the aid of a refracting telescope. Kikuji Kawada’s work rests on an ancient belief that states that events in humanity are linked to astrological phenomena, particularly in the context of the late Showa period with the death of the Japanese Emperor. In ‘his’ post-apocalyptic universe, chaos affects the cosmos through lunar eclipses and solar storms, and the Earth through extreme weather phenomena. It intersects them.

As explained in the presentation text for this work at the  Michael Hoppen Gallery, the artist is fascinated by ‘the firmament’. Inspired by painter Emil Nolde’s apocalyptic celestial landscapes, he describes his approach as follows: ‘I imagine the era and myself as an implicitly intermingling catastrophe and I want to spy on the depths of a multihued heart that is like a Karman vortex.’

The artist, who has sought throughout his life to photograph Halley’s comet, in vain, examines the sky in order to respond to the feeling of the collapse of the Earth, and looks for answers, truth. Kikuji Kawada’s work questions how the cosmos can help us to decipher terrestrial phenomena, and encourages the public to reflect more widely on the human condition and our own place in the world.

In a different subject area, the artist’s first book, Chizu (1965) — reissued in 2014 by Akio Nagasawa —, published twenty years after the Hiroshima bombings, documents the repercussions of the atomic bomb and war in Japan, particularly the invisible, imperceptible aspects of this violence.

The Last Cosmology (2015), a collection of photographs by Kikuji Kawada published by MACK.

© Kikuji Kawada

© Kikuji Kawada

© Kikuji Kawada

© Kikuji Kawada

La Santa Cecilia: ‘We Are As American As Apple Pie And Tacos’ ~ NPR … POSTED AWHILE BACK

