Wednesday, June 11, 2014

River Restoration... If You Want It

For this post I want to concentrate on several positive stories on river restoration. One does not have to look far these days to be pummeled into a state of angry depression. So only good new today.  Beaver are just one piece of the puzzle with regards to watershed health. I would offer the most important factor in watershed health/river restoration in compromised ecosystems is the still daunting task of increasing public awareness and interest in healthy rivers.

For any seemingly insurmountable challenge an invisible tipping point exists. Where the shackles that bind us to social inertia, inaction, and pragmatic pessimism,  are quickly stripped away and revealed for what they are: human constructs. What mankind has created, mankind can destroy.

"A couple of decades ago it was radical in terms of thinking you can take a dam out... unthinkable... the conversation has changed."

Last week I was very fortunate and blessed to see a screening of a very important, compelling, and timely film: Damnation. It was all you can hope for in terms of making a profound argument for letting the rivers of America run free and wild. I will not attempt to summarize or recap the points the film made you should just go see it for yourself.

What was especially important to me with regards to this film was that a key dam featured in the film, a noted dead beat dam, is Matilija dam of Ventura county. Matilija creek is a steelhead creek and the dam serves zero purpose what so ever being completely silted in. Patagonia, a company based in Ventura, produced and screened the film at their yard and have long championed removal of the dam. 

From tearing down dams to building small ones (the beaver variety of course!!). Make sure you check out and support the Beaver Believers with a taxable donation for their kickstarter. I just donated 25$, i would have loved to have donated more but I am a wage slave... But my 25$ gets me on the wall, gets me stickers, a digital download of the film and a beaver believers shot glass!! Awesome!! 23 days to go to reach the extended goal of 12,000$!! Good job believers!!!

"Water is one of the most sacred, magical, and powerful gifts that we have ever been given, and we need to remember that because we have forgotten it."

"If we can put beaver back in the majority of the streams where they used to be is exactly what we should be doing."

Films such as these, and the powerful messages behind them, offer hope that a new dawn is rising with regards to our attitude towards the lands we live on and the wild beings we share the earth with. It is important to remind ourselves that every journey begins with the first step and that 
the darkest hour is just before dawn.

Steve Nash. Oxnard CA

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