Damnation of a Canyon

Topics: Glen Canyon Dam, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Pages: 3 (1090 words) Published: April 9, 2003
The Damnation of a Canyon
By Edward Abbey

Not many people know of the used-to-be 150-mile excursion that the Glen Canyon had to offer. Not many people know how to sail a raft down a river for a week. Not many people know how to interact with nature and the animals that come with it. We seem to come from a world that is dependent on time and consumed in money. Edward Abbey is what you would call an extreme environmentalist. He talks about how it was an environmental disaster to place a dam in which to create Lake Powell, a reservoir formed on the border of Utah and Arizona. He is one of the few that have actually seen the way Glen Canyon was before they changed it into a reservoir. Today, that lake is used by over a million people, and is one of the biggest recreation hot spots in the western United States.

First of all, Edward Abbey admits to being a certain bias and that he is a, "butterfly chaser, googley eyed bleeding heart and wild conservative." So, in other words he is intending this article to be read by environmental activist who will support his opinion and the action that he is trying to take. Edward Abbey worked as a seasonal park ranger for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area back in 1967, so of course he would be against any environmental action taken to change the canyon. He stated that before the damnation of the canyon that there were streams, waterfalls, plunge pools, and plenty of wildlife. Now you can only find that on a small scale and that these things have been lost, pushed out, drowned, or buried under mud.

Abbey highlighted quite a few points; one of them that interested me the most was his description, of the difference between the present reservoir, and the original Glen Canyon. He stated that it was the difference between life and death. Glen Canyon was alive. Lake Powell is a graveyard. He really seems to be going out on a limb in saying this extreme of a statement. I think that he is wrong in saying that....
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