Our Rivers

A River-Running Legend, Award-winning author Tim Palmer talks passion, adventure, and hope for rivers

May 03, 2022 Forever Our Rivers Foundation Season 1 Episode 4
Our Rivers
A River-Running Legend, Award-winning author Tim Palmer talks passion, adventure, and hope for rivers
Show Notes Transcript

In Episode 4, we talk to award-winning author, photographer, landscape architect, and river conservationist, Tim Palmer. We discuss his very long career in writing, river running, and working on behalf of rivers, as well as one of his newer books, a Field Guide to Rivers of the Rocky Mountains.

We don't go into too much detail about the book itself because you're gonna buy it and read it right? That's actually how you can support today's episode, by going to our online bookshop at www.bookshop.org/shop/foreverourrivers.

There you will find most of the books we talk about in today's episode, including many written by Tim. Ten percent of proceeds go back to rivers, another portion goes to supporting Tim's incredible work.

So settle in as we talk about Tim's lifelong love for flowing waters, the formative experiences that allowed rivers to creep into his soul, and those early mistakes that could have cost him his life.

Tim reminds us how much rivers have to give. At Forever Our Rivers, we're giving back. We want to make it easier for you to spend time in or near clean and healthy rivers. We partner with organizations across the West to keep your rivers healthy.

To join us, head to ForeverOurRivers.org to subscribe to our newsletter, rate and share this podcast, and visit the Forever Our Rivers Bookshop to find new inspiration. 

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Wayne Hare from Civil Conversations:

Hello, this is the Our Rivers podcast hosted by the Forever rivers Foundation. We feature the people making a difference for Healthy Rivers all across the West. Look for our logo. Support the businesses that fund Healthy Rivers. For more information about our work, visit foreverourrivers.org.

Clark Tate:

Hello, I'm Clark Tate. I host the Our Rivers podcast, a production of the Forever Our Rivers Foundation. We're building a movement to help you access and enjoy healthy rivers. Today we're talking to award winning author, photographer, landscape architect, and river conservationist, Tim Palmer. We discuss his very long career in writing, river running and working on behalf of rivers, as well as one of his newer books, a Field Guide to Rivers of the Rocky Mountains. We don't go into too much detail about the book itself because you're gonna buy it and read it right? That's actually how you can support today's episode, by going to our online bookshop at bookshop.org/shop/foreverourrivers. There you will find most of the books we talk about in today's episode, including many written by Tim. Ten percent of proceeds go back to rivers, another portion goes to supporting Tim's incredible work. We'll link to it in our show notes. So settle in as we talk about Tim's lifelong love for flowing waters, the formative experiences that allowed rivers to creep into his soul, and those early mistakes that could have cost him his life. Hi, Tim, how are you doing this morning?

Tim Palmer:

I'm doing just great. Thanks. Nice to be with you.

Clark Tate:

Nice to be with you. And where are you calling in from?

Unknown:

I live in Oregon on the south coast, a little place called Port Orford, just north of the Rogue River.

Clark Tate:

Is that your local river? You're home waters?

Unknown:

Yeah, yeah. There's one called the Elk, which is a fabulous stream, but smaller. You know, the Rogue is kind of world renowned as the whitewater trip and fishing river. And that's just 20 miles south of us.

Clark Tate:

How often do you get to it?

Tim Palmer:

Not that often. I really try to do a trip a year at least.

Clark Tate:

Well, we're here today to talk about a recent book of yours, the Field Guide to Rivers of the Rocky Mountains, published by Falcon guides. And it's a wonderful book. Congratulations. That's quite an accomplishment.

Tim Palmer:

Well, thank you.

Clark Tate:

But you've written 30 books about rivers. Is that the right count? I feel like it might be more now.

Tim Palmer:

Yeah. Well, it might be. I kind of lose count. But that's a pretty good estimate. Yes.

Clark Tate:

Yeah. After, like, a dozen books. You loose count.

