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John Wesley Powell’s vision for the American West

A new book coauthored by U experts dives into the past, present and future of the Colorado River and the complicated legacy of its famous explorer.

The Colorado River Basin’s importance cannot be overstated. Its living river system supplies water to roughly 40 million people, contains Grand Canyon National Park, Bears Ears National Monument and wide swaths of other public lands, and encompasses the ancestral homelands of 29 Native American tribes.

One hundred and fifty years after John Wesley Powell’s epic 1869 Colorado River Exploring Expedition, this volume revisits Powell’s vision, examining its historical character and its relative value in shaping the Colorado River Basin’s future as we collectively enter a new “Great Unknown.”

Lead editor Jason Robison is an accomplished graduate of the U’s College of Social and Behavioral Science Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program. He went on to earn a law degree from the University of Oregon, and an SJD from Harvard, and is now a leading expert on the “Law of the River” within the Colorado River Basin.

Additionally, chapters were authored by Bob Adler and Bob Keiter of the College of Law, and a chapter was co-authored by Daniel McCool, Professor Emeritus of Political Science and co-editor, and Weston McCool, University of Utah Bachelor’s and Master’s graduate in Anthropology and Ph.D. from UC-Santa Barbara

Click here to find out more about “Vision and Place: John Wesley Powell and Reimagining the Colorado River Basin.”