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Save The Colorado Draws Line In The Sand Against Holy Cross Wilderness Dam Project

For Immediate Release
June 30, 2020
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310

Save The Colorado Draws Line In The Sand Against Holy Cross Wilderness Dam Project

Eagle County, CO: Today, Save The Colorado and three additional conservation groups submitted a stinging comment letter to the U.S. Forest Service against proposed geotechnical exploration to support a proposed dam in Eagle County. The project, which is being called the “Whitney Creek Geotechnical Investigation Project“, proposes to perform a “Geophysical Survey” and “Subsurface Exploration” to help the applicants — the cities of Aurora and Colorado Springs, both across the continental divide — decide where to build a proposed dam. The dam proposes to divert a new ~10 billion gallons of water (30,000 acre feet) out of the tributaries to the Eagle River which flows into the Colorado River downstream.

Save The Colorado and the conservation groups argue that the Forest Service needs to perform a full-blown Environmental Impact Statement process, not a “Special Use Permit” that is “Categorically Exempted” from an EIS. Further, the groups argue that the dam should never be built because of its significant negative environmental impacts to the river system, the Holy Cross Wilderness Area, and to sensitive wetlands — called “fens” — that would be destroyed.

“I have explored most of Colorado’s 66 million acres, the plains, foothills, river canyons, and the Rockies. Some of the most extraordinary photographs I have made in all 45 years are from the Holy Cross Wilderness.” John Fielder, Nature Photographer, Summit County

“We will fight this project every inch of the way,” said Gary Wockner, Director of Save The Colorado. “Further draining the river system, destroying a piece of a Wilderness Area, and wiping out rare wetlands won’t happen on our watch without a long, hard battle.”

Save The Colorado is joined in the letter by conservation groups including Colorado Headwaters, Wildearth Guardians, and Sierra Club. The University of Denver Law Clinic is representing the groups.

The comment letter is posted here. Today, June 30, is the end of the public comment period.

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