I watched with interest last night's topic that provided viewers with a capsulized version of Rogue River's historical record. It was disappointing to not see modern day suction dredgers in action.
However, Kerby Jackson, either with a sampling pan in hand or standing beside a stamp mill, tells the story of the early days of gold mining in the area. His commentary seemed unusually short, given the magnitude of mining's impact on the region.
Instead the show, being only 30 minutes in length, featured the pristine beauty of the upper and lower reaches of the Rogue River, providing us with narratives by the show's producer, Pat Kruis, and others not in the credits at the end of the show. Other segments of the show included tales about the numerous conflicts between early white settlers and hostile Indian Tribes which eventually led to the Indian wars in the Rogue River Valley that forced the Tribes off the Rogue River, moving them onto the Siletz and Grand Ronde Reservations.
Included in the TV production is an exciting story about the reshaping of the Rogue River by fishing guide, Glen Wooldridge, which was narrated by his Grandson, who told us about his daring Grandfather dynamiting truck-sized boulders to clear a navigable channel to the Pacific Ocean. Glen Wooldridge and a friend were the first men to make the perilous 95 mile voyage down the River from Grants Pass to Gold Beach in a $6 wooden boat in the 1930's.
In another segment, Laurel Gerkman lauds the actions of monopolist Robert D. Hume, the "Salmon King of Oregon" and self-appointed regulator of all activities in his domain starting at Gold Beach. Hume was granted rights to the tidal basin extending inland for 15 miles on both sides of the Rogue River. It was he, who first realized that unfettered taking of Salmon would eventually deplete his supply of Salmon for his cannery, and force him out of business.So Robert Hume established the 1st fish hatchery in Oregon and developed methods for the propagation of hatchery-reared fish stocks, starting way back in 1872.
Original film footage of the removal of the Savage Rapids and Gold Ray dams was included in the show, as well as a film clip of former President Lyndon Johnson signing into law the Wild and Scenic River's Act in 1968.
Unfortunately, most of show seemed to be dominated by the commentary of ODFW officials or a former ODFW employee, Jim Martin, supplemented by reflections of days of long ago told by Agnes Pilgrim, an Elder of the Takelma [Indian] Tribe.
Far from providing viewers with a neutral presentation of all of the facts, the show's producer, Pat Kruis, presented her viewers with scenes of recreational fishing, white water rafting, and families picnicking beside the river, leaving viewers with the impression the Rogue River still has Wild and Scenic River status, and all mining activities are detrimental to it's survival.
Last edited by weezy
on Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.