.

~~~  LISTEN  ~~~

La Santa Cecilia. From left, Marisol “La Marisoul” Hernandez, Miguel “Oso” Ramirez, Alex Bendaña, Jose “Pepe” Carlos.

Humberto Howard/Courtesy of the artist

Grammy Award-winning group La Santa Cecilia takes its name from the Catholic saint of musicians. It’s a fitting moniker; as if by divine intervention, the members of the band — Marisol Hernandez, Jose “Pepe” Carlos, Miguel “Oso” Ramirez, and Alex Bendaña — found each other in the sprawl of Los Angeles.

“I met Pepe Carlos on Olvera Street,” lead singer Marisol “La Marisoul” Hernandez recalls. “I was busking with the older musicians — my teachers who I learned all that beautiful, traditional Latin-American music from — and Pepe was busking with his little brother on the other side of the street.”

La Santa Cecilia: Tiny Desk Concert

TINY DESK

La Santa Cecilia: Tiny Desk Concert

They formed a connection, and years later Hernandez roped in her friend, Oso, along with Alex Bendaña, to create La Santa Cecilia, a band “where we could make our own music, write about our own experiences [and] experiment with our influences,” she says. Those influences were vast. They heard Mexican accordions and horns in mariachi bands and fused those sounds with bossa nova, jazz and pop.

They came together to act on their individual, forward-thinking visions.

Some of that fusion is showcased on the centerpiece of the band’s self-titled album, out on Oct. 18. The song, “I’ve Been Thinking,” is about a shared, tragic experience.

 

“Oso, Alex, and I lost our fathers at different times,” Hernandez says. “It was a very big, big, big blow to the band and to us personally. We were all very close to our fathers, and I don’t know if I could go through this without my bandmates. I feel like this united us even more and we needed to write something and let out these feelings.”

La Santa Cecilia’s members have also all been affected to some degree by the recent political climate and the debate surrounding immigration. “Our band member, Pepe Carlos, was undocumented for 27 years of his life. So much of our family history and lineage has to do with immigration and coming to this country and our experiences as bicultural people,” Ramirez says. “We chose to write a song called ‘Ice El Hielo’ in 2013. It was a song that changed our lives because we chose to write about our story from our perspective, what we live, what we feel. We chose to humanize the experience of the immigrant and what happens through deportations and separation of families. For us, it’s really important to always reflect that and use the platform that we have to speak out on issues.”

Still, for Hernandez, the band’s political messaging brims with hope.

“In La Santa Cecilia, we will always continue to raise, with pride, our flag of love, of where we come from: of being Mexican American, of being from Latin America and being born here in the United States,” Hernandez says. “And whether people like it or not, we are as American as apple pie and tacos.”

The Loyalty Dance

Everyone should know the steps. If you have a boss you definitely need to practice. That’s just the way it’s always been … dance a little dance …

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is roberrepor-email-sig2-1.png
Tim Lane, Jerry Roberts and Mark Rawstoned performing the Loyalty Dance

The “loyalty dance,” or zhongziwu (忠字舞), was a collective dance that became prevalent during the Cultural Revolution, at a time when Mao Zedong and his image reigned supreme over all aspects of life in China. The dancers, grasping their copies of the “little red book,” Quotations From Chairman Mao, would dance, leap and shout to the impassioned ring of the music – all to express their boundless loyalty to the Chairman.

‘The Other 9/11’: Progressives Remember Allende’s Chile ~ Common Dreams

La Moneda, Chile’s presidential palace in Santiago, is bombed by the nation’s armed forces on September 11, 1973. Salvador Allende, the country’s democratically elected socialist president, died during the U.S.-backed coup that brought to power Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who imposed neoliberalism through military dictatorship. (Photo: Bettmann via Getty Images)

  • The Other 9/11′: Progressives Remember Allende’s Chile”On this day in 1973, Salvador Allende’s democratically elected socialist government was overthrown in a military coup led by the U.S.-backed fascist Augusto Pinochet.”
  • KENNY STANCILSeptember 11, 2021
  • As people reflect on the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, progressives drew attention to another horrifying event less well-known in the U.S. but referred to elsewhere as “the other 9/11“: the bombing of Chile’s presidential palace on September 11, 1973 by the nation’s armed forces during a right-wing coup supported by Washington and other capitalist regimes
  • Salvador Allende, Chile’s democratically elected socialist president, died during the assault on La Moneda in Santiago, which brought to power Gen. Augusto Pinochet, whose brutal military junta imposed neoliberalism through deadly force, torture, and the “disappearance” of thousands of leftists. Despite its awareness of Pinochet’s human rights abuses, including his execution of political opponents, the U.S. continued to support the pro-market dictator during his bloody, 17-year-long reign.”
  • On this day in 1973, Salvador Allende’s democratically elected socialist government was overthrown in a military coup led by the U.S.-backed fascist Augusto Pinochet,” Progressive International, a global coalition of social justice groups fighting for a more egalitarian and sustainable world, said Saturday on social media.
  • Journalist Alan Macleod pointed out that “Chile would be ruled by a gruesome fascist dictatorship for decades, the scars of which are still very fresh.”
  • “But people in the West,” MacLeod argued, “are largely insulated from the realities of empire thanks to a pliant media, which never shows you the effect of the bombs, sanctions, coups, etc.”
  • Progressive International noted that “Allende was elected Chile’s first socialist president in 1970 as the candidate of Popular Unity, a socialist-communist coalition. He quickly went to work reorganizing the society he inherited, characterized by poverty and confined by the greed of international corporations.”
  • The organization highlighted some of what the Popular Unity government accomplished during its three years in power:
  • The Allende government nationalized Chile’s foreign-owned copper industry, which was responsible for 75% of exports. Rather than compensate the former owners, Allende sought payment for the unfairly extracted resource. He did not stop with copper.
  • In its first year, the government nationalized 91 industries, redistributed 5.5 [million] acres of land, granted wage rises to the working class, and built quality homes for the poor.
  • Allende hoped to build a sovereign, developed, democratic, and humane nation—and one whose foreign policy was built on principles of friendship.
  • The democratic socialist alternative pursued in Chile, however, “was intolerable to the forces of empire,” Progressive International added. “Fearing that Allende would set a good example for other nations to follow, U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered the Central Intelligence Agency to ‘make the economy scream,'” in an effort to bring down the Popular Unity government.
  • Other rich and powerful countries also worked to sabotage the Allende administration. As The Guardian reported Friday, declassified government documents verify how the Australian Secret Intelligence Service opened a base in Santiago in 1971 and conducted covert operations alongside the U.S. CIA for 18 months, contributing to the destabilization of Chile’s economy that preceded Pinochet’s violent overthrow of Popular Unity.

~~~ WATCH ~~~

  • As his offices were being bombarded on September 11, Allende gave his last speech. MacLeod on Saturday shared a clip from John Pilger’s 2007 documentary, The War on Democracy, showcasing the former Chilean president’s “final words, broadcast to the nation.”

