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Dam unites environmental opposition

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Letter - From the May 22, 2000 issue by Katie Lee
Dear HCN,

I'm disgusted with the tone and inaccuracies of Adam Burke's article, "One dam, two rallies" (HCN, 4/24/00: One dam, two rallies). "What's the best way to build support for tearing down a dam?" he wrongly asks. None of the organizations at the rally ever supported "tearing down a dam'; they were advocating the draining of Powell Reservoir, scientifically and slowly, and restoring a lost and beautiful Glen and Grand Canyon's sick and dying ecosystems, by releasing the river to do its natural thing around the dam. The more grassroots organizations that join in the fray, the better.

The Glen Canyon Institute continues to move forward in a fashion that is strong and influential in places other organizations fail to touch. Likewise, some groups appeal to a young energy, but all are directed toward the same goal. The opposition will rise, no matter what, in direct relation to the number of people who understand what is lost, and show their intent to do whatever it is necessary to do, politically, scientifically and emotionally.

"Absent from the festivities were representatives of the Glen Canyon Institute," says Mr. Burke; thereby pitting one organization against the other - exactly what we don't need! There were quite a few GCI members, even donors, there and GCI literature was given out. David Brower is GCI's first vice president and I am on the advisory board. Together, over the last few years, we have spent countless hours and dollars working, performing, speaking for GCI and Rich Ingebretsen - and for many other organizations so inclined - toward the draining of Powell Reservoir (please call it what it is!) and toward the saving of other rivers throughout the country.

My bottom line is the same for GCI as it is for Glen Canyon Action Network and all the rest: Set the river free! Let it be a river, not a stinking reservoir that covers an Eden lost. I am not just "making noise" nor am I an "aging torch bearer' - David and I are aged torch bearers for a dying river, and far more qualified to speak for a place that too many others have never seen, felt, and have no knowledge of.

Katie Lee
Jerome, Arizona

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