Four to be Inducted to River Runner Hall of Fame


Press Release

The John Wesley Powell River History Museum will induct a class of four people, Elzada Clover, Lois Jotter Cutter, Bill Belknap, and Katie Lee into the River Runners Hall of Fame during a two day event held on September 30 and October 1 in Green River, UT.

August 10, 2016 – The John Wesley Powell River History Museum in Green River, UT has partnered with regional conservation non-profit, Plateau Restoration, for the annual River Rendezvous and River Runners Hall of Fame banquet. The two-day event will be held on September 30 th and October 1 st , and will celebrate river history and culture through expert presentations, service opportunities, historic films, and the Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony. “This two day event is an amazing opportunity for people to experience river history, and hang around some of the legendary members of the river running community that are still around today,” said Tim Glenn, director of the John Wesley Powell River History Museum. “We’re so proud to partner with Plateau Restoration, and extremely excited to induct these important names into the River Runners Hall of Fame.”

Dr. Elzada Clover and Lois Jotter Cutter became the first women to run the entire length of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon as part of Norm Nevills’ famous expedition of 1938. Clover, a botanist at the University of Michigan, was a catalyst for the ’38 expedition and helped organize the trip in order to catalog the plant life on the bottom of the canyon. She and Jotter, her student and research assistant, successfully completed the entirety of the expedition, putting in at Green River, UT and taking out at Lee’s Ferry forty-three days later.

Bill Belknap has likely had a hand in reaching more individual river runners than any other person in the history of the plateau. A photographer and an adventurous river runner in the mid-twentieth century, he made several trips through the Grand Canyon (in both directions) during his lifetime. His photograph collection is extensive, and through the lens of his camera, he helped document a golden age of river running history. His son's waterproof Belknap river guides, which he helped develop, have become the most popular guides used on both the Green and Colorado Rivers. His impact on both independent and commercial river running cannot be understated.

Katie Lee is a songwriter, folklorist, and musician whose presence on the plateau has been loud and clear for over fifty years. Through reflections on life on the Colorado Plateau, she has produced a wealth of songs, books, and words that express her love for the desert rivers and the cultures they have created. Throughout her life, she has been a strong and prominent advocate for wilderness preservation on the Colorado Plateau.

The two-day event begins with a service project and evening film festival. Plateau Restoration is working to improve and restore an area on the Green River near the mouth of Gray Canyon that has been decimated by wildfires. The service project is free for anyone to attend, and includes lunch and expert presentations.

On Saturday, prior to the Hall of Fame ceremony, several informative sessions will be held at the John Wesley Powell River History Museum with presentations on Native Fish by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, a history of White Canyon by author Tom McCourt, and presentations by Dr. Dan Bean and Wayne Ranney.

For a schedule of events, or to purchase a ticket, visit or

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