When water is left alone, it makes a mess. It backs up into wetlands. Rivers overflow their banks. Mud and silt builds up, new channels open up. But Elijah Portugal, who studies how rivers and streams shape the land, says that that mess is what rivers need to be functional. “Messiness matters,” he says.
In this program, we’ll meet some of the people who have been responsible for cleaning up rivers: the state and federal agencies responsible for controlling water — for making sure it doesn’t slow down or back up, that it gets to where we need it as efficiently as possible. We’ll also meet people who appreciate the messiness of streams in their natural states — it’s that messiness that creates great habitat for fish and birds and a host of other ecosystem benefits. And we’ll meet the creatures that mess up watersheds in the best possible way. The hour is all about Beavers and Dams.
This special will air Friday May 1st at 10AM and 8 PM and is a production of Utah Public Radio.
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This was not a fair or reasonable overview of the Bureau of Reclamation. I wish you would have invited someone to respond after former commissioner Dan B. gave the libertarian take on an agency with such an important role.
I concur with Tom Worthington’s comments.
The fact remains that we live in a harsh desert climate, millions of people, and that alone means we leave an impact on our environment. True, I love my western home, but water resources is limited, and people require that to live as well as other wild creatures do to. Messiness matters is true, but we also desire nice orderly water coming out of our facets for cooking, bathing, drinking, growing crops, and a multitude of other uses. The Bureau of Reclamation wasn’t created to solely disrupt nature, but was responsible to provide the necessary resources for settlement of the west. Mistake have been made in the past, but learning is also key from those mistakes. The Bureau of Reclamation is to serve many uses of a limited precious resource, for environmental, people, and wildlife.
Great comments Tom Worthington and Paul Davidson!