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2021 Colorado River Update: “We think Lake Powell is doomed.”

Hi Amazing Friends of the Colorado River!

A flurry of news stories over the last two weeks have brought the Colorado River to the attention of national audiences. The New York Times, Arizona Central, Colorado Springs Gazette, and the St. George Spectrum have all pushed out stories related to our work.

First, we are thrilled to take action against YET ANOTHER dumb dam project, this one proposed on the Virgin River near Zion National Park in Utah. We’ve locked arms with our good friends in Utah at “Utah Rivers Council” (and several other conservation groups) to provide comments during the federal government permitting process. You can read our comment letter here.

A story about this project recently appeared in the St. George Spectrum, highlighting that the project is strongly opposed by the conservation community and will be fought. Further draining the Virgin River right near Zion National Park is a ridiculous ides.

Second, Arizona Central published a story on January 1st highlighting our fight against Glen Canyon Dam. As climate change grips the Colorado River system, we think it’s essential that decision-makers consider decommissioning the Dam and letting Lake Powell drain into Lake Mead.

Further, we oppose the main tenets of what’s called “demand management” because we think it’s a waste of time, money, and farms to try and save Lake Powell. This good article by Ian James at AZ Central provides a balanced read on the issue of how climate change is impacting the Colorado River.

Third, our amazing boardmember and renowned Colorado nature photographer, John Fielder, was the subject of a long expose in the Colorado Springs Gazette. John is also one of the most impactful conservationists in Colorado history. Take a read of that story here.

Finally, the New York Times published a long story on how Wall Street investment firms are taking over the Colorado River by buying farms, creating hedge funds, and investing deeply in the diminishing water resource for the purpose of financial profit. Titled, “Wall Street Eyes Billions in the Colorado’s Water,” the piece highlights what we’ve called “Disaster Capitalism on the Colorado River” in other newspapers. To a point: We don’t believe that water markets and the commodification of water will ever be a positive step for any river, let alone the Colorado River. We support moving towards a “Rights of Nature” approach for managing river systems across the planet.

Again, welcome to 2021 and stay tuned for more updates!

— Gary Wockner, Director, Save The Colorado

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