In recognition of Icelandic National Day, here's a story about river conservation from 1907.
Sigríður Tómasdóttir (1871-1957) grew up on her family's farm near the Hvítá River in southwest Iceland. She would occasionally guide travelers to Gullfoss, a waterfall that plunges over 100 feet into the canyon below. In 1907, a group of foreign investors rented the waterfall from local landowners, and planned to build a hydroelectric dam across the Hvítá River. This would have submerged the falls.
Sigríður took legal action to protect the falls. She would regularly walk the 75 miles to Reykjavík to meet with her lawyer, Sveinn Björnsson (who later became Iceland's first president). Although their legal efforts failed, Sigríður's cause gained popularity throughout the country, and the hydroelectric project was cancelled.
She is considered Iceland's first environmentalist, and a statue of her stands near Gullfoss to this day.
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