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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…