The history of water and water law in Wyoming – the stories of the people whose experience in an often-harsh terrain shaped their rules about using water; how they changed those rules over time; the mineral tax revenues poured into water projects 100 years after the first settlers came; the rigid resistance to the water rights of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes, and to the protection of river flows; the prospects for a flexible response to a shifting economy, society, and climate: all that, in a case study of the rural West, is the topic of the upcoming new book, Public Waters: Lessons from Wyoming for the American West.
Author Anne MacKinnon is the former editor-in-chief of the Casper Star-Tribune, former chair of the Wyoming Water Development Commission, and former board chair of WyoFile. She is now a consultant in public discussion of natural resources and an adjunct at the University of Wyoming. annemackinnonwriter.com
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Painting: Kay Stratman