Will our ‘dam nation’ free its rivers?

This web exclusive appeared on hcn.org on May 17, 2014

“Ed would have shit his pants.”

Coming from just any 94-year-old, this teary proclamation might have seemed shocking. Coming from Colorado River folk hero Katie Lee – famous for her life-long environmental activism, melodies and modeling nude in the redrock embrace of Glen Canyon before it disappeared beneath Lake Powell – it was as high a compliment any devotee of Western letters could want. Throw in the fact that the “Ed” she spoke for is none other than her friend and fellow Glen Canyon Dam opponent, the curmudgeonly literary light Edward Abbey, and you couldn’t blame filmmakers Ben Knight, Travis Rummel and Matt Stoecker, seated beside Lee on stage at the 5Point Film Festival in Carbondale, Colorado late last month, for looking a bit teary and shell-shocked themselves as they got ready to discuss the object of Lee’s effusive praise: Their first feature-length documentary, DamNation. More…