If the Colorado River stopped flowing, the water in its reservoirs might hold out for three or four years, but then it would be necessary to abandon most of southern California and Arizona, and much of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. For the entire American Southwest the Colorado is the river of life, which makes it all the more tragic and ironic that by the time it approaches its final destination, it has been reduced to a shadow upon the sand.
In his book, “River Notes: A Natural and Human History of the Colorado,” Wade Davis says that the story of the Colorado River is the human quest for progress and its inevitable if unintended effects—and an opportunity to learn from past mistakes and foster the rebirth of America’s most iconic waterway. A native of British Columbia and a licensed river guide, Wade Davis has worked as a park ranger, forestry engineer, and has conducted ethnographic fieldwork among several indigenous societies. He is an ethnographer, writer, photographer, filmmaker, and an Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society. He holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received a PH.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. He is the author of fifteen books, including the international best-seller, “Serpent and the Rainbow.” Wade Davis will be in Utah for the Ogden School Association’s Fall Author Event on Thursday, November 21 at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center.