National Geographic : 1970 Feb
A paddle blade emerged phantom-like from the seething waters and moved in a sweeping downward stroke. Johnny, sealed in his kayak by a waterproof skirt, bobbed right-side up and continued his run with hardly a break in motion. Suddenly reservations about committing our families to this wild-river adventure were gone. We knew the Middle Fork and Salmon were ours for the taking. TV to Tell a Wild-river Story We had made many voyages on wilderness rivers of the West, and each new experience had strengthened our efforts to champion the cause of river preservation. Now, after two decades, the concept of saving our wild and scenic waterways had finally flowered as the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. Sections of eight rivers, ranging from Idaho's Middle Fork to the Rio Grande in New Mexico, would be preserved unspoiled for posterity. And 27 others-inclu ding the stretch of the main Salmon that we would travel-are to be studied for possible inclu sion in the system (map, page 222). The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act designates how rivers shall be selected and reserved. But it is up to appropriate resource management agencies within the Departments of Interior and Agriculture to develop and implement detailed programs for their preservation. Citi zens, acting as individuals or through clubs and community groups, can help by making their interest known and by watching care fully to ensure that adequate measures are taken to save our wilderness streams. Under the act, the public also can choose additional river sections that would qualify, and urge that these, too, be preserved for posterity. The National Geographic Society, a force in conservation education for more than eighty years, believed the story should be told in a documentary television program. And so this white-water trip had been organized. Our two kayaks and six rubber rafts would be Floating a boulder-strewn bend in the Middle Fork, a tributary of the Salmon, Karen and Derek Craighead begin a 190 mile, 23-day voyage through the mountain ous labyrinth of central Idaho. Karen, 21, Derek, 19, and 14-year-old Johnny accompanied their parents, Margaret and John Craighead. Frank Craighead brought along his three children: 21-year old Lance, Charlie, 19, and Jana, 14. 214 KODACHROMEBYFRANKCRAIGHEAD© N.G .S .