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CATO: Water Shoot-Out at the OK Corral

CATO: Water Shoot-Out at the OK Corral

Mitch Coffman
April 1, 2013

Tombstone, Arizona is sitting on a tinderbox waiting to ignite because the federal government is blocking plans to restore the town’s critical water infrastructure. Water lines have long connected this desert town with springheads and reservoirs located on federally owned land, but a 2011 forest fire, followed by monsoon rains, led to massive mudslides and rock falls that shut off the city’s source of water.

Arizona declared a state of emergency and jump-started municipal efforts to regain access to the community’s lifeblood. Despite this precarious situation, the U.S. Forest Service has stonewalled the city, preventing workers from using mechanized equipment to reconstruct the water system.


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