Tim Palmer:

Yeah. There are two new ones this year. But yes, you're on track.

Clark Tate:

And they cover rivers and the environment and outdoor adventure, sort of the whole gamut.

Tim Palmer:

They do. I write a lot about rivers and river conservation. But also about forests and adventure travel. I have a book called Pacific High, which is a nine month journey through the coastal mountains from Baja to Kodiak Island. You know, I've written history of river conservation and a modern day book about it called lifelines. And a number of guidebooks. Unlike a lot of guide books, I don't focus strictly on Whitewater, although that is included. But I focus more on the rivers themselves in a broad sense and a natural sense with a focus on natural history. But also with plenty of tips on where to go for hiking, and boating and even some fishing.

Clark Tate:

Yeah, I really appreciated that in the guide book, all the different activities that you included on the rivers. You know, you've taken photos for these books, and you've won awards for them, like the Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award. And you're also a conservationist, and you won the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award from American Rivers. Is that correct?

Tim Palmer:

Yeah, the embarrassing thing is that was a lifetime ago, in, I think was, 1988.

Clark Tate:

I think that is something to be incredibly proud of.

Tim Palmer:

Oh, well, thank you.

Clark Tate:

Multiple lifetimes of achievement and conservation is not something that many people can brag about. What is it about rivers for you? This has obviously been a multiple lifelong passion.

Tim Palmer:

Yeah, well, you know, rivers are the lifelines of the planet. If you want to see what's really lively about the world, go to a river and watch the flow of water. They're important to so much of life. You know, wildlife and fish, of course require rivers and clean water and healthy rivers. And so do we, you know, we need them for our water supply and our state of mind as well. I often reflect back to my very first river trip, and I happened to be working as a summertime landscape architect for sawtooth National Forest in Idaho. And I'm from Pennsylvania originally. So this was a big change for me, you know, coming to the Rocky Mountains. And one weekend, I borrowed a raft from the full time guy who was the backcountry Ranger and took it down to the Salmon River and jumped in and kicked off from shore. And within minutes, I just said, "Oh, my gosh, this is the best thing ever." You know, it was just fabulous. I wanted to do it every day. There's the visceral element of just the splash in the sun and the water and the sound, then there's everything you see, you know, this is the way to tour the world really, for me. And it all goes together to contribute to what I call total engagement. There's the adventure of it, and the challenge of it. It's all just so engaging that the rest of the world disappears. And it's just that one thing, it's you and the river in this place you're traveling through. And when that happens, the world just makes a lot more sense. You've simplified it, even though what you're seeing is very complex. It's just you in the river. Ultimately, when you come back to the other world, it makes a little more sense to because you're refreshed. I have a new outlook after I escape and get to the real natural world in such a complete and engaging way. To me river trips, do all of that. And they do it at so many levels. You know, just the beauty of it is all worthwhile. And then there's the joy of motion and the challenge of whitewater. And if you go with other people, which most of us do, they tend to be the nicest people in the world. You know, I met my wife on a river trip.

Clark Tate:

Well, there you go. That's an endorsement.

Tim Palmer:

I think maybe most fundamentally, river trips are a way to travel, a way to see the country and to see the world. And it's a world you don't see through the windshield. It's the real thing. Gravity is doing the work. Go gravity, not gasoline. Ultimately, it just ends up being this wonderful way of living by getting back out into nature and traveling through a landscape in such an enlightening and revealing way.

Clark Tate:

And in the beginning of the Rocky Mountain guide book, you say, "In the pages that follow, let me help you to see and experience these extraordinary places." Why is it so important for you to write about this so extensively, you know, over 30 books to help people experience these same places?

