A story that stands like a dam: Glen Canyon and the struggle by Russell Martin

By Russell Martin

During this vintage narrative heritage of the development of Glen Canyon Dam within the Nineteen Fifties and Nineteen Sixties, Russell Martin has captured the person, cultural, political, and environmental dramas that introduced into being the environmental stream we all know at the present time. Winner of the Caroline Bancroft heritage Prize, Martin's ebook is obtainable back in a brand new version with a revised foreword. around the West, demands the elimination of hydroelectric dams developed throughout the Bureau of Reclamation's grand century of dam-building are being heard. greater than thirty years later Glen Canyon Dam remains to be on the vortex of controversy, either due to its impression on ecological tactics downstream and its drowning of average landscapes in the back of its headwall. a narrative THAT STANDS LIKE A DAM is as compelling and correct this present day because it was once whilst it used to be first released.

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Additional info for A story that stands like a dam: Glen Canyon and the struggle for the soul of the West

Sample text

Southern California was growing faster than any place on the planet; the city of Los Angeles in particular would soon outgrow its water supply from California's own Owens Valley; and the big, flat, and potentially lush desert valleys to the east, filled with eons of the Colorado's rich silt, could spawn a virtual revolution in the nation's farm productionif only there was water. The state's agricultural elite, in concert with its servile politicians, originally had assumed that getting hold of the Colorado was a rather straightforward matter of taking it.

Thirty years later, by the time a high dam was rising in Glen Canyon, it had begun to dawn on many Americans that our technologies could diminish lives as well as enrich them, that the transformation of wilderness into something that represented the handiwork of humankind was an undertaking that ought to be considered very carefully. Although the West's water wizards, its politicians and farmers and cash-register entrepreneursclearly the lion's share of the region's slim and scattered populationsaw in the construction of Glen Canyon Dam the same symbols of pride and prosperity that their parents had envisioned in Hoover Dam, there were othersmany of them in many quarters of the countryfor whom the project was nothing less than a crime.

For Powell and his men, the canyon was both a wonderland and a blessed relief, lying downstream from the harrowing rapids in Cataract Canyon, upstream from the disasters that awaited them in Marble Canyon and in Grand Canyon. During the succeeding century, Glen Canyon continued to captivate and intrigue its infrequent visitors: first the industrialists who envisioned a canyon-bottom rail line connecting Chicago with Los Angeles, then the miners who somehow believed they could capture the powdered gold suspended in its sands.

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