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Water flows across political boundaries, brings conflict with it

The 19th-century explorer John Wesley Powell predicted that the lack of water would cause problems in the western United States, and he recommended that state lines be drawn according to watersheds instead of according to other political boundaries. He believed this would encourage residents to conserve water instead of fighting over it. He drew a map of the West that suggested what those states could look like. John Lavey of the Sonoran Institute has drawn a national map that follows on the states-by-watershed idea. Click to see a larger version, or go to

The 19th-century explorer John Wesley Powell envisioned developing the political boundaries of the arid American West based on watersheds. More than 120 years ago, he predicted the potential for fights over water. Powell’s watershed boundary vision did not come to pass, but the conflicts he envisioned did—including here in the Dakotas. Read More »

FiredUp: It’s a new year. Let’s edit our Dakota story.

The stories we tell ourselves are based in reality—but they are not reality. They are one interpretation of events, one way to look at what has happened to us and who we are. It’s not about “fact” versus “fiction”—facts themselves have little power over us. What shapes our lives are the stories we tell about those facts. Read More »

FiredUp: My view of the transmission line

Erik Losure, 5, and Sofia Losure, 7, stop during a bike ride to enjoy the colors of a beautiful Dakota sunset. In less than 10 years, a transmission line is slated to be built in that sunset view. Photo by Heidi Marttila-Losure

I was walking along a gravel road near my home recently, thinking about a phone call I had received the evening before. A representative for a power company had asked if my sister and I had thought more about the proposal he had showed us. I didn’t really know what to tell him. The Big Stone South to Ellendale transmission ... Read More »

Local businesses count on holiday shoppers

By Heidi Marttila-Losure, Dakotafire Media Reporting by Doug Card, The Britton Journal; Bill Krickac, Clark County Courier; and Jessica Giard   Pushing crowds. General chaos. That’s the national image of Black Friday (and, with the change in store’s door-opening hours, Black Thanksgiving Evening). Area small-town retailers would like shoppers to consider another option: Skip the crowds, and stay home for ... Read More »

STUDY: South Dakota on low end of participation in farm-to-school programs; North Dakota near national average

(NPN) – Though one of the most agriculture-dependent states in the nation, South Dakota is among a group of states that have the lowest percentage of schools participating in farm-to-school activities, according a new USDA report. Twenty-four percent of South Dakota school districts that reported to the USDA said they had some sort of farm-to-school activity. Only six schools or ... Read More »

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