  • At this definitive moment, the last moment when I can address you, I wish you to take advantage of the lesson: foreign capital, imperialism, together with the reaction, created the climate in which the armed forces broke their tradition… victims of the same social sector who today are hoping, with foreign assistance, to reconquer the power to continue defending their profits and their privileges,” said Allende.”
  • Workers of my country, I have faith in Chile and its destiny,” Allende continued. “Other men will overcome this dark and bitter moment when treason seeks to prevail. Go forward knowing that, sooner rather than later, the great avenues will open again and free men will walk through them to construct a better society.”
  • “Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers!” he added. “These are my last words, and I am certain that my sacrifice will not be in vain.”
  • If recent events in Chile are any indication, it would appear that Allende’s sacrifice was not made in vain.
  • Last October, as Common Dreams reported, Chileans voted in a 4-to-1 landslide to rewrite the country’s right-wing constitution, which was implemented under anti-democratic conditions in 1980 with long-lasting negative repurcussions.
  • While there have been attempts to curb market fundamentalism in Chile since the post-dictatorship period began in 1990, the neoliberal constitution crafted during the Pinochet era has continued to exacerbate inequalities and put up barriers to egalitarian reform long after the murderous dictator’s demise.
  • Progressives worldwide rejoiced as the nation once deemed the “laboratory” of neoliberalism—where University of Chicago-trained economists experimented with widespread privatization on an unwilling population—had, through a massive popular rebellion against years of austerity, created an opportunity to “bury Pinochet’s legacy… and rebuild the country on a truly democratic basis,” as political theorist Melany Cruz put it at the time.
  • Following last year’s historic referendum—the product of a decades-long revolt against the denial of guaranteed access to public goods such as water, education, healthcare, pensions, and other necessities—Chileans earlier this year took another major step toward defeating Pinochetismo once and for all.
  • As Common Dreams reported, Chilean voters in May elected a progressive slate of delegates to the constituent assembly tasked with rewriting Pinochet’s constitution.
  • A large majority of the 155 delegates responsible for reshaping the nation’s political framework over the next several months are expected to bring progressive perspectives rather than pro-corporate orthodoxy to the table, giving Chileans—who will be asked next year in another national referendum whether they accept the new constitution—a real shot to turn neoliberalism’s birthplace into its graveyard.

DEPLETED BY DROUGHT, LAKES POWELL AND MEAD WERE DOOMED FROM THE BEGINNING ~ The Washington Post

A glimpse into the history of the Colorado River Basin system, how it was designed and the impacts of climate change shed light on why it was destined to fail

Lake Mead during low water levels in Boulder City, Nev., on Aug. 19. (Roger Kisby/Bloomberg News)

By Becky BolingerToday at 9:14 a.m. EDT75

For the first time, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation issued a water shortage for Lake Mead starting in 2022. Located between southern Nevada and northwestern Arizona, Lake Mead provides water and generates electricity for the more than 20 million people in the lower Colorado River Basin.

This shortage isn’t a surprise. Water levels at Lake Mead and Lake Powell to the northeast have already reached historic lows amid the summer drought. By January, the bureau projects water levels at Lake Mead to fall to 1,065.85 feet — nine feet below the first shortage trigger elevation. Levels on Lake Powell, which stores water for the Upper Colorado River Basin, are only marginally better, projected to be just 45 feet above the required elevation to produce hydropower.

The overall situation is not good, but why? This whole reservoir system along the Colorado River Basin was designed to get us through the drought years. Why isn’t it working? A glimpse into the history of the system, how it was designed and the impacts of climate change sheds light on why it was destined to fail — and why it may never recover.

What questions do you have about climate change? Ask The Post.

A crash course on the Colorado River Basin

Evening light falls on the Colorado River as it travels near New Castle, Colo., on Oct. 30, 2019. (Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post)

As Americans began moving west, they found that Western rivers behaved very differently from those found in the Midwest and East Coast.

Western rivers were fed by snow from the peaks of the Rocky Mountains. During the winter, river flows would decrease, sometimes even freeze over. As spring and summer arrived, the warmer temperatures melted snowpack that accumulated on the mountains over the winter. Then the melt would run off at exactly the perfect time — the beginning of the growing season. Water would be abundant for farming and other needs during the warm season.

But issues arose with this “perfect” system. People learned less snowfall in one winter would result in less water flowing in the spring and summer. Water might not be as abundant as desired.

Reservoirs are drying up as consequences of the Western drought worsen

Then came an issue of who could use the water. Consider a farmer named Joseph. He and his family would settle on their land and pull from the river during the warm season. It had been a good winter so they expected high river flows that spring. Instead, the flows were really low. Where was his water?

