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River RepublicThe Fall and Rise of America's Rivers$
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Daniel McCool

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231161312

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231161312.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Playground on the Move

Playground on the Move

River Recreation

(p.265) 11 Playground on the Move
River Republic

Daniel McCool

Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on the “use” of rivers for tourism and recreation. People love to recreate on or near water, especially in places that possess natural, untrammeled beauty. Humans are instinctively drawn to nature, which, on “the water planet,” is incomplete without that life-giving nectar. That is true even for deserts, where the tiniest rivulet is cause for celebration. Yet as a society we have tended to dismiss recreation and water-related tourism as a lesser “use” of rivers. In the past, it made at least some sense to diminish the beauty of rivers for the sake of crops, barges, hydro, flood control, and sewage disposal, but today we still routinely give priority to extractive river uses even though recreational uses often generate far more money. This chapter first considers the larger context of tourism and the statistics for water-specific recreation and natural-area recreation. It then looks at river guides in Cataract Canyon on the Colorado and concludes by describing a habitat restoration project in upstate New York.

Keywords:   rivers, tourism, recreation, river guides, Cataract Canyon, Colorado, habitat restoration, New York

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