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Storm over Mono: The Mono Lake Battle and the California Water Future Paperback – May 23, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 253 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; English Language edition (May 23, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520203682
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520203686
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #530,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Hart tells the story of the David-and-Goliath struggle to save the lake--and how it revolutionized California's water policies. . . . Hart deftly threads through the legal thickets, politicking and environmental grandstanding while at the same time dispensing colorful geological and Old West lore. . . . [An] eloquent, handsomely illustrated book."--"San Francisco Chronicle Review

From the Inside Flap

"A rich, absorbing, and illuminating account of one of the longest and most fiercely-contested conservation battles in U.S. history—and that rare one (especially in these times) with a happy ending."—Marc Reisner, author of Cadillac Desert

"This book is a must-read, not just for the singular lake and its surroundings, but for other Mono Lakes to come."—Galen Rowell

"The battle to save Mono Lake is more than a fight to save a lake. It's really about the struggle to establish a new morality that would put humans and their environment on a compatible path. A path that allows for human development and the maintenance of our natural heritage."—John Garamendi, Deputy Secretary of the Interior

"In this comprehensive account, John Hart chronicles the perennial challenge to conserve our natural resources while maintaining quality of life in a rapidly growing and changing world. It is a delicate balance—and this engaging analysis sheds new light on this complex issue."—Richard J. Riordan, Mayor of Los Angeles

"The Future of the American West will depend on resolving the false conflict between economic development and environmental protection. This book tells the history of Mono Lake, where environmental concerns played a decisive role in reallocating California water, and gives us hope that these goals are not incompatible."—Bill Bradley, United States Senator

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I guess I may be a little biased because I was one of the primary sources for the book, but with some very minor issues, it is the most accurate re-telling of a story that should have been turned into a film. If you want to read a GREAT legal story that is also a true story, this is an excellent read. Oh yeah, it also has the obligatory beautiful photographs of Mono lake. Seems that lake doesn't know how to take a bad photograph! :-)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Philip Carl on July 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In this version of the story, it's David Gaines - the graduate student from U. C. Davis. And Goliath is none other then the water company brought to life by William Mulholland and friends. Storm Over Mono has all the makings of a biblical tale, however, it reads much more like a case study for a class in environmental law.

The small, but scrappy, Mono Lake Committee along with California Trout and others used their dogged persistence to protect one of the more unique ecosystems in all North America. John Hart recounts this critical conservation battle in American history with the greatest of precision and detail -- real, high-stakes stuff with a happy ending.

A little background: Mono Lake rests in an arid basin just below the shadow of the Sierra Nevada in Northern California - unfortunately, not quite far enough from the long arm of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Referred to as the "Mono Extension", L.A. Water and Power drained Lee Vining and Rush Creeks. Over decades, this water project diverted critical fresh water flows into Mono Lake - lowering the lake's level and rising it's salinity.

With the lake's ecosystem faltering in the 1970's, a group of "bird freaks" from the University of California at Davis saw the clear signs in their research and sounded the alarm. Members from this research group, including David and Sally Gaines, led the efforts to organize the diverse legal and environmental support needed to defeat a giant like L.A.'s Department of Water and Power. (If you're fortunate enough to fish the lower run of Rush Creek or explore the lake, be sure to tip your hat to the Mono Lake Committee and company.)

One final note: today, Los Angeles County is home to 10 million people. (If L.A.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Marks on January 5, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How ironic that the only other Amazon review of this exceptional book, labels it "brilliant, historical research"....

Ironic because the very presence of Mono Lake is long history, and the lake itself is "brilliant", something which most Californians apparently don't comprehend.

And yes, this book itself is brilliant....It may not discuss all the ramifications of water in Callifornia's future, and it doesn't much touch on California's future itself, but it definitely shows us all how we can still fight the forces of "development".

But then, Mono Lake is already "developed"...Keep up the fight!
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By Pablo Skye on August 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the real, factual story of the battle to save Mono Lake, and it's as readable as a thriller. In this day of global warming and other countless environmental concerns, where it's those who realize the future against those who can't see the forest for the trees, this story is a base map. The book should definitely be brought back into print.
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