Tim Palmer:

Well, there's just no end to which you know? It's an unlimited topic and both in terms of physically the rivers themselves, and also in what they mean to us and their importance. So I've written about rivers, from the standpoint of conservation history. I've written a book about modern day issues of river conservation. I've written about specific rivers, whole book about the Youghiogheny in Pennsylvania, which is one of the most floated whitewater rivers. I've writen about the Snake River in Idaho and Oregon and Washington and Wyoming. And a book about the Columbia River, which is even bigger. It's the largest river on the west coast. So I've written guide books to California and Oregon and the Rocky Mountains. And I also write about other things about forest issues and other aspects of adventure travel. There's just a lot of material there that has taken me to 30 books, and I'm working on another one right now.

Clark Tate:

So what did you set out to do in this particular book in the Rocky Mountain guide book?

Tim Palmer:

In my guide books, I'd like to acquaint readers with rivers in a new way that really brings not just the opportunities for going there and having a great time and learning something and doing something really fun and engaging, but also for learning about why rivers are important. In my guidebooks, I take a focus on natural history to really reveal what is there in the natural world, why it's important to us. And then I really provide all the details people need to go there to see this place mainly by hiking and by boating, but both you know. So I cover trails along rivers, and also boating whether by canoe, or kayak, or raft, or boat, or stand up paddleboard, whatever you want to do.

Clark Tate:

Which is so great, because even just hiking by a river, you can sneak up on so much wildlife. And, like you're saying, it's part of the very animated piece of every landscape. There's a lot going on there. So it's one of the best places to walk. And you do a great job. In the front of this book, there's a geology section, there's a hydrology section, there's climate. You know, I've been studying this stuff for a long time. And, I feel like I've learned so much and connected things differently, which is what I love so much about reading. It's how somebody else thinks about the interconnectedness of all of the issues that you're interested in. And I have to assume that you've sort of been researching this your whole life. Can you tell us about some of the most memorable moments in these Rocky Mountain rivers that you've experienced while while sort of researching this book throughout your life? I know that's a big well of experience to draw upon.

Tim Palmer:

Yeah. How much time do we have here?

Clark Tate:

I mean, I'm open all day. Go for it.

Tim Palmer:

Well, I, let me tell you about one little incident in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. And, as I mentioned before, I worked there for a summer as a landscape architect. And one evening, the landscape architect I worked with said, "Tim, I'm going fishing for salmon down the river, you want to come?" And I said, "sure." So I went down. And I didn't fish because I didn't even have a license yet at that point. But I sat there along the banks, not to sound like ancient history, but this was 1967. And then we're still strong salmon runs up that river. The Chinook salmon, three feet long, that swim the longest migration on earth for a fish, 900 miles up from the ocean to get where they could spawn and continue the fate of their species. You could still see them coming up the river. And I sat there as the sun dipped behind the mountains. And the light became warm, and muted. And I stared at that flowing water, which alone was beautiful enough, but then I saw the back of one of these salmon surface like a porpoise, and go back into the current. And then I saw another, and another, and another. And I thought, oh, my gosh, this river is alive. It's not just the liveliness of the water. But it's full of life under the surface, which at that time, really, you know, showed itself in this incredible run of salmon. Those fish are now imperiled. They're endangered, threatened, many of the runs are extinct because of dams that had been built downstream, that were just being built at that time. The four Lower Snake River dams were still being completed back then. They hadn't really taken their big bite out of the salmon population yet the way they have now. It was a transformative moment for me when I realized that this river didn't just look lively, it was full of life, and full of vitality, in a way that that I really connected to. And that ultimately I became committed to protecting.

Clark Tate:

It means a lot to hear you say that. I've seen salmon runs, particularly living around Point Reyes, California for a time, but they're very small. They're certainly not 900 miles from the ocean. And it's, it's wild to me, it hits me again and again, how quickly we lose the knowledge of what our planet was capable of, what abundance could look like. If you've never seen it, you don't understand that. And it's so important to share these stories, so we understand what's possible, and we understand what we've lost. And it took me a long time to understand reading about salmon and hearing about salmon. That's a free nutrient delivery system. That is free food coming to you 900 miles, for people, for bears, for trees. Rotting salmon bring a lot of nutrients from the ocean that the trees absorb, that are important for their lifecycle. Nine hundred miles of food just strolling up to you.

