This is a place of struggle: for life, for water and for competing human ambitions that differ as much as this dry canyon does from a Kentucky bluegrass pasture. The canyon is home to three parks and an Audubon bird preserve. The road that cuts through it feeds into the Barona reservation, where the canyon levels into a valley at the end most distant from San Diego. About 450 tribe members live on about 6,000 acres; they operate a sizable casino and are in the midst of a $225-million project that includes a new casino of nearly 300,000 square feet, an 18-hole golf course (already open), a 390-room hotel and a waste-water treatment and recycling plant. In promotional statements, the tribe calls it a "premier resort destination."