Moab River Rendezvous explores the cultural and natural history of the Colorado Plateau
by Steve Kadel
staff writer
Nov 08, 2012 | 1564 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Participants examine the Edith, a historic replica boat on display at the 2011 Moab River Rendezvous. Photo courtesy of Plateau Restoration
Participants examine the Edith, a historic replica boat on display at the 2011 Moab River Rendezvous. Photo courtesy of Plateau Restoration
Regional experts will discuss the cultural and natural history of the Colorado Plateau and rivers flowing through local communities during the fourth annual Moab River Rendezvous this week.

The event begins Thursday, Nov. 8, and runs through Sunday, Nov. 11, at several venues. It helps support ecological restoration projects in the Colorado River watershed conducted by Plateau Restoration, a nonprofit organization based in Moab.

Co-organizer Tamsin McCormick said the rendezvous has taken a different shape each year and is becoming popular.

“We are getting a good following,” she said.

The educational event features an interpretive float Thursday on the Colorado River. McCormick, a geologist, will join rendezvous founder Michael Dean Smith and University of Utah river historian Roy Webb for the float, which is closed to further registration.

A dinner will be held Thursday night, followed by a video about Glen Canyon before the dam was built.

The general public is invited to hear authors William deBuys and Jack Loeffer discuss their recent books Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Grand County Library. They will talk about climate change and its effects on the Colorado Plateau. The event is free to the public.

On Friday, volunteers are invited to take part in a riparian restoration project from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Jackson Bottom near the Potash boat ramp. Van transportation, gloves and tools will be provided and participants should meet at the Moab Information Center parking lot on Center Street at 9:30 a.m. An RSVP is requested.

Saturday’s schedule includes presentations by authors and experts on river-related topics such as bio-control of invasive weeds, zerbra mussels that threaten surface waters, and the geologic evolution of the local landscape. Presentations will be at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center, and lunch is included in the registration fee.

Professor Andres Asland from Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colo., will discuss origins of the Colorado River from 2-3 p.m. Saturday. Some of his talk will focus on canyons such as Ruby-Horse-thief and Westwater canyons; Black Canyon of the Gunnison River; and Glenwood, Lodore and Unaweep canyons.

“There is a growing body of evidence that these canyons and the Colorado River as we see it today developed over the past 10 million years due to uplift of the region,” according to an abstract of his presentation. “This actually pre-dates the age of the Grand Canyon, which suggests that the oldest evidence for the ancient Colorado River exists far upstream of the Grand Canyon in western Colorado.”

Whitewater films will be screened Saturday starting at 7 p.m. at the MARC.

A field trip to Arches National Park is planned for Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Authorities will talk about pre-historic and historic land use along with climate change.

“We will discuss the vegetation and water issues around the Courthouse Wash and Salt Wash,” McCormick said, adding that a short hike to the Windows section of Arches will be included.

The cost for the field trip is $50 and participants must register by Friday. Transportation will be provided from the Moab Information Center at 9 a.m.

Cost to attend the rendezvous is $70 for a weekend pass, and $50 for Saturday or Sunday only. Admission to individual presentations, including Friday night’s historic river film festival, is $5.

For more information, the full event schedule, and to register go to the event website More information also is available by calling Plateau Restoration at 435-259-7733 or toll-free at 1-866-202-1847 or by email at

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