Tim Palmer:

Right? Dozens, actually hundreds of species, if you count insects and so forth, depend on the run of these fish. And that's just one example of the connections of life along rivers, you know, from top to bottom. And from the tiniest to the largest. There are many of these kinds of connections. So they're all quite profound and important to us. You know, another moment, if I could just tell you about another experience, it goes back even further. The Youghiogheny River in Pennsylvania, as I mentioned, is one of the most popular whitewater rivers in the country. But I happened to be a very lucky guy. My ancestors moved to the Youghiogheny River in 1787, colonial times. And I, as a kid, I still had relatives there, so my family would go back. It wasn't that far, 100 miles from the Appalachian foothills where I lived to the state park on the Youghiogheny where all the whitewater was. I'm not even sure, I think I was about 12 years old. I was up walking alone, as usual, on a warm summer evening along that river, and I went down to one of the rapids, which I know is now called entrance rapid. And I sat down on a big block of sandstone there and just listened and watched that river flow. And the rhododendrons were blooming. So they smelled really sweet in the air, and I was away from the road and just listening and watching. And pretty soon the rest of the world disappeared. And it could have been 1,000 miles away, there was nothing but me and the river there. And suddenly, it occurred to me, even as a little kid, it occurred to me that this place was perfect. And I knew why it was perfect. It was perfect for the simple reason it had been left alone. It was natural. So they're at a very early age, that magic of flowing water just somehow seeped into my soul. And I wanted more. I didn't know how I was going to get it. But I wanted more. That too, was a very formative moment in my life.

Clark Tate:

Absolutely. I also grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Big Reed Island Creek ran around my parent's farm. You couldn't get me away from the creek. I spent all my time there. And the rhododendrons, when the flowers would fall into the creek and float by, I was always in a state of absolute bliss. It was just like living in a Disney cartoon and what privileged upbringings, we had to have that time with the river to understand deeply as a child, how special it is.

Tim Palmer:

I know it. It's a common story. It makes me very concerned that the kids don't get that today. Yeah, yeah, we need to really work on getting kids out to experience the real world, the natural world. And being around rivers is one of the great ways to do that.

Clark Tate:

And you're offering this great service with your guidebooks.

Tim Palmer:

Well, thank you.

Clark Tate:

Well, thank you. Super selfishly, I've spent a ton of time on Southwestern rivers. So the Colorado, the Dolores, the Green, do you have any cool stories from those rivers?

Tim Palmer:

Gosh, yeah, of course. The Colorado is epic through the Grand Canyon. And I was really fortunate to be able to raft it in my little 14 foot Avon some years ago. And you know, in a way, it's the opposite of some of the smaller rivers that have been so formative in my youth in that it's enormous and overpowering. But again, the magic of the place really fills you up there. And so that's an extraordinary one. You know, the amazing thing about the desert rivers is that their water mostly comes from somewhere else. It comes from mountain ranges that are not in the desert. So they more than most really bring home the connection of watersheds. And they really show how important it is that the headwaters up above, nourish the big flow down below. And ultimately that the Colorado is nourishing millions of people for water supply to the degree that it's totally dried up before it gets to the Gulf of California. So the Southwestern rivers are really, really wonderful illustrations of those connections headwaters to sea and how vital they are to everybody, not those that are there like we were, paddling or rowing a raft, but to people who actually use in need that water downstream.

Clark Tate:

Absolutely. Did you on your journeys ever come across a river that was particularly and obviously connected to the community surrounding it. Any town that you've passed through that you're like, "wow, they're making a wonderful use of this river and enjoying it and nourishing it, protecting it?"

