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Friday Round-Up: Summer Water Reading

August 19th, 2011

Unless you’ve been living in a deep, dark cave… You may have noticed that there is a lot of cool stuff going on out there. So, we thought it was high-time we started rounding up some of our faves each Friday. Every month, we’ll be choosing a theme that fits with the Osprey lifestyle. It’s August which means it’s time to take advantage of the last weeks of summer, and what better way than getting in the water? This month we’re all about swimming holes, waterfalls, ocean breaks and waterways of all kinds. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!

This week we’re bringing you a few excerpts from great water related articles around the web to beef up your reading list. Enjoy!

For all its obscurity, the Lower Pecos flows through one of the loveliest and most pristine landscapes in America. Spring-fed and limestone-bottomed, the river has a clarity matched only by its wild tropical color schemes, which would remind you of a ­Corona beer commercial except that the colors are far more varied. It is both a whitewater river, with dozens of rapids from Class I through Class IV, and a giant aquarium—jammed with spotted gar, catfish, perch, bluegill, and carp—where you can watch a large­mouth bass wheel, rise, and hit your fly. The country around it is a sort of museum of Native American history, home to one of the greatest concentrations of ancient rock art in America.

And so it is surprising that, out beyond the 100th meridian, where vast commercial cultures have arisen to service affluent Americans desperate for a run down big, remote, mythic rivers, no one knows the Lower Pecos. Our predicament in the rapids is relatively simple, in one sense: we’re the only ones here.

-“The Lost River of Divine Reincarnation,” Outside Magazine



But a recent scientific review of the dam-removal plan warned that if dam removal went forward, it would not be a silver bullet.

The independent report, commissioned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, reported that dam removal could help boost Chinook salmon population if other factors, such as water quality and warming due to climate change are in kept in check.

Belchik and the other proponents agree.

Dam removal, even with its uncertainty, would open the door for a salmon rebound, he says—and help assure their long-term survival.

“That water’s going to be stable even in the face of climate change. We need to get these dams down and get these fish to these cold water springs,” he says. “That’s their future.”

-“Will Dam Removal in the West Restore Salmon,” National Geographic Daily News

A cynical wind sweeps down the mountain, reaching out with icy fingers to freeze my dripping toes. My feet have never been so cold. Crossing a creek barefoot in the shadow of glacial ice is, well, a chilling experience. Still, I have to smile. I lean against my pack and look around at the landscape. Rocks everywhere are balanced on bizarre, unnatural perches, jumbled hills of them looming up from the flat, narrow valley like piles of pebbles gathered by a giant child. Directly in front of me, the creek tumbles past, dark with silt and as near to frozen as possible while still moving. Beyond it, a steep, seemingly impassable wall of loose rock climbs a hundred feet up to the tundra, a striking strip of bright green that melts imperceptibly into the grayness of the low-lying clouds. I strain to pick out the route we walked down. The dark, dirty foot of the glacier descends down toward the rocky valley on my left, and in the distance it disappears into a wall of fog. To my right, the creek continues down to the main arm of the glacier, our intended route through the landscape.

-“On Ancient Ice,” Wend Magazine

Images: glenwilliamspdxOutside Magazine, Neil Ever Osborne/Save Our Wild Salmon, Wend Magazine

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