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14 Tuesday August 25 2015 SPORTS RECREATION KAYAKING 6.8103 in x 6.3125 in By DALI CARMICHAEL BryanBrown59hastradedhislifeasaWall Street nancial advisor living in Beverly Hills California this summer to paddle the entire conuence of the Mackenzie Watershed from source to mouth. A self-proclaimed outdoor enthusiast origi- nally from Indiana this will be Browns third tripnavigatingamajorNorthAmericanwater- shed. In the past he has traversed the entire length of the Colorado and the Yukon Rivers and is hoping to break the Guinness world re- cord for longest solo kayak descent. On Aug. 1 as Brown passed through Fort Smith he sat down with the Journal to talk about his most recent journey. While he doesnt see himself as a bunny hugger as he called it nor an eco-warrior a strong desire to protect waterways has been a motivatingfactorforBrownoneachofhistrips. Iamsimplyinterestedinbig-pictureissues related to water he said. The U.S. has set the stage for the way the rest of the world poten- tially might manage an incredibly sensitive and scarce resource and we havent done it all right it can be done better. Almost three months ago Brown launched fromThutadeLakeBritishColumbia-themouth of the Mackenzie watershed - before paddling throughthePeaceRiverValleyintoAlbertaand up through the Northwest Territories. Along this route exists W.A.C. Bennett and PeaceCanyondamsandsoontheSiteCdam whichrecentlyreceivedpermitstobebuiltnear Fort St. John B.C. I chose this watershed this year because it is unique and somewhat endangered as are most big watersheds throughout the world Brown said. Whatever happens in the Mack- enzie as a result of the Site C dam is likely to happen elsewhere on Earth and if we all pay closeattentionwecanmanagethenaturalpro- gression in hopefully a rational way. A promise kept It was on a childhood family vacation to the GrandCanyonthatBrownrstrealizedhewanted totrylong-distancerafting.Atthetimeheand hisyoungerbrotherhappenedtobereadingabout JohnWesleyPowellanexplorerwhomadethe journeyalongthelengthoftheColoradoRiverin thelate1800s.Inspiredastheypeeredoverthe caverns and into the river the two boys vowed to make the same trip someday. Tragedy struck when Browns brother was diagnosedwithmusculardystrophyasayoung man. Despite the news Brown tasked his fel- low adventurer-at-heart with mapping out a route along the Colorado he wasnt surprised to learn when his brother died in 2012 that he had kept his word. When Brown nally took the trip in 2013 he saw rst-hand the damage done to the river overcenturiesofindustrialdevelopment.Water meters sat vandalized on the shores. Every so oftenhewouldbeforcedtoportagearoundthe many dams along the waterway. He noted the lack of sh in many areas including salmon andtheendangeredpikeminnow.Mostshock- ing to Brown was the fact that the watershed now ends at the U.S.-Mexico border. YoucouldthrowabaseballfromtheAmer- ican side and not hit a single drop he said. By traveling along the Yukon and Mack- enzie Rivers - both being primed for future development that will most certainly have an impact on the biological landscape of the re- gions-Brownhopestocreatemoreawareness ofthefar-reachingnatureofindustrialimpacts on waterways. We as Americans are ahead of you by one generationandthelessonsthatwehavetoteach are important ones Brown said. This has to dowithleap-froggingwhatshappeningonthe Coloradoandtryingtoapplythisintermediate term case to the Yukon and the Mackenzie. In the future he plans to write about each of his excursions to share his first-hand experiences. An American in the North Atlastcheck-inonAug.19Brownwasholed upinHayRiverfollowingaseriesofrainstorms in the South Slave. He has run into some other troubles along his way. In B.C. he was stopped for an extra 20 days by morel mushroom pickers who be- lieved him to be invading their turf. InFortVermillionhehadsomeitemsstolen includingapairofglovesandagallonoficedtea. Butasidefromtheseunfortunateoccurrences Brown said he had been overwhelmed by the kindnessoftheCanadianshesmetonhispath. People from the Midwest are hospitable but people from Indiana are aggressively hos- pitableBrownlaughed.PeoplefromCanada make people from Indiana look like ogres. These people have fallen all over themselves to be helpful. Bymakinganefforttoprotectwhathedeems as one of Canadas greatest resources Brown hopes to return the many favours. Wall Street advisor trades nances for kayak trip through the Mackenzie watershed PhotoDaliCarmichael Kayaker Bryan Brown pushes off from the Fort Smith boat launch on Aug. 1.