Bravo 20: The Bombing of the American West (1990) by Richard Misrach with Myriam Weisang Misrach

Richard Misrach is a landscape photographer (known for highly acclaimed Desert Cantos) and Myriam Weisang Misrach is a freelance writer for SF Examiner and Mother Jones. His 100+ page book, about a third of which are striking color portraits of what the Navy did starting in 1952:

"... illegally testing high-explosive bombs on an enormous expanse of public land near Fallon, Nevada, land long sacred to the Northern Paiute Indians, who called it the 'Source of Creation.' The Navy called it 'Bravo 20.' ... With the help of local residents, award-winning landscape photographer Richard Misrach gained access to the area using an 1872 mining law to claim a tract of land at the heart of the bombing range... Despite initial fears of unexploded bombs or wayward Navy bombers, Misrach 'worked his claim' and his camera for the next eighteen months... breathtaking collection of full-color photographs--and a remarkable proposal for America's first environmental memorial: Bravo 20 National Park.... Myriam Weisang Misrach documents the disturbing history of widespread military expansionism in the American west. As they built faster jets and bigger bombs, the Navy, Air Force, and Army claimed larger and larger test sites.

Through extensive research, firsthand exploration, and interviews with military brass and area residents, the Misrachs uncover a strange story of sonic booms, dead cattle, and military control of over 70 percent of Nevada's air space.... Bravo 20 concludes with Richard Misrach's provocative proposal for reclaiming the land as a national park and America's first environmental memorial. Detailed architectural drawings illustrate the proposal... 'The landscape,' Misrach writes in the preface, 'boasted the classic beauty characteristic of the desert. It was also the most graphically ravaged environment I had ever seen... The landscape of Lone Rock is a graphic reminder of our failing stewardship of this earth. It should be returned to the public domain for all to see."

Page 95: "On 6 November 2001 the Navy's 15-year withdrawal of Bravo 20 expires. On that date, Congress will have the opportunity to return the land to the public domain, from which it was unlawfully confiscated, and transform the 64 square miles of bombing range into America's first environmental memorial:

More of the book's info is on the following web site and links.

Bravo 20 National Park


Bravo 20 National Park Visitors Tour


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