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The Value of Bhutan’s Rivers

For Bhutanese, the relationship we have with our rivers is complex. Generally, we are taught to both fear and respect the river. Superstition and parental wisdom guide us away from rivers. We appreciate and revere them from afar. We would not dare pollute or defile them. But now we are appreciating that rural livelihoods and sustainable tourism can be built on keeping Bhutan’s rivers wild and free.

1Frame4Nature | Art Wolfe

I strongly encourage people to join and support local and international environmental-protection organizations. We only have one planet after all.

Floating One of the Last Wild Rivers: Yampa Journal, Day 3

Friends of the Yampa and American Rivers organized a trip down Colorado’s Yampa River in early June, to raise awareness about the last wild river in the Colorado River Basin (see interactive map). This post is the third in a four-part series about the trip. Day 1  *  Day 2 Day 3 Camped on the…

Floating One of the Last Wild Rivers: Yampa Journal, Day 2

Friends of the Yampa and American Rivers organized a trip down Colorado’s Yampa River in early June, to raise awareness about the last wild river in the Colorado River Basin (see interactive map). This post is the second in a four-part series about the trip. Read the post from Day 1. Day 2 Rivers move…

Floating One of the Last Wild Rivers: Yampa Journal, Day 1

This is the Yampa, one of the Colorado Basin’s, and the nation’s, last wild rivers. American Rivers named the Colorado River the #1 Most Endangered River in the country in April, and protecting the Yampa is one important puzzle piece for ensuring a healthier Colorado Basin in the long-term. The purpose of this five-day trip is to bring leaders together to explore the value of the wild Yampa and discuss the river’s future.

There are 20 of us – decision-makers, local officials, conservation advocates, scientists, and journalists. The trip was organized by Friends of the Yampa and American Rivers, and is supported by world-class outfitter OARS.

The Yampa River flows 250 miles through Northwest Colorado’s farms and ranches, and towns including Steamboat Springs, before joining the Green at Echo Park . While most rivers in the Colorado River Basin have been dammed and diverted for water supply and hydropower, the Yampa remains wild and healthy – an example of what rivers in this region were meant to be. There is a dam on the upper Yampa but it is far enough upstream that the river’s natural flows and functions are essentially intact.

Rafting the Free-flowing White Salmon River a Year After Condit Dam Fell

  It started with a blast last fall – 700 pounds of dynamite ripping through the base of the White Salmon River’s Condit Dam in western Washington State. Since then, crews have been dismantling the 125-foot tall concrete structure in a major effort to restore the river and its historic salmon and steelhead runs. Last…