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.
Chapter 1 Preface
Chapter 2 Sustaining the Lifelines of a Continent
Chapter 3 The Embodiment of Rivers
Chapter 4 Breaking the Concrete Fix
Chapter 5 The Myth of Hydropower
Chapter 6 The Elusive Goal of Quality
Chapter 7 The Remains of Rivers
Chapter 8 The Riparian Edge
Chapter 9 The Heart of the Ecosystem
Chapter 10 A Time for Rivers
Chapter 11 Organizations Involved in River Protection
Tim Palmer has been involved in river protection since 1970 as a writer, photographer, planner, conservationist, speaker and consultant. He is the author of 14 books on rivers and conservation, and speaks frequently to college classes and public audiences nationwide.
"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."
"A brilliant writer, Tim Palmer has a special ability in bringing his years of experience to life. To layman and scientist alike, he is an excellent commentator and instills a great appreciation for our natural resources."
– Arthur C. Benke, professor of biological sciences, University of Alabama
"Lifelines makes an eloquent and compelling case for modern river conservation. By vividly illustrating its importance to society at large, Tim Palmer's text will inspire people from all perspectives and all walks of life to become personally involved in work to protect and restore their local waters."
– Don Elder, president, River Network
"The perfect companion volume [to Palmer's Endangered Rivers and the Conservation Movement] [...] Chapters reflect on the arguments for and against conservation efforts and provide excellent discussions of hydropower, concrete waterways, and other issues."
– Midwest Book Review
"Lifelines is the talented Tim Palmer's most ambitious river book to date; read it as both a celebration and a warning. And add it to the shelf of the most important environmental books of our time."
– Roderick Frazier Nash, author of Wilderness and the American Mind