The 68th annual Peabody Awards, representing the “best in electronic media,” were announced on April 1, by the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Winners of this years most prestigious media awards include CNN for their coverage of the 2008 presidential primaries, NBC for it’s coverage of the Beijing Olympics, PBS’ for “Washington Week with Gwen Ifill.”
Las Vegas’ own KLAS-TV Channel 8 investigative reporter George Knapp and photojournalist Matt Adams for “Crossfire: Water, Power and Politics”.
Knapp and Adams along with Channel 8 photojournalist Alex Brauer and producer Ian Russell spent three years collecting information and preparing the piece which aired March 22 and April 20, 2008.
Water in the Southwest is a priceless commodity and the constant topic of hot debate. Whether it’s droughts, floods or the rechanneling of rural waters to metropolitan locations, water is more vital and valuable than gold. The Crossfire special report focused on population growth and the politics of water in Southern Nevada.
In making their announcement, the Peabody judges called the reporting “a brave, meticulous examination” of plans to pump water from rural Nevada to the Las Vegas Valley.
Knapp and Adams will join other Peabody winners at the May 18 awards ceremony, hosted by NBC’s Brian Williams in New York City.
Though this bill has nothing to do with the bright lights of Las Vegas, the massive National Landscape Conservation System bill has plenty to do with protecting our collective natural heritage for future generations to experience.
American Indian etchings on the sandstone walls, yucca plants, ancient Joshua trees and more are the beneficiaries when Congress passed this bill that makes Nevada’s three conservation areas, along with its 45 wilderness areas, 62 wilderness study areas, and 26 million acres of public lands in a dozen Western states, all protected in a permanent system.
The newly enacted bill places natural lands importance on par with the National Park Services system and the National Wildlife Refuge system. People will soon know what to expect when they visit these areas.
Although the landscape system was established administratively by President Bill Clinton in 2000 and was kept intact by the Bush administration, it really didn’t have the necessary “teeth” since it didn’t guarantee Congress would make conservation an ongoing priority and fund protection efforts including artifact looting, vandalism, invasive plant and wildlife habitat damage from off-road vehicles and other intrusions, and cultural site and natural resource developments.
The lands bill passed the Senate in January. The House then tried to pass it last week by a two-thirds majority but fell two votes short. The Senate then reworked the bill last week and sent it back for reconsideration that passed by a simple majority of the House.
Red Rock Canyon, located about 30 minutes west of the Las Vegas Strip, is one of the crown jewels of the National Landscape Conservation System. The bill gives the 26-million-acre system in the Western states permanent congressional authorization to ensure its pristine features would remain intact for future generations.