Our children’s children need to see rivers

Steve Welch | Groveland, California

My grandfather introduced me to rivers when I was five by buying me a pair of LL Bean boots and letting me explore the magical, muddy floodplain adjoining his cattle ranch along the Sacramento.

My father deepened that connection by standing side-by-side and chest deep with me while teaching me to fly-fish on the Trinity, Morice and Gallatin.

There is no way my wife would have married me if I hadn’t been able to woo (and fool) her for 22 days on the Colorado in the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

I’ve been fortunate to be able to share wild rivers and timeless moments with my two sons during annual float trips on the Rogue, Salmon, and Green.

Whenever I can, I go alone to the Tuolumne to look for fish and to find myself (and peace).

Without rivers, I’d be a pale, lonely, single internet troll with no boots, no children, and no connection to our planet.

I imagine that my grandfather’s grandfather introduced him to rivers.

I can’t imagine my grandchildren’s grandchildren not having that opportunity.

Support the protection of 5,000 new miles of wild and scenic rivers