Regional News: Protecting Rio Grande personal for ‘River Daddy’

Steve Harris stands beside a bus he uses to store rafting equipment. Harris continues to educate people about rivers and warns that overuse is putting the ecosystems at risk.
/Olivia HarlowThe New Mexican

By Michael Gerstein | Santa Fe New Mexican

Steve Harris’ backyard is drying up.

The cigar-smoking river guru considers the Rio Grande his home. Protecting the river — “the queen of them all,” as he calls it — is personal.

Although he got his start in journalism, Harris — known as “Uncle Steve” to some — has become an unofficial expert and longtime advocate for New Mexico’s dwindling waterways.

As a river guide and owner of Far Flung Adventures in Taos, a white-water rafting company, Harris takes intrepid adventurers and bureaucrats on trips along the Rio Chama. But the Pilar resident is more renowned for his ability to help others connect with New Mexico rivers, his near-encyclopedic knowledge of the state’s waterways and his tireless work as a river advocate for more than 35 years.

Because of his river advocacy efforts, Harris, 71, has been named as one of the Santa Fe New Mexican’s 10 Who Made a Difference for 2019.


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November 2019