Update on my comment there: my wife's cousin lost the farm. They slaughtered the cows and sold off the meat, but turned a lot of the hearts into sausage. It was the most poignant sausage I've ever eaten.
I also just finished Cadillac Desert a week ago. The despair is real, and the reason for despair is permanent as the pyramids. Mark Reisner argues early on that a hypothetical culture from the future would think we were dam worshippers because we've covered the country with 84,000 of them primarily to temporarily force food to grow where it does not wish to.
By the time these future people arrive, of course, we'll be long gone and the dams will be all silted up. Still standing, still impressive, they will exist solely to generate waterfalls on narrow rivers across the desert west.