Tim Palmer:

There are a ton of those today because the greenways movement has become very big in America. Yeah, well, this is one of the things that gives me hope. You know, when I started working with rivers and river conservation, many of them were just forgotten parts of communities that people just sort of wanted to not deal with, you know, they were reminded of them when they flooded. Today, a lot of people now recognize how important and how valuable these can be to our communities, not just in terms of the water we drink, which of course we need, but also in terms of the community image and structure and amenities. Consider the Boise River through Boise, Idaho. In the 50s it was just sort of the backside of industry and food processing. And now there's a greenway corridor acquired by the city and other levels of government, with a bikeway, and trails and boating possibilities for 10 and 20 miles through and above and below the city of Boise. It actually is the brightest, most wonderful thing about that whole place, you know, is the river through its urban corridor. One of my first jobs was working as a county planner in North Central Pennsylvania in a city called Williamsport.

Clark Tate:

Because you're a landscape architect by training, correct?

Tim Palmer:

That's right. And the West Branch of the Susquehanna flowed through our county. And one of the jobs I did that I'm maybe most proud of was writing a report that really promoted the use of that river in a positive kind of way. And that identified the amenities and the values to people. So we launched some programs to protect open space there, develop trails, and bikeways along it, to zone the floodplains so that what wasn't already developed would not be developed. And also to begin programs that aquired flood prone properties, particularly repeatedly flood prone properties, so that we can get out of that cycle of flooding and destruction and rebuilding and flooding again, and reinstitute riparian open space along the river. And I left there long ago, but the guy I worked for and the programs that we started them have continued until today, when there's a movement to establish greenway connections the whole way up and down the Susquehanna River for 200 miles. So it's another very hopeful sign.

Clark Tate:

Yeah, so that helps people enjoy the river, get out in the greenery that grows along it, and gives the river room to flood without destroying property. Seems like a better way to go about things. Have you had any major trials in your journey of experiencing rivers either a particularly challenging event while running a river, or just a time when you felt a little overwhelmed by all the challenges that rivers are facing?

Tim Palmer:

Well, yeah, again, how much time do we have? What would be a good example, just just the physical challenge. One of the memorable again, formative times for me was I was canoeing the James River in Virginia.

Clark Tate:

Through Richmond?

Tim Palmer:

Above Richmond, but going into Richmond. And I launched and I hadn't paid a whole lot of attention to the weather report, which is one of the lessons that newcomers to river running might always want to be aware of. And after my first day or two, it started raining, and it rained for a day and a half. And suddenly, I was on flood flows on a river that was not particularly threatening, where I put in or for most of my trip, but suddenly, there was a lot of water there pushing rapidly downstream. And I ended up in the city of Richmond, where it drops over the fall line, and they're intense rapids there. So all of this, you know, ended up being kind of scary. Ya know, there I was, I'm not that experienced a peddler and I was in way over my head. I ended up bailing out at the upper end the city of Richmond and having to climb over chain link fences and cross canals just to get where I could get out of the river and escape. So it was a good wake up call that, you know, we're dealing with features here that, of course, are very beautiful and alluring. But they also are what they are, you know, and this is the natural world and it's full of surprises and full of elemental power, and ultimately with events and situations that can challenge us in big ways.

Clark Tate:

So that's a really nice segue, because I wanted to ask you your best advice for people who are very new to rivers who want to spend more time with them, want to give their kids more exposure to them. And, obviously, hiking by a river, it's still very important to pay attention to the weather report because of potential flooding, particularly in the southwest. But it does seem like another step up to think about canoeing down a river or rafting down a river. And in the Field Guide to Rivers of the Rocky Mountains. You mentioned connecting with outfitters to get you safely down a river. What are some other pathways to get more people the knowledge they need to be safe and make safe decisions on rivers, because they are so dynamic.

