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Stop that fawning

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Dear HCN,


We were surprised to read HCN's fawning interview with Floyd Dominy (HCN, 8/28/00: Floyd Dominy: An encounter with the West's undaunted dam-builder), a man who is obviously proud of his role in destroying significant portions of the Colorado River watershed. Floyd is the (washed-up) Darth Vader of Western rivers, and rather than unmask him, you just let him mock you.


Perhaps the most grotesque part of Dominy's résumé is the long, slow death sentence he pronounced on the Grand Canyon below Glen Canyon Dam. Had it not been for the intervention of Dave Brower and the Sierra Club, Floyd and Interior Secretary Stewart Udall would have annihilated Grand Canyon rather quickly, with Bridge Canyon Dam and Marble Canyon Dam. Your interview failed to mention any of that.


Floyd was, of course, the callous mastermind responsible for flooding (temporarily) one of the world's most beautiful places - Glen Canyon on the Colorado River and San Juan River. With Congressman Wayne Aspinall shoveling the money west from Washington, Floyd managed to wipe out thousands of priceless archaeological and ceremonial sites, as well as hundreds of miles of habitat for native (now endangered) fish and wildlife. And you let him get away with bragging on this?


The Colorado River is temporarily "a river no more," in large part because of Floyd's work as commissioner of Reclamation.


We don't need reminding about how big a fool old Floyd is, but we surely could benefit from some coverage of the benefits accruing from our ongoing efforts to make the Colorado a river again.


David Orr
Moab, Utah

The writer heads the Glen Canyon Action Network.

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