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Last River Lost

The Sacrifice of the Stanislaus

Original trailer for "Last River Lost" (2009)

"Last River Lost" brings to life the struggle to save the Stanislaus River in the 1970s, then threatened by the Army Corps of Engineers. In Spring 1979, Mark Dubois gained national attention when he put his life on the line to prevent the filling of the New Melones reservoir. His action, and the crash course in activism that the Stanislaus community experienced, left a lasting mark on the environmental movement in the United States and the world.


Introduction to "Parrotts Ferry is the Limit" (Don Briggs, 1979)

During the 1970s, photographer Don Briggs borrowed a 16mm movie camera to document the efforts of Mark and others in the organization Friends of the River as they attempted to stop the Army Corps of Engineers from completing, then filling, the New Melones Dam. Their goal: to prevent the reservoir from rising above Elevation 808 feet, the altitude of Parrott's Ferry, the river trip's take-out. The resulting film, "Parrotts Ferry is the Limit," is one of the key archival sources for "Last River Lost."


Excerpt from "Lady of the Mother Lode" (Gary Duoos, 1975)

In 1974 Proposition 17, a statewide ballot initiative designed to halt construction of New Melones Dam, failed. "Lady of the Mother Lode" was produced by the new organization Friends of the River to encourage continued activism to save the Stanislaus. This short version of the 20-minute film focuses on what was to be lost when the river was flooded: the swimming holes and fishing spots, the limestone caves and Indian petroglyphs, the Gold Rush history and what was then the West's most popular whitewater river.


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