Few rivers run free in this country. Seventy-five Thousand dams choke up American waterways. But now there's serious talk about tearing them down and letting the rivers roar once again. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the debate over dams. Also a journey down the mighty Mississippi. And a conversation with one of the world's greatest kayakers — he plunges over 100 foot waterfalls for fun.
Geologist William Graf tells Jim Fleming about the debate over the 75,000 dams on American Rivers. He says the maintenance and environmental costs of these huge engineering marvels may outweigh their benefits. Also, Jim Fleming reads a passage from Edward Abbey's "Desert Solitaire" chronicling a trip down the Colorado River through Glen Canyon before it was flooded by the Glen Canyon Dam.SEGMENT 2:
Deborah Bilder reports on the efforts to remove dame from the Baraboo River in Wisconsin. She visits the site with Emily Stanley, a river ecologist who's doing the first full study of the effects of dam removal on a waterway. She also talks with property owners affected by the changes and watches the elephants from the Circus World Museum in Baraboo enjoy their "splash-around." Also, writer Andrew Malcolm talks with Judith Strasser about the mighty Mississippi. Malcolm is the author of "Mississippi Currents: A Journey through Time and A Valley."SEGMENT 3:
Corran Addison is an extreme kayaker — he holds multiple records for plummeting over waterfalls. Addison tells Steve Paulson that he never makes technical mistakes, which is why he's still alive, but admits his judgement is open to question. When he's not paddling, Addison designs kayaks for Riot Kayaks in Montreal.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 99-08-08-B.
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