Desert Wings tells the contentious story of how the U.S. military and high-ranking federal and state politicians attempted to secure a bombing range in the fragile canyonlands of Idaho.
In 1989, it was revealed that the U.S. Air Force planned to take over 1.5 million acres of the publicly held Owyhee Canyonlands in southwest Idaho. It would have been one of the largest military procurements of public land since WWII, but an unlikely coalition of environmentalists, ranchers, and Native Americans thwarted—though not entirely—the bombing range proponents.
Reporter Niels Nokkentved goes beyond the headlines and into the politics and culture of environmental assessments and bureaucratic inertia. Desert Wings reveals surprising connections and behind-the-scenes machinations, as well as providing context for the Air Force’s effort to round up as much western space as possible. Readers also will enjoy an insider’s look at the geological history, wildlife biology, and human personalities of the region.
Photographs / maps / notes / 160 pages (2001)