By Russell Martin
During this vintage narrative background of the development of Glen Canyon Dam within the Fifties and Nineteen Sixties, Russell Martin has captured the person, cultural, political, and environmental dramas that introduced into being the environmental move we all know this day. Winner of the Caroline Bancroft background Prize, Martin's ebook is accessible back in a brand new version with a revised foreword. around the West, demands the removing of hydroelectric dams built through 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 effect on ecological tactics downstream and its drowning of typical landscapes at the back of its headwall. a narrative THAT STANDS LIKE A DAM is as compelling and proper this day because it was once while 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
It was a public work on the grandest scale imaginable, and its sweeping walls of concrete crowned by fluted, Deco-inspired intake towers attested to the fact that we as a nation knew we would be great again, signaled the certainty that our natural resources remained our secure and fundamental wealth. 3 million kilowatts of hydropower, enough electricity to supply a city of a million people; measured at its crest, each dam rose precisely 587 feet above the Colorado's mucky, boulder-strewn bed. 5 million cubic feet of additional concrete.
I have an opinion on that issue, sure I do, but I still don't think it matters much. 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.
Hell, they were already making movies here. Just a month ago, moviemaker George Stevens had brought in John Wayne and Charlton Heston and hundreds more Hollywood people to shoot a picture he was calling The Greatest Story Ever Told. Page had bulged at its seams, and the wife of every lowboy driver and jackhammer man on the job had put a sheet over her head to play the part of an extra. This country looked more like the Holy Land than the Holy Land did, Stevens had told a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce, and if he was right, well, this place had a very bright future indeed.