Rios Libres!

Via Allie Bombach
on Sep 16, 2010
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River Threatened in Chile
The Rio Baker - Chile’s wildest and most voluminous rivers is threatened by the power of big business - Photo by James Q Martin

“Patagonia is one of the few places on the planet with untouched and undiscovered corners still remaining. Yet, at this very moment, its rivers and wildlands are under attack.” – Rios Libres

Let My Rivers Go.

When I look back at the time when I lived in Durango, Colorado the Animas river is one of the first things that pops into my head.  Rafting, tubing, fishing, more rafting – the Animas was a key part of my life in the Southwest.

The Animas is a free flowing river.  This means no damn dams.  As the first river I had ever rafted on, this seemed completely normal.  When I moved to the Southeast part of the United States I thought it was bizarre that you had to wait for the rivers to be let “free” by the dams that bind them.  Let free?  Shouldn’t all rivers be free?

There are rivers far from the Animas or the Ocoee.  The Baker River runs through a place that is so wild in my own imagination, I find myself daydreaming of going there.  Right now the Baker and other rivers in Patagonia are under serious threat of proposed dams.  And as Patagonia is one of the last true wild places on earth, it is both heart breaking and infuriating imagining these dams destroying communities, scarring the landscape, and wreaking havoc on ecosystems that are flourishing there.

I don’t know why I want this river to run. I could not sit at a table with a microphone and explain it. I don’t know why the heart breaks when we have drawn and quartered yet another landscape, named it as ours, used it to fuel our every global ambition from paper clips to plastic cups. But god do I want this river to move, another dark thread binding the surface of this planet, another path uninterrupted.” – Craig Childs

Chilean River Under Threat of Dams
Massive beauty worth standing up for - Photo by James Q Martin

“There is an epic environmental fight here. The biggest one that Chile’s ever seen.” – Doug Tompkins

Rios Libres joined the fight against these dams and have just relased a trailer for a film called Power in the Pristine that will bring awareness to this issue.

“Patagonia is one of the few places on the planet with untouched and undiscovered corners still remaining. Yet, at this very moment, its rivers and wildlands are under attack. Big business seeks to choke two of the region’s most pristine rivers with mega-dams and plans to decimate unique forest ecosystems to build the longest power line in the world. Follow Team Rios Libres led by professional athlete, Timmy O’Neill and luminary writer, Craig Childs as they immerse themselves into this remote region. Find out what they discover on their journey from the source of the Baker River to the sea. Filled with inspiring imagery, compelling interviews and a bit of adventure, you’ll gain an understanding of how this huge hydroelectric scheme would forever change the face and character of the area and why we must act now to Keep Patagonia Wild. For more info:” – Rios Libres Team


About Allie Bombach

Living in her restored 1970 Airstream, Allie recently relocated to Portland, Oregon where she works as a freelance videographer and filmmaker for the outdoor industry. She graduated from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado with a B.A. in Business Marketing with a concentration in videography. A former raft guide and snowboard instructor, Allie found a passion in inspiring others to make the outdoors a part of their lives. Finding inspiration from the power of storytelling, she strives to promote simple living and environmental education. Only finding true peace while in between the lines, she finds “home” while on the road. An avid commuter in love with her bike, Allie is always in search for the next adventure, a good high five, and a hoppy IPA.


4 Responses to “Rios Libres!”

  1. Lynn Hasselberger says:

    Great post! Did you see the one I wrote about the Amazon dams? Such a shame!

  2. ajBombach says:

    I did see it! I actually linked it to "dams destroying communities" in the post. Also a very tragic situation.

  3. […] was gripped by the slight and usually useless omnipotence we sometimes experience with spiders or rivers or other wild things. I had seen a variable that the spider could not, a variable that no spider […]

  4. Thank you for writing about and showing this amazing place. There are others now popping up for dangerous development, like drilling the Pebble Mine in Alaska's Bristol Bay which endangers millions of wild Salmon and river communities…

    By the way, I have lived in my Westfalia in the middle of 5 acres on the Big Island for years! Here's to minimalist homes…that travel!