Craig Denton notes, "Water will be the primary political,
social, and economic issue in the Intermountain West in the
twenty-first century." Urban Utah thirsts for the Great Salt Lake
principal source, the Bear River. Plans abound to divert it for a
rapidly growing Wasatch Front, as the last good option for future
water. But is it? Who now uses the river and how? Who are its
stakeholders? What does the Bear mean to them? What is left for
further use? How do we measure the Bear's own interest, give it a
voice in decisions?
Craig Denton's documentary takes on these questions. He tells the
story of the river and the people, of many sorts, with diverse
purposes, who live and depend on it. Bear River begins in alpine
snowfields, lakes, and creeks in the Uinta Mountains, flows north
through Wyoming, loops south in Idaho, and enters the inland sea by
way of the an environmentally critical bird refuge. Along the way
it has many uses: habitat, farms, electricity, recreation, lawns
and homes. Denton researches the natural and human history of the
river, photographed it, interviewed many stakeholders, and tried to
capture the river perspective. His photographs, printed as crisp
duotones, carry us downstream, ultimately to big questions, begging
to be answered soon, about what we should and can make of the Bear
River. Denton writes,
Gravity my engine,
Water my soul.
I am the teller of life and deep time.
You would measure me.
In your name.
Let me flow
In your imagination
That I may speak.
Subjects: General Science, Geography
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