John's Open Road
The best experience is making mistakes … once you make a mistake, you'll never make it again.
- He moved around as a child, but his family always lived near the Colorado River.
- The river was always a source of recreation for him; he valued the simplicity of the outdoors, never felt materialistic.
- Started college but walked out in the middle of a math class because he knew he needed to find a career outdoors.
- He spent time laboring on farms, building homes-realized the thing that tied all of his interests together was the Colorado River.
- Worked as a river guide for 21 years, much longer than most people spend at that job; became the Colorado Riverkeeper in 2002.
- Always figured that there were nonprofit groups taking care of the river, then realized that no one was protecting the river's best interests.
- He quit his river-keeping job to form his own nonprofit, Living Rivers, with the explicit mission of conserving the Colorado River.
- Faces harsh criticism and threats for his conservationist work, but he relishes his adversaries because they facilitate healthy debate.