By Russell Martin
During this vintage narrative heritage of the development of Glen Canyon Dam within the Nineteen Fifties and 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 historical past Prize, Martin's e-book is accessible back in a brand new version with a revised foreword. around the West, demands the elimination of hydroelectric dams developed in the course of the Bureau of Reclamation's grand century of dam-building are being heard. greater than thirty years later Glen Canyon Dam continues to be on the vortex of controversy, either as a result of its impression on ecological techniques downstream and its drowning of usual landscapes in the back of its headwall. a narrative THAT STANDS LIKE A DAM is as compelling and suitable this day because it used to be whilst it was once first released.
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Extra info for A story that stands like a dam: Glen Canyon and the struggle for the soul of the West
And Udall was equally convinced that if a protective dam or dams were built near Rainbow Bridge, the cure would be far worse than the disease. Roads somehow would have to be blasted into an area that currently was traversed by only a single tough and primitive trail; mesas would have to be scraped to provide material for the structures; and electric lines to provide power for the pumps would have to invade the monument as well. Udall was convinced that Rainbow Bridge would have to be destroyed if it were to be saved.
In agreeing not to put up a pitched battle against the Glen Canyon construction back when it was authorized in 1956 as part of the Colorado River Storage Project, America's conservationists had won a single concession: no dam, reservoir, or related structure would be allowed to intrude on any national park or monument. In the case of Glen Canyon, that meant something very specific. When the Glen Canyon reservoirnow commonly being called Lake Powellfinally was full, it would send water far up Forbidding Canyon, then up a small tributary called Bridge Canyon and into the 160-acre Rainbow Bridge National Monument, a federal preserve since 1910 and the site of the world's largest and surely most spectacular natural stone arch.
What remain more important, it seems to me, are a few of the factual elements that frame this latest debate. It is certain, for example, that the Bureau of Reclamation's glorious dam-building days are done. It also seems certain that the protection of Grand Canyon's fragile ecosystem will play an ever-increasing role in the management of Glen Canyon Dam's water releases. Yet it also appears indisputable that despite the dead-serious intentions of the Sierra Club, the fledgling Glen Canyon Institute, and the publicity that their drain-the-lake movement recently has engendered, a national consensus to actually pull the plug is as remote and foreseeably impossible as is the chiseling back of Mount Rushmore so that it again resembles a rock.
A story that stands like a dam: Glen Canyon and the struggle for the soul of the West by Russell Martin