Tim Palmer:

Remember, this is a learning experience. And if you're new to it, read about it. Talk to people who have done this kind of thing. There are a lot of boating clubs and social groups, you know that one can join and, and gain the experience from other people who have done a lot more than you have. We might have friends that are boaters, you know who can help us to get started. Going with an outfitter is a great way for someone who really doesn't have any river experience to get an introduction or to be able to go on a more difficult trip. You know, some of the big rivers like the New River in West Virginia, or the Middle Fork of the Salmon and Idaho, where the challenges are greater, that's a good way to start and see if you like it. But be open to learning be cautious. Remember, you have to be aware of all a lot of variables like the weather and the water level. Ultimately, rivers are great vehicles for learning lots of things, not just about the water in the stream, but about things like humility. You know, being able to address challenges and dangers and hazards in what I call a really creative way. These are good things to learn to deal with. Throughout life, we have challenges of all kinds. And the rivers present a real physical challenge, and just kind of learning how to deal even just the process. It's a really valuable thing. For example, you know, we have to be able to deal with difficulties or dangers when they come up. But it's even more important to be able to identify what the dangers will be ahead of time. And that applies to rivers in spades, but to all of life. So by learning to approach river adventure with that, in mind, teaches us lessons about the rest of life that are really vital, and crucial for us to know. You know, it's not just fun. And it's not just an adventure. And it's not just a learning experience. But river running can be something that enriches our life, in many ways, and teaches us many kinds of things, if we're open to it.

Clark Tate:

And I think it's a particularly apt metaphor for life. Because once you get on the river, you're in the stream. You can't just step off the trail. The river is setting the pace in a lot of ways. Life can be like that. Events can kind of speed around you, and you don't always have a lot of control.

Tim Palmer:

We're never in total control. And so there are these lessons of learning to deal with the challenges around us and to recognize the hazards that are there to be careful when you need to be, to be adventurous when we can be, and you know with with metaphors, and with parallels to the rest of life.

Clark Tate:

So with that in mind, do you have any river related resources either other books that you've written, or websites that you check every time that you would recommend to somebody who really interested in getting into boating?

Tim Palmer:

For almost any your region or state, and many watersheds, there are now guidebooks to cover details about where to go and what to see. And I've done these books for Oregon, California, and for the Rocky Mountain states, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, and Wyoming. Those are good places to start. And yes, the internet's full of sources. Now you can just look up river running and the river name and you'll get some information. It's not always great information, but it's a good place to start also. But, I look at those other guide books by reputable authors and start with awareness of what they have to say. There are basic, fundamental books about how to go boating. The American Red Cross has a great one. It's just a classic guide to canoeing. And it tells you how to do it, and how to identify hazards and be safe and you know how to deal with river rescue and things like that. Just a few years ago, I had a big book come up, called America's Great River Journeys. And in it, I highlighted what I considered 50 of the really most wonderful river trips. In America, they're 200 color photos. So it gives kind of the big picture and shows you what these places are like, but also provides details on where to go, what the difficulty is, you know. Where do you put in, where do you take out, what particular hazards do you need to watch for? Yeah, so I point people to that and then of course for more detail go to my guide book about the Rocky Mountains.

Clark Tate:

Yeah, that's a great one two punch. kind of the overview to get people excited and to choose general direction, and then they can go in for the details.

Tim Palmer:

Yeah, you know, there are other books too that that are not in the guide book nature but about rivers that are truly remarkable. There's one that I've read and reread over and over called the Emerald mile, by Kevin Fedorko, a remarkable author. I mean, this book should have won the Pulitzer Prize. It's the best book I've ever read. And it's ostensibly about some sort of crazy river guides on the Colorado who wanted to set a speed record for boating through the Grand Canyon. I really don't care at all about speed records, but that's the thread that he used. But more so the book is really about the river itself in the magic of that place and the qualities of it. And it's built around the biggest flood in modern history there in 1983. And the challenges that presented not only to the river runners, but to the people managing the Grand Canyon dam upstream. It's just remarkable language in a remarkable sense of suspense. So it's a great book. Some wonderful fiction and essays have been written by David James Duncan, another wonderful author who loves rivers. A friend of mine named Steven Hawley wrote a great book called Recovering a Lost River about the Snake River and the salmon runs that are endangered. Jim Lickatowich, a biologist, has written fabulous books about salmon of the Northwest and the problems of hatcheries which surprise many people. Many people think fish hatcheries would just be great for fish, but they're actually really bad for wild fish in most cases. So there are a lot of wonderful books like that, that people can read if they want to learn more.

