Environmental Controversies on the Colorado Plateau

An exploration of sites of environmental controversy across the Colorado Plateau.

Echo Park Dam and the Early Environmental Movement

The Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP) planned for comprehensive development of the Colorado River. By damming the river the Bureau of Reclamation hoped the water could be managed efficiently. At the center of this project would be a dam at Echo…

The Glen Canyon Dam, Environmentalists, and Recreation

Successful in his fight against Echo Park Dam David Brower came to regret his strategy of supporting a dam at Glen Canyon. In the late 1950s, the Sierra Club took trips to the canyon. In was only then that its members understood the natural beauty…

The Navajo Generating Station and Environmental Debates

Stewart Udall served as Secretary of the Interior for both President John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. Udall, a westerner, believed that he could leave his mark on the West, in the style championed by Franklin Roosevelt during the New Deal. In part,…

The Orphan Lode Uranium Mine in the Grand Canyon

The Lost Orphan Mine started as a copper claim by Daniel Hogan in 1906. The mine, on the southern rim of the Grand Canyon, found itself within the Grand Canyon National Park upon the latter’s creation in 1919. Hogan invested in an inn called the…

Rainbow Bridge, Native Peoples, and Tourism

Rainbow Bridge sits at the southern edge of Lake Powell at the tip of Forbidding Canyon, which extends out from Glen Canyon. It stands at 290 feet tall and 275 wide, making it one of the largest natural bridges in the world. In 1909 Byron Cummings…