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See “Seldom Seen Smith” Live On Video!

Hello Friends of the Colorado River!

This year is the 50th Anniversary of Glen Canyon Dam!  And, we suspect that is not a big reason to celebrate for most of the people on this email list. So, we offer some interpretation of the dam and its anniversary from one of the hero warriors of the Colorado River restoration movement, Seldom Seen Smith, who is known in real-life as Mr. Ken Sleight from Moab, Utah.  Ken was a friend of Edward Abbey and the person that Abbey modeled the character “Seldom Seen Smith” from in the novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang.  This week, reporter Brandon Loomis from the Arizona Republic sat down with Ken Sleight for a delightful interview in which Ken sticks to his guns and reminisces about the beauty of Glen Canyon that was flooded by Lake Powell.  In one interview, the elder Sleight says, “I’m on the threshold of going, but I always wanted to see that water flowing freely.”  Here are the two newspaper stories, with video, from the Republic (story one and story two), both of which discuss the dam and its controversial history as well as its uncertain future. Will climate change drain Lake Powell, or fill it back up?  Should we-the-people drain Lake Powell?  Take a look at the excellent newspaper reports and enjoy Seldom Seen’s answers to those questions!

The shutdown is over and the National Parks are open again!  We are delighted to see the politicians in Washington D.C. finally reach an agreement to open up the U.S. government, and the Western National Parks again, especially the rafting venues in Grand Canyon and Canyonlands. It’s been a tough couple of weeks on the rafting business as well as the new generation of river guides and river heroes throughout the Southwest U.S.  We need the rivers to stay open and the guides to continue providing the amazing enjoyment of the once-in-a-lifetime trips down the Colorado River.  For all of the spirited guides and rafting businesses — including writer and guide Sarah Sidwell from Tag-A-Long Adventures in Moab, Utah — we hope that business gets back on track and you continue inspiring another generation of American river protectors. We need you out there speaking for a river that can’t speak for itself.  Keep up the great work team!

Southern California still facing record drought and potential water cutbacks!  While parts of the Southwest U.S. were drenched in rain this fall, much of California is still dry, dry, dry, causing the water providers in San Diego and Los Angeles to continue to tighten their belts and brace for water cutbacks.  Most of Southern California gets its water from two sources — the Colorado River and the “State Water Project” which brings down water from the San Joaquin Delta in Northern California.  And, both of those water supply systems are still facing serious droughts.  Here’s a story from CBS Los Angeles about the potential cutbacks in the L.A. area.  The good news here is that the shortage of water is causing Southern California to get creative and serious about how it’s going to meet its water needs — they’ve started focusing harder on more sustainable solutions including conservation, water recycling, and stormwater capture.  Will climate change fill up the reservoirs again, or drain them dry?  Only time, and nature, will tell.

Stay tuned for more stories, events, and action.  Thank you for your support!



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