That sound coming from City Hall yesterday was a very loud and anguished moan. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the city’s appeal, and the federal government will be allowed to build a wildlife refuge in East Texas where Dallas had planned to build a reservoir. Check out the Texas Conservation Alliance Web site, which has the details.

The decision was a major defeat for city officials, who insist that flooding East Texas is the only way to keep Dallas in water for the rest of this century. Also in their plans: the proposed Marvin Nichols reservoir on the Sulphur River. They were so upset, in fact, that Dallas’ Only Daily Newspaper reported that hardly anyone wanted to talk about the Supreme Court decision. When that happens, it’s because they didn’t expect to lose. Interestingly, the story discusses alternatives to building this reservoir, and none of the alternatives include increased conservation measures.