Clark Tate:

Yeah, wow, that's a lot. Something you mentioned earlier, you were saying that communities embracing the river give you a lot of hope. And you said you could talk more about what does give you hope for rivers. Because, you do mention in the book, a lot of the things that are impairing them - invasive species and climate change, reducing flows, and, you know, we're using a lot of water as people and we're and we're putting pollutants back into the water, and those salmon aren't swimming up those rivers anymore. So what what else does give you hope?

Tim Palmer:

Gosh, Clark, you know, my career with rivers has now spanned about 50 years or so. And in that time, we've made tremendous progress. In the laws that we've had passed. We didn't even have the Clean Water Act, when I started working on rivers. We've made progress in the policies of government at various levels. I mean, even in rural Oregon, here, we have zoning county wide, you know, which includes floodplain zoning. And it's not always administered very well or enforced properly, but we have it, we never used to. The water in many of our urban rivers is much cleaner in terms of the really egregious pollution we once had from sewage and really blatant poisonous industrial waste. We now have a plague of toxins that are harder to see and smell and know about that are just as bad or even worse.

Clark Tate:

Are you talking about micro plastics?

Tim Palmer:

Yeah, that would be a great example. Pesticides, herbicides, you know, PCBs, others. So we make great headway in many respects. But unfortunately, the curve of destruction is still going up steeper. Because population growth is relentless. You know, that's the source of most of the pressures and problems to rivers. So they're these challenges that continue to arise and to grow worse, even as some other aspects of river protection are getting better. But I remain hopeful, because I've seen the growth of the positive side throughout my career. I see more people being engaged and involved in rivers. And I see people who, who want to do something meaningful with their lives, and they realize that the earth is in big trouble. You it's very difficult for an informed person to be optimistic today. Because there's so many problems that people want to engage in to do something. Yet the problems can be overwhelming. But adopting your own river is something that anyone can do, where they live, at a scale that enables them to be part of the fate of that place, to be part of the local politics, and the decisions affecting their stream or their river. And so, river conservation gives many of us an open door to being able to influence the outcome and the fate of these places where we live. And it's one that can be done, hopefully, because here's a discreet feature a river, you know, with identifiable problems, whether it's pollution or development along the stream banks or a dam being proposed, or whatever. They're really specific problems that we can address. There are organizations formed to deal with all this, all we have to do is join them. And they will tell us how we can become more involved. They need us in that respect, and we need them to represent us in bigger levels of politics, and to help us figure out what to do. So all of this, I think, makes the future much more hopeful, of course than it would otherwise be. And actually more hopeful than it was when I first started out working on River Conservation decades ago. So I just encourage people to engage, to go to your local stream, learn about it, become involved in the local politics around it, vote for people who will protect our Earth and our streams, rather than those that don't. Teach others, especially children. Join groups and organizations . With that combined willpower, we feel a lot stronger and a lot more capable. And we feel like we're not alone in this effort. So all of those things give me hope, and a reason to move ever onward for the good of our rivers and our earth.

Clark Tate:

Well, thank you so much for your part in moving the needle in a hopeful direction over the course of your life and your career. You've given your own self hope through that action. And that's helped give hope to the rest of us. So truly, deeply, thank you so much for doing that work, and helping guide people into that work as well.

Tim Palmer:

Thank you, Clark it's really been fun to be with you here today.

Clark Tate:

Tim reminds us how much rivers have to give. At Forever Our Rivers, we're giving back. We want to make it easier for you to spend time in or near clean and healthy rivers. We partner with organizations across the West to keep your rivers healthy. To join us, head to ForeverOurRivers.org to subscribe to our newsletter, rate and share this podcast, visit our Bookshop at Bookshop.org/shop/foreverourrivers to find new inspiration. Thank you for joining us today. We hope to see you out on the river soon.