Romancing the River: Colorado River Compact – Part 1

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Roosevelt & Muir in Yosemite

You have probably heard that this is the centennial year for something called the Colorado River Compact – possibly spoken of or written about in the reverential tones usually reserved for Biblical material. The foundation, the cornerstone, et cetera, for something called, with equivalent solemnity, ‘The Law of the River.’ We will spend some time here on the Colorado River Compact because it is an important document – but not necessarily a document that deserved to exist unaltered and unamended in a kind of hallowed state for a century. Something like our U.S. Constitution in that regard – which has been amended, although not in all the places where it most needed it. But the authors of both documents would be horrified to see their work regarded as sacred texts. This first post focusing on the Compact will explore why a river compact was even necessary in the development of the Colorado River.  It may come as a surprise to … Read More