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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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and cockeyed irrigation projects that were extremely expensive and involved real environmental damage.

I wrote one -- just to digress a moment, I wrote one editorial that got quite a lot of attention because of its title, “Bananas on Pike's Peak,” because it was an editorial attacking the crazy idea that was promoted at that time -- and I'm afraid actually materialized -- of a huge water diversion project, an irrigation project in Colorado, that really made no economic sense but was diverting water from one side of the Rockies to the other -- I can't now remember the details, but it was a very extravagant and crazy, in my view, irrigation project in Colorado. And I titled it “Bananas on Pike's Peak” because in the course of the editorial, I said, Of course, you can grow crops anywhere if you go to the crazy extremes that this project would go to of wildly extravagant and really indefensible transport of water. You could even grow bananas on Pike's Peak.

Well, I think that I must have written an editorial vaguely criticizing the proposal to throw a dam across the Yampa River in Utah, which was a project that I certainly would have been very unsympathetic to because it would have wrecked one of the most marvelous canyons in the West, and there were dinosaur excavations, archeological excavations going on in the area, and so on and so forth. But in any case, the commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation -- I was a known and recognized enemy of the Bureau of Reclamation in Washington, which was responsible for all the dams in the West that the Army Corps of Engineers wasn't responsible for, and I was an avowed enemy of the Army Corps of Engineers also and had criticized the Corps of Engineers a lot and was critical of the Bureau of Reclamation for all its dam-building sillies, which I thought was both a waste of money and, of course, environmentally extremely bad -- in many cases, but obviously not every dam.

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