“Flushing” of Grand Canyon Causes Concern
If you haven’t yet taken a rafting trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, no doubt you want to before your days are done. In our national parks cover story last year, Contributing Editor Dan Duane wrote:
“To run the Grand Canyon on your own is one of the world’s genuine once-in-a-lifetime trips, a voyage that’s not only the best in our national parks—by a long mile—but also on par with walking the Inca Trail, trekking to Everest Base Camp, motorcycling across the Sahara, and sailing the South Pacific.”
On Wednesday (March 5), federal flood control managers released millions of cubic feet of water from Glen Canyon Dam to help restore the Big Ditch’s sandy beaches and pools for endangered species and campers. But, as reported by the L.A. Times, some are skeptical that this 60-hour surge, which will be followed by smaller flows this fall, is the right strategy:
“National park officials said that 10 years of research at a cost of $80 million ha[s] shown that the flooding as planned could irreparably harm the national park’s ecology and resources.”
We asked the Grand Canyon rafting experts at O.A.R.S. to weigh in on the debate. Here president and founder George Wendt and veteran river guide Michael Ghiglieri put the issue into context for adventure travelers.