It’s Back

The Union County lake that all reasonable people thought had been put to rest in 2008 is somehow, like Dracula, back from the dead. Let me refresh your memory if you’ve somehow forgotten this important environmental issue: In 2004 Union County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers entered into an agreement through the Planning Assistance to States program to create a feasibility study for...

After the Deluge

I woke up this morning thinking about weather, the day-to-day cycles the planet throws our way in the immediate present. I’m not talking here about climate, the long rhythms of our atmosphere, the ones the scientists are now certain are changing. I’m talking about what’s happening out my window right now. It’s just now turned summer where we are in the northern...

Last Child on the River

On Wednesday we left Skull Shoals Bridge behind, three men and a child, off on a two-day adventure on the Pacolet and Broad Rivers. There would not be another bridge until we took out at Lockhart, 15 miles downstream. For the three men it was a time to clear out the detritus of the semester. We were all English professors. Between us we had probably read 200 student essays in the past two weeks....

What’s in Your Paddleshed?

I crave contact with the basic elements. I need mud on my boots, sun on my skin, rain on a jacket, or, better yet, water moving under a boat. Thermodynamics is fine, but gravity’s the one natural law I can’t seem to go too long without acknowledging. Lawson’s Fork flows through the trees behind our house. Not a day goes by that I don’t gauge the clarity and height of its...

Water Wars Brew Here

I grew up in the 1960s, and back then the popular myths defining the American West were pretty clear-it was the land of opportunity, a region of dreams, the place those poor Southern mountaineers in “The Beverly Hillbillies” headed after they struck oil. Marc Reisner’s now classic 1986 study, “CADILLAC DESERT: The American West and its Disappearing Water,” moved the...

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