There are 75,000 dams on rivers in the United States. That is essentially one damn completed every day since Thomas Jefferson was president. Wild salmon and steelhead are still, literally beating their heads against the dams here in the pacific NW for the last 100 years. Their nature tells them to complete their life cycle they must swim upstream to the gravelly clear mountain pools. They must! Lack of care or foresight has yet put a barrier in front of nature—and it was good, very good. Look at all the happiness all that hydro power has enabled!
But we’re used to that life, aren’t we? Are we just freaking insane? Is “civilization” natural in any way?
The salmon and steelhead already know what to do—and so do you. But, dangerous ideas and words have placed a barrier, a complex set of dams that you must navigate in order to reach your destination, and by faith we keep beating our heads against the bulkhead and going nowhere. No foresight, no insight, just keep driving. I think we all know better at this point, that to believe faith, an unnatural barrier to the progress of human nature will serve us any longer. We believed the dams would make life better?—time to reconsider.
A few of the fish still make it through. About 8% of their historic, natural highs. Just enough to hang on. On the bright side, man and his genius supplement the runs with hatchery fish—copycats that do not enhance the natural cycle in anyway, competing too, against nature. Sound familiar?
A few of the dams are now being breached and the few natural fish, those who have held on against the human disregard for a century, are coming back everywhere we have the decency to leave them alone, not to mention the complete devastation of native cultures that thrived on these banks for millennia, that were removed (for their own good, of course)
Hoards of petroglyphs and natural history buried above Glen Canyon Dam
All buried underwater and bleached white by the calcification of excess evaporation, thousands of buried treasures in mans great care. The reservoirs are becoming dead zones of silt. The Colorado River frequently now does not reach the ocean.