Tracing the Yampa River where it flows free

Review of “Colorado’s Yampa River” by John Fielder.

  • Claret cup cactus on the Yampa River.

    John Fielder
  • Camp at sunset on the Yampa River.

    John Fielder
 

Colorado’s Yampa River: Free Flowing and Wild from the Flat Tops to the Green
Photography by John Fielder, text by Patrick Tierney
172 pages,
hardcover: $45.
John Fielder Publishing, 2015.

Legendary photographer John Fielder joined forces with writer Patrick Tierney to produce Colorado’s Yampa River: Free Flowing and Wild from the Flat Tops to the Green, a passionate call to preserve one of the West’s last untouched waterways. Fielder and Tierney, a whitewater raft guide and head of the Yampa River Awareness Project, follow the river as it flows past sunlit wildflowers and rushes through echoing canyons. In words and images, they tell the Yampa’s story, from the Fremont Indian culture that flourished a thousand years ago to contemporary battles over water use. So far, dam proposals for Echo Park and Cross Mountain have failed. Yet a new threat looms: a $5 billion project to divert water to Colorado’s Front Range. The story resonates like an epic novel, as the protagonist — the Yampa itself — and its human allies fight to keep these waters “free flowing and wild.”