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.