He would go upstream to find that another farmer named William had settled his family there, and he was taking the water. Joseph told William that he couldn’t have the water. But William said it flowed through his land and therefore it was his. Joseph argued that it would actually flow through this land, and he was here first — it was his.

Thus was born the idea of water appropriation, albeit this is an extremely simplified and embellished version of the story.

Later, the Colorado River Compact of 1922 determined the river belonged to all parties where the river and its tributaries flowed. Everyone would share it equitably. This would include the upper basin states (Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico) and the lower basin (Arizona, Nevada, and California).

The compact stated the upper basin would share 7.5 million acre-feet per year and the lower basin would also share 7.5 million acre-feet per year. Since the majority of this water originates in the Rocky Mountains of the upper basin states, those states must ensure the consistent delivery of water to the lower basin.

Lake Mead (initially formed by the Hoover Dam in 1935) was designed to hold water for the lower basin states. As an “insurance policy,” the upper basin had Lake Powell, which began filling in 1963. If drought meant the upper basin states couldn’t deliver their promised amount to the lower basin, they could deliver it with water in the savings account of Lake Powell.

While this plan initially seemed to work well, it was doomed from the beginning, for three reasons.

1. The water was already overallocated

How did the compact come up with the number 15 million acre-feet? Well, the number wasn’t just picked out of hat. There was a bit of analyzing of annual precipitation and runoff to come up with the estimate. In the early 1920s, data from the previous 10 to 20 years would be used to calculate the estimate. Unfortunately, the 1910s was a relatively wet decade and skewed the estimates higher than they should have been.

(The Washington Post)

The chart above shows the basin-averaged runoff since 1920, as recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey. There is a lot of year-to-year variability, which is why building reservoirs to store during the wet periods became essential.

The gray line shows what the average runoff was when the compact was written in the early 1920s. Extending the gray line beyond its initiating point, you can see it’s much more common for total annual runoff to come up short. And with each passing year, reaching that gray line becomes even more improbable. The upper basin states consistently owed water to the lower basin that couldn’t realistically and consistently be achieved.

2. Population increases

Today, the Bureau of Reclamation estimates 40 million people rely on water from the Colorado River Basin. When the compact was signed in 1922, the total population of the seven basin states was not even 6 million people.

While the majority of the water from the Colorado River is used for agriculture, the smaller percentage of municipal use can’t be ignored when considering significant population increases. The old rule of thumb is that one acre-foot of water is enough for two households for a year. An increasing number of households throughout the Southwest puts further strain on the already overallocated Colorado River system.

3. Climate change will further reduce water availability in the basin

Cracked and dried soil several meters from what used to be Lake Mead’s shoreline near Boulder City, Nev. (Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Temperatures throughout the Colorado River Basin are increasing, with particular “hot spots” in the Rocky Mountains. Scientists are still parsing out precipitation and snowpack trends on the mountains, but higher temperatures alone will reduce the water supply provided by the Colorado River.

For one, an earlier peak snowpack and earlier melt because of a warmer environment reduces runoff efficiency. Higher temperatures allow more water to evaporate into the atmosphere. This increased evaporative demand also means the same level of crop production requires more water.

Climate change is also increasing the frequency and severity of droughts in the Southwest. We’ve seen this quite obviously play out in the 21st century — repeated and prolonged droughts have chipped away at the available water supply while fewer opportunities for recovery have occurred. These trends will continue.

No going back

For many in the upper basin states, the situation became clear after the 2002 drought. The chart below shows how volume has changed in Lake Powell since it was built in the early 1960s. Wetter periods in the 1980s and 1990s helped bring it to “full pool” levels.

(The Washington Post)

The 2002 drought was the most severe drought in the Upper Colorado River Basin in recorded history. To this day, cumulative flows on the Colorado River near the Colorado-Utah state line have not been lower.

While the lower basin states continued a business-as-usual path, it became clear in the upper basin that the system would not quickly recover from this drought. But with each step forward in recovery, another drought would take the system two steps back again.

Upper basin and lower basin states have worked on drought contingency planning, and new adjustments were written after the 2002 drought to prepare for a time when Lake Mead might get too low.

This year, we reached that point. Moving forward, we need to explore other solutions to meet our population and agriculture demands and preserve our forests, rivers and wildlife.

We all must accept that the question is not: “How do we recover Lakes Powell and Mead and get them back to good water levels again?” Instead, we need to ask: “How do we continue to meet the needs of the Southwest without Lakes Powell and Mead?”

Becky Bolinger is the assistant state climatologist for Colorado and a research scientist at Colorado State University.