The health of our nation is reflected in the health of our rivers. These flowing streams supply our drinking water and they sustain the biological wealth of the continent. Central to our past and vital to our future, rivers are the lifelines, yet they are constantly under siege. In Lifelines, Tim Palmer addresses the fate of our waterways. While proposals for destructive federal dams are no longer common, and some of the worst pollution has been brought under control, myriad other concerns have appeared-many of them more complex than threats of the past. Now we face increased diversion of flows, loss of riparian habitat, and pollution from toxic waste, feedlots, farms, and clearcuts. Palmer examines the alarming condition of rivers in today's world and reports on what people are doing to solve the challenging problems. In many stories of hope, he chronicles the success of citizens and government agencies working for better stewardship and pioneering new ways of caring for our waters and land. Finally, he considers what the future will hold for these critical lifelines. According to Palmer, caring for rivers as centerpieces of local ecosystems marks a hopeful starting point toward better care for the planet.
Palmer has compiled heartening stories of successful struggles to illustrate the core of his case: an affirmation that we can save what's left of our wild rivers and restore what's been damaged if we organize to protect local watersheds. His book ought to be required reading for voters as well as elected officials and bureaucrats.--Audubon