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Colorado River Update: “Truth Resonates at a Different Frequency than Propaganda”

“Truth resonates at a different frequency than propaganda” — Amaryllis Fox Kennedy

Hi Friends of the Colorado River!

This is a personal note from me, Gary Wockner, the kind that I hardly ever write to this list.

About 10 years ago, I had a big decision to make. So big in fact that I even talked to my children before I made it. At the time, Save The Colorado was accepting money from the Walton Family Foundation (the Walmart heirs, the richest family in the world) to help move their agenda forward in the Colorado River basin. That agenda including supporting more dams and diversions, including the tallest proposed dam in the history of Colorado — Gross Dam — in Boulder County, CO.

The Waltons wanted me to support the massive expansion of Gross Dam, but I did not want to. I knew my non-compliance with their agenda would probably result in them stopping financial support for Save The Colorado, but in my mind the truth was not only that the Colorado River already had too many dams on it, but that rivers are the lifeblood of the planet and had a right to flow as freely as possible.

At the very same time, I had one of my kids heading to college and another considering it, and I was responsible for their tuition. So I sat down with my kids and told them I had to make a big decision that might impact our financial situation. It helped that my kids 100% supported me following my truth. It also helped that the board of directors of Save The Colorado 100% supported me. And so we leaped forward into the truth —  rivers ARE the lifeblood of the planet, rivers SHOULD flow more freely, and the Colorado River already had TOO MANY DAMS on it.

As we head into the week of “Giving Tuesday” and “Colorado Gives Day” next week, we ask that you consider supporting the truth as we see it. Our organization’s existence, our telling the truth, our speaking out in the media, and our lawsuits are all solely funded by you, our supporters. We don’t take money from any person or foundation that has strings attached or tells us what to say or do. We set our own agenda, we follow it, and we let the funders come and go as they wish.

In fact, the Waltons quickly and easily shifted their money to other organizations that were happy to take the money and happy to support further draining the Colorado River by the massive expansion of Gross Dam. Further, they were so upset at me for not taking their money that they’ve bad-talked our organization to other funders and even bad-talked me publicly in a major news story in the Wall Street Journal where they said they stopped funding Save The Colorado because “Mr. Wockner is litigious and combative.”

Imagine that — an environmental activist being “litigious and combative”! And that’s supposed to be a bad thing? I’ve reveled in it.

Since I made that decision 10 years ago, there have been a lot of forks in the river, but at every fork, I remembered that earlier decision to cast off the biggest funder in the Colorado River basin and paddle towards the truth. I’ve never regretted it and never looked back.

Save The Colorado will be launching new and larger river-saving adventures in 2024 — you’ll hear more about that soon — but throughout it all, we will paddle as close to the truth as we know how to. If you too resonate at a different frequency, we invite you on that river trip with us.

You can donate online by clicking here.

Thank you for your support!


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