How Did We Get In This Mess?

December, 2003. River Runners For Wilderness is pleased to announce the imminent release of Hijacking A River, The Political History of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, by Jeff Ingram.

Hijacking A River tells the whole story of "How did we get in this mess?": A pummeled government agency, intransigent businessmen and their political allies, apathetic environmentalists, and disorganized river runners; these are the characters who have made a mess of Colorado River management in Grand Canyon National Park. From the first steps to usher in a wilderness river to the Goldwater-Garn-Hatch Rider of 1980, Ingram unfolds the activities of such players as Fred Burke, Steve Carothers, Kim Crumbo, Fred Eiseman, Marvin Jensen, John McComb, Joe Munroe, Bo Shelby, Gaylord Staveley, Sam Steiger, Merle Stitt, Morris Udall, and many others. Surprisingly, a number of the players in the 1970s are still active in today's Colorado River Management Plan revision.

The book follows the changes in Grand Canyon river running from the 1960s onward, while answering all those persistent questions river runners have been asking for over a decade. With humor and wit, Jeff Ingram answers questions like "Why is it the public now waits 13 years for a self-guided permit to raft the Colorado River in Grand Canyon?" The book also clearly spells out why there is no congressional Wilderness designation for Grand Canyon National Park to this day. Step by step, year by year, Ingram tells the "how and why" behind Grand Canyon river concessionaire's seeming lock on river travel in the Canyon.

Colorado River crusader and historian Jeff Ingram has, since 1964, been fighting for the Canyon and the public. David Brower hired Ingram as the first Southwest Representative for the Sierra Club, and together they successfully fought the proposed dams in Grand Canyon in the 1960s. Ingram worked with then-writer/environmentalist Martin Litton for a Grand Canyon National Park Wilderness bill, until Litton turned...but you'll have to read about it in the book! Ingram documented events, meetings, legislative and legal moves and tells us about the on-going battle of protecting the Grand Canyon for the people of the world, with personal interviews and painstaking research from a number of archives.

If you want to truly understand the supercharged issue of Grand Canyon's wilderness designation (the lack thereof), the denial of public boaters access rights to the river in the park, and the politics behind Grand Canyon National Park management, Hijacking a River is a must-read.

RRFW is pleased to be able to take advance orders for Hijacking A River, 496 pages, including maps, readers guide, and index. The cost of this book is $20 ($17.95 each, plus $2.05 shipping and handling per book), with a tentative shipping date of January 15, 2003. Checks or money orders only please. Advance book sales will benefit River Runners For Wilderness, a not-for-profit organization seeking equitable access to a wilderness river running experience in Grand Canyon. Please send your order to

River Runners For Wilderness
PO Box 17301
Boulder, CO, 80308-0301

If you'd like to place an order for that special Christmas someone, just let us know with your order and we'll send an announcement card before Christmas, letting them know they will be receiving a gift from you soon.

For additional book information and dealer inquiries, contact:
Vishnu Temple Press, PO Box 30821, Flagstaff, AZ 86003-0821