The Our Rivers Podcast features the people making a difference for river health in the western United States and is brought to you by the Forever Our Rivers Foundation. Look for our logo to support the businesses that fund healthy rivers. For more information about our work, visit www.foreverourrivers.org.
Planet Women and The Overflight Project - Indigenous storytelling in the Colorado River Basin takes flight
Planet Women envisions a world where the vibrant diversity of earth’s people collaborate to care for the planet. Currently, the organization is focused on three geographic areas defined by rivers — the Congo, Amazon, and Colorado River Basins. Each area has an immense influence over global climate patterns and biodiversity or an outsized impact on the communities that depend on them.
Of course, since Forever Our Rivers works in the southwestern United States, we're most interested in Planet Women's work along the Colorado River. And this podcast centers on their innovative Overflight Project.
The initiative pairs volunteer women pilots with indigenous women leaders and youth from in and around the Colorado River Basin. The pilots then fly the women over their homelands, sparking inspiration and storytelling along the way.
Planet Women plans to capture and share these stories of a landscape in the midst of aridification as seen through the eyes of indigenous women in flight. To learn more and to see photos from the flights and their progress across the Basin, visit the Overflight Storymap.
In this episode, we talk to Joanna Marshall, Planet Women's director of development and marketing, and Amber Gray, a pilot and the Overflight Project's aviation operations director.
We also speak to Crystal Tulley-Cordova of the Navajo Nation and the Indigenous Women's Leadership Network. Crystal is a principal hydrologist for the Navajo Nation and a participant in the Overflight program.
If you are or know of indigenous woman leaders or youth who would like to participate in the Overflight Project email TheOverflightProject@gmail.com.
Fact-checking notes: In this episode, we briefly discuss the amount of oil that the United States and California import from the Amazon. We cite a 2021 study as reported by NBC News in an article titled, Crude reality: One U.S. state consumes half of the oil from the Amazon rainforest, and the California Energy Commission's Foreign Sources of Crude Oil Imports to California 2021.
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A River-Running Legend, Award-winning author Tim Palmer talks passion, adventure, and hope for rivers
In Episode 4, we talk to award-winning author, photographer, landscape architect, and river conservationist, Tim Palmer. We discuss his very long career in writing, river running, and working on behalf of rivers, as well as one of his newer books, a Field Guide to Rivers of the Rocky Mountains.
We don't go into too much detail about the book itself because you're gonna buy it and read it right? That's actually how you can support today's episode, by going to our online bookshop at www.bookshop.org/shop/foreverourrivers.
There you will find most of the books we talk about in today's episode, including many written by Tim. Ten percent of proceeds go back to rivers, another portion goes to supporting Tim's incredible work.
So settle in as we talk about Tim's lifelong love for flowing waters, the formative experiences that allowed rivers to creep into his soul, and those early mistakes that could have cost him his life.
Tim reminds us how much rivers have to give. At Forever Our Rivers, we're giving back. We want to make it easier for you to spend time in or near clean and healthy rivers. We partner with organizations across the West to keep your rivers healthy.
To join us, head to ForeverOurRivers.org to subscribe to our newsletter, rate and share this podcast, and visit the Forever Our Rivers Bookshop to find new inspiration.
Support the show (https://bit.ly/givebacktorivers)
Drought in the West, How the Eagle River Watershed Council is helping their community adapt
Last year brought unprecedented drought conditions to the western US. Its impacts on the Colorado River Basin have been massive. As climate change intensifies, these conditions may be here to stay.
In this episode of the Our Rivers Podcast, we talk to Eagle County Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry and the former executive director of the Eagle River Watershed Council, Holly Loff, about how they're addressing the drought in Eagle County, Colorado.
Last winter, high temperatures and dry soils meant that a snowpack measuring 85% of a historically normal year, translated to only 30% of water running into the Eagle River and communities downstream.
Tune in to learn how they're learning to live with the new reality. We hope this conversation will help other communities plan for the realities of an increasingly arid West.
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Rivers Through Canyons, Recreating responsibly in western Colorado
In this episode, we sit down with Collin Ewing, manager of the McInnis Canyons, and Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Areas for the Bureau of Land Management. These public lands are stunning, with towering red rock canyons and two beautiful stretches of river, the Ruby Horsethief section of the Colorado and the lower Gunnison River.
As COVID-19 encourages people to get outside, the Bureau is working to manage the increased pressure on the landscape. We talk to Collin about how he's helping to preserve the wilderness experience for visitors and protect habitat as the crowds swell.
In 2016, the Bureau launched a permit system on Ruby-Horsethief. It helped preserve the area’s wilderness feel, protect the landscape from overuse, and raise funds to keep restrooms clean, build infrastructure like boat ramps, and restore habitat. The Bureau is currently working on a similar system for the Lower Gunnison River. Collin would love to hear your comments and suggestions.
We also hit the highlights of a few Leave No Trace practices, like reading about the rules and regulations for your destination before you go. The Colorado Canyons Association has some handy resources for McInnis Canyon specifically. Check out their “Know Before You Go” video for the Ruby-Horsethief section of the Colorado River. And don’t forget to,
Stay on designated roads and trailsCamp in designated campsitesUse designated fire rings And have a plan for your pooCollin is also heading down the Grand Canyon this summer and walks us through his plan to mitigate Covid risks. These conversations will help you recreate responsibly on any public lands trip you’re planning this summer.
Additional Resources -
Learn more about our National Conservation Lands and National Conservation Areas (NCAs) and the stunning Dominguez-Escalante and McInnis Canyon NCAs.Research the current water level in the river you want to explore.Check out the Mesa County Health Department’s Covid guidelines if you’re planning to visit McInnis Canyons or Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Areas. Here are some National Park Service tips to recreate responsibly in Covid-timesAnd here are more resources to help you recreate responsibly. Email topics, comments, and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or leave us a river question at (724) 343-1769 to have your question air in an episode.
SOL Paddle Boards High-performing, durable paddle boards designed in Telluride, Colorado for your next adventure. Support the show (https://bit.ly/givebacktorivers)
The Angling for All Pledge, Casting for Recovery and Erica Nelson talk equity on the water
In the summer of 2020, Brown Folks Fishing launched the Angling for All Pledge to address racism and inequality in the Fishing Industry. Casting for Recovery, which introduces women with breast cancer to the therapeutic sport of fly fishing, was one of the first organizations to sign up.
In doing so, they agreed to complete a curriculum to help them understand how to increase equality and decrease racism in fishing and to create an action plan to help them follow through.
In this episode, Clark Tate of Forever Our Rivers talks to Erica Nelson of Brown Folks Fishing and Faye Nelson of Casting for Recovery about the pledge and why it's important now.
Sponsored by Carlson Vineyards.
Carlson Vineyards A family-run winery using sun-ripened, high altitude grapes to create regionally distinctive wines.Support the show (https://bit.ly/givebacktorivers)
I love rivers
This podcast is great in terms of helping me learn about new people in the river world and connect to their amazing work!