Martin Litton, Lion of the Colorado

Boatman, conservationist, businessman, journalist, and political activist Martin Litton, who kept dams out of the Grand Canyon, passed away at 97 on the last day of November, 2014, at his home in Palo Alto, California.

He is best known for the political struggle in the 1960s over damming the Grand Canyon. The Bureau of Reclamation had large hydroelectric dams planned at two points within the canyon. Together with David Brower, then-director the Sierra Club, and other activists like Edward Abbey, Litton managed a successful political mobilization against the projects.

Don Briggs accumulated a great deal of footage, film and interview material for a planned biography of Litton, a lifelong friend. He had hoped for one more interview with Litton and regrets being unable to complete the project as planned.

This above excerpt from River Runners of the Grand Canyon, the 1994 documentary by Don Briggs, tells the story well. We mourn the loss of this lion of American environmentalism.