I write about minnows in the Rio Grande, and smelt and salmon in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Richard White writes about salmon in the Columbia.
In all three cases, we’re discussing species-focused environmental efforts – to “save” the silvery minnow in the Rio Grande, or salmon and the delta smelt in California, or salmon in the Columbia. White, in his I-highly-recommend-it book “The Organic Machine”, makes a point that applies to all three situations. We’re fixated on species, but in a river system that’s been heavily remodeled:
If this were the old Columbia River System there should be salmon, but this is a different river. It is not the river salmon evolved in.
On Twitter this morning, southern New Mexico journalist Heath Haussamen commented on the water currently flowing through his community:
That irrigation canal is the Rio Grande.