62 Years

The last time Ken Brower traveled down the Yampa River in Northwest Colorado was with his father, David Brower, in 1952. This was the year his father became the first executive director of the Sierra Club and joined the fight against a pair of proposed dams on the Green River in Northwest Colorado. The dams—a big one at Echo Park and a smaller one at Split Mountain—would have flooded the canyons of the Green and its tributary, the Yampa, inundating the heart of Dinosaur National Monument.

With a conservation campaign that included a book, magazine articles, a film, a traveling slideshow, grassroots organizing, river trips and lobbying, David Brower and the Sierra Club ultimately won the fight—ushering in a period many consider the dawn of modern environmentalism.

62 years later, Ken revisited the Yampa and Green Rivers to reflect on his father’s work, their 1952 river trip and how we will confront the looming water crisis in the American West.