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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

This week, facts about... the Grand Canyon, including some of the Park's lesser known attractions, on the 80th anniversary of the signing of the bill establishing this great National Park.


CURWOOD: Eighty years ago President Woodrow Wilson signed the Grand Canyon Park Bill, creating one of the largest natural attractions in the world. An average of 12,000 people visit the Grand Canyon every day. While many of them flock to the North and South Rims, few travel to the lesser-known volcanic region called Toroweap. Lining the walls of Toroweap are stripes of lava, each reflecting a period in history. Here, scientists have been able to date the Canyon back millions of years. When explorer John Wesley Powell first saw Toroweap he boomed, "What a conflict of water and fire there must have been here!" The grotto, with its spectacular waterfall, is another Canyon highlight, which is off the beaten visitor's path. One place you can't visit anymore is Glen Canyon. Mr. Powell rode its roaring rapids in a boat in 1869. He took the precaution of tying himself to a chair to keep from drowning, but today the canyon and its white water are gone, sacrificed to form the lake that today bears Mr. Powell's name. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.



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