The Debate Over the Glen Canyon Dam

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The Debate Over the Glen Canyon Dam

Over the years Glen Canyon Dam has been the spark for hundreds of debates, rallies, and protests. These debates have been going on for almost forty years now. The fact is that the dam created a huge lake when it was built, this is what bothers environmentalists. This lake is called Lake Powell and thousands of people depend on its tourists for income. The lake also filled up a canyon called Glen Canyon, some people say it was the most beautiful place on earth. The anti-dam side of the debate has its basis in the fact that Lake Powell is currently covering Glen Canyon. It was very remote so few people got to witness its splendor. This is probably the reason the dam was built in the first place, ignorance.

The lake supports a small city called Page, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of people who vacation there. The people who live in or around page and the people who use the lake for recreation are the people who like the dam and they hold up the pro-dam side of the debate. The argument is: why should we drain Lake Powell when thousands upon thousands of people enjoy it each year compared to the few hundred if that that might have ventured into Glen Canyon if it were still there. Also people argue that the rock formations, plant life, and even streams and rivers of the old Glen Canyon have long since been destroyed and it will never be the same even if we were to drain the lake.

This Paper will describe and analyze three articles pertaining to the ongoing debate for and against Glen Canyon Dam. Two of these articles were found in the 1999 edition of A Sense of Place, and the third was downloaded off a site on the Internet ( These articles wi...

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...ion that the proposal to drain Lake Powell is not a very good one " First off two Club members in page, AZ quit the club over the Lake Powell proposal" ( The writer thinks that the board is wrong to propose such an idea "Lake Powell violated the club's policy that major decisions should start at the ground and work their way up" (

The author seems to want to clear guilt of the proposal from the club members. The author's point of view seems to be of someone who is involved in the Sierra Club organization itself, whether the author is or isn't a member they have something to do with the organization. The author is in a protective mode, "The Board (of the Sierra Club) pulled this idea out of thin air" ( trying to state the fact that not all members are in favor of the plan to drain the lake.

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