Aired Monday November 9th, 2009 at 9:00 pm on KUED HD Ch. 7.1
This program was screened at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3rd at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Learn more!
For millions of years, the Green River has carved its way through sandstone cliffs. It is the life source for generations of American Indians -- a boon for trappers and a mystery for explorers. It is the birthplace of river rafting and the modern environmental movement.
The Green runs 730 miles from its Wyoming headwaters in the Wind River Mountains through Colorado and Utah -- until it merges with the Colorado River near Moab. Today it remains at the heart of western life. As the last wild stretch of a river system that now supplies water to nearly 30 million people, the Green River is the best hope for untapped water. And it is at the center of controversy as the ageless battle between water and development plays out. Its waters call to those who prize outdoor experiences. But others hear a call to use the water to sustain development for an energy-dependent nation and to tap the river to quench booming populations in the West.
KUED-Channel 7 explores the future of the Green River in a new documentary by Nancy Green, "Green River: Divided Waters," airing November 9 at 9 p.m. and again November 15 at 6 p.m. Join KUED for a free screening of this Diverse Voices program Tuesday, November 3, at 7 p.m. at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts on the University of Utah campus.
"The Green River, with its remote, beautiful and rugged landscape, is an incredible resource," says Green. "It is the last wild river in the West and some of the last clean water along the Colorado. It is a ribbon of life. How do we figure out how to use this river? It's a question of balance."
That balance comes by considering the interests of environmentalists, river runners, fly fishermen, hunters, farmers as well as water developers and energy developers.
"There's so many demands because we're looking at the river from so many different perspectives," says Dennis Willis in the documentary. "And we can't really have a decent conversation about the river until we can agree that we're talking about the totality of the thing itself, and not just a water column."
In addition to interviews with all the players, "Green River: Divided Waters" looks at the history of the river itself - from John Wesley Powell's first expedition into the unknown river in 1869 to the Echo Park Dam, where environmentalist David Brower said, "You're not going to flood this national park," to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and more recently to oil shale and gas development.
In the words of Zachary Frankel, "The Green River is really at a crossroads today."
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