In the realms of wilderness conservation, Martin Litton is a powerful voice. He has comfortably worn many hats: senior editor of Sunset magazine, board member of the Sierra Club and founder and guide for Grand Canyon Dories (the first company to run wooden dories through the Grand Canyon). Martin Litton has taken a leading stand, along with David Brower, in major conservation efforts… from the protection and establishment of Dinosaur National Monument and Redwood National Park to protecting the Grand Canyon from two intended dams.
The Good Fight chronicles the extraordinary efforts of one of the leading conservationists of modern times, who continues to be active today into his 90’s. Martin Litton, known as the “Grand Old Man of the Canyon,” is revered as the man who prevented dams from being built on the Colorado River that would have flooded the Grand Canyon. Now at 93, his latest passion is saving the last of the giant sequoias.
Litton was a close friend and cohort of famed environmentalists David Brower and Edward Abbey, as well as other major figures in the conservation movement. Brower first recruited Litton in 1952 for a successful campaign to oppose the construction of dams in Dinosaur National Monument.
This campaign started a long association with the Sierra Club and lifelong opposition to dam-building on the Colorado, including the fight to stop the dams proposed for Grand Canyon National Park. Litton, honored with the Sierra Club’s John Muir Award, was also instrumental in establishing Redwood National Park.
An avid river runner all his life, Martin Litton was never daunted by the ferocious whitewater of the Grand Canyon nor fighting government bureaucracy on behalf of the environment: ‘People always tell me not to be extreme. ‘Be reasonable!’ they say. But I never felt it did any good to be reasonable about anything in conservation, because what you give away will never come back, ever.
Running Time: 60 minutes
Grade 9, Adult
Closed Captioned, Scene Selection
A film by Mark Fraser, James Fox and Boris Zubov
Winner, Best River & Water Conservation Film, Mountain Film in Telluride
Official Selection, Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Official Selection, Aotearoa Environmental Film Festival. New Zealand
Broadcast on PBS ‘Natural Heroes’ series