Lake Powell is the lake rising up out of the desert. It is also a lake that drowned a canyon of rare beauty.
I asked the Glen Canyon Institute for a little background on the dam. Here’s what they told me:
In 1956 the Congress was debating the Colorado River Storage Project act (CRSP) to authorize the contractions of 13 or so large dams in the upper basin states of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. It also allowed
for the development of water projects that are on going even today. Two of the dams proposed were to have been built in Dinosaur National Monument. The biggest dam in the project was Glen Canyon Dam. Remembering how they built a dam in Hetch Hetchy Canyon in Yosemite National Park 35 years before, the Sierra Club, led by David Brower, made a stand that they would oppose any dam to be built in a national park or
monument. So they fought this bill.
David Brower was in DC lobbying and had the votes to defeat CRSP. However, back in San Francisco, the Sierra Club board of directors felt that the club was getting to be to radical and voted to remove opposition to CRSP as a whole project if they would remove the two dams that were to be built in Dinosaur National Monument. Brower heard about the vote, didn’t like it, but did nothing to get it changed. So congress removed
the two dams (they build Flaming Gorge instead outside the monument) and the rest of the dams were built, including Glen Canyon Dam.
The people fighting against Glen Canyon were dismayed. They took Brower down Glen Canyon and Brower felt horrible that he had allowed such a compromise to occur. He fought Glen Canyon dam until it was completed
and then fought with us until he died to get it removed. He said that he would wear ‘sack cloth and ashes’ for the rest of his life because he allowed Glen Canyon to go under water.