“County-designated dead animal pits can be found throughout the West,” Richard Misrach explains. “They function much like trash dumps in which locals are encouraged to deposit livestock that die suddenly. The causes of the animals’ deaths are often unknown.” Misrach is reminded by these pits of the extensive animal deaths in 1953. While the Atomic Energy Commission speculated that the widespread, unexplainable animal mortality was due to drought and malnutrition, many believe the real cause to be fallout from the Upshot-Knothole nuclear tests in that year.
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