The nemesis of Fallon:
He's Called 'Bob'
For more than a quarter of a century now, Robert Pelcyger has made a career of restoring to Pyramid Lake the water he says rightfully belongs to the Paiute people and the Cui-Ui Ticutta sucker fish, who were there when Fremont "found" the lake.
In that time, Pelcyger has become the nemesis of the late-comers to the Great Basin -- the farmers, the ranchers, the families still settling today in the oasis named Fallon made, in part, from water Pelcyger insists belongs to the Paiute.
Now, he seems near an important victory, and even at Pyramid Lake itself there are those who wonder for whom that victory may really be won.
By Tim Findley
|As the old Paiute thought, his eyes scanned down the familiar pale slope of the big butte, then across the lush early summer green of cottonwoods, and finally focused on where the river made its bend in a magnificent unspoiled roll of deep wild water.|
| "A little too late now,"
he said at last. "Too late. Now it's up to them
lawyers and the government. The people won't get nothing
from it. None of them."
They tried, some of them anyway. For nearly 10 years a few members of the Pyramid Lake Tribe made quiet efforts to open more direct communication with their neighbors in Fernley and Fallon, usually only to be suspiciously turned aside with an attitude that seemed to confirm what their tribal lawyer warned them would be a stubbornly selfish attitude of the white farmers.
The same group had tried again and again to question why Colorado lawyer Robert Pelcyger seemed to have so much authority over their elected tribal government, and to ask where the money
was coming from to pay
the lawyer his ever-increasing fees.
bureaucrats in the U.S.
Department of the Interior whom he has carefully nurtured
or intimidated. He has many friends in the environmental
movement gladly willing to canonize his record. And he is
certain that if all else fails, he can call in the chits
from years of dealing with Sierra Pacific and WestPac
Pelcyger told an
Advanced Natural Resources Seminar at the University of
Colorado law school in 1992.
the help of the
American Indian Movement that allowed them only enough
money to stay in what one remembers as "a flop
Next week: Part II
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