Sunrise Over Ogallala Capstone, The Nature Conservancy Fox Ranch in Yuma County, Colorado
With the Keystone XL pipeline in the news these days, this image came to mind. I made the photograph while working on my Prairie Thunder book; thinking of a way to somehow make an image of the Ogallala Aquifer, water source of the Great Plains. At the time, the most immediate threat to the Ogallala Aquifer was rapid draw down during a drought. These white sandstone blocks on a ridge above the Arickaree River are the capstone for the Ogallala formation, the aquifer system of a 174,000 square mile underground lake. The Keystone XL Pipeline would transport the world’s dirtiest oil from Canada tar sands over the Great Plains freshwater source, risking the lifeblood of middle America. It’s mind-boggling that we’re at this stage, even considering putting so much at risk for the filthiest energy on planet earth. Let’s hope President Obama keeps his promise to fight for the climate – draw a line in the sand, Mr. President.