Restoring The Dammed Rivers

The newest movie trail­er from Patag­o­nia gives a voice to what was unthink­able just 50 years ago—removing dams on rivers across the West. The notion gained main­stream noto­ri­ety in Edward Abbey’s iras­ci­ble nov­el Mon­key Wrench Gang where he advo­cat­ed for sab­o­tage and sub­ver­sion as a last resort to remov­ing dams from West­ern rivers, and a clas­sic clip of Abbey say­ing just that is fea­tured in this trailer.

As the trail­er also states, there are more than 75,000 dams in the U.S., and that’s the equiv­a­lent of engi­neers build­ing one dam every sin­gle day since Thomas Jef­fer­son was Pres­i­dent. These dams have a finite lifes­pan, and some have sat derelict for decades. Con­ser­va­tions are begin­ning to win the bat­tle against remov­ing the most envi­ron­men­tal­ly destruc­tive dams in favor of restor­ing a healthy watershed.

It only makes sense that Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard, a vision­ary eco-cap­i­tal­ist, has become one of the pro­po­nents lead­ing the charge to restore dammed rivers to their nat­ur­al, free-flow­ing state.