History and Science; An Essential Duet for River Conservation

Recently I was down by the Mississippi River with a friend when he remarked, “Look at that tree!” A 30 foot log was barreling downstream in the middle of the 1 mile wide river channel bouncing along the many eddies created by the rushing, brown water. I had heard about large wood rafts that historically clogged up the Red River in Louisiana and many rivers around the world. I tried to imagine what thousands of 30 foot logs floating in the river together would look like and I didn’t get very far before I googled “The Great Raft.” The old images of a massive log jam displayed on my phone were beyond anything I could have imagined.

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