Episode Tags: water rights

Protected by federal law, wild horses and burros in the West are breeding out of control on public lands, damaging habitats and competing with wildlife for food and water – a problem that is now a crisis that needs a solution. With new water rights and a major irrigation project under construction, Arizona’s Gila River Indian Community is reviving an agricultural heritage that sustained them for centuries before white settlers arrived. A pilot project in Minnesota for immigrant families shows how small-scale sustainable farming with poultry and perennial crops can provide extra income with little investment of time.

With fast population growth in the Denver area and fierce competition for water, investors are behind a plan to import water from a Colorado mountain valley hundreds of miles away, a plan largely opposed by farmers and ranchers who depend on water in that valley.