Skip to content

COLORADO RIVER UPDATE: We’re racing into summer to save our rivers!

Hi Friends of the Colorado River!

It is your support that keeps us working! Please donate online here:

First, we are thrilled to be recognized across the internet for the “First in U.S. History” appointment of Rights of Nature Guardians for Boulder Creek by the Town of Nederland, Colorado.

Called a “Rewilding Win of 2024” and highlighted on International Rewilding Day, our work in Nederland is reverberating across the U.S. and setting a precedent for how local communities can protect their watersheds.

The guardians appointed in Nederland, along with our support, have hit the ground running. We’re in a battle against a local mining company that has been polluting the tributaries to Boulder Creek, and we’ve filed a statement of opposition against the local ski area that wants to build several small dams in its watershed to divert more water out of a tributary to Boulder Creek.

These “guardians” are a test-case for us as we consider ramping up our Rights of Nature program across Colorado and the Southwest U.S.

Second, we’ve also filed statements of opposition against the water rights for two dam projects in Colorado – one in Boulder County near the Town of Lyons just north of Boulder, and one in Grand County near Kremmling.

The project near Lyons is called “Coffintop Reservoir,” named after nearby Coffintop Mountain, and we’re proud to oppose the massive dam on the South St. Vrain Creek that would loom over the Town. These water rights battles can take a year or so to work their way through court, but we believe it’s important to oppose the water rights early, before the dam concept gets any farther through the permitting process.

We’re super excited to continue our partnership with the University of Denver Environmental Law Clinic which is representing us in these cases in state water court. The Clinic has been an extraordinary partner for a small scrappy environmental organization like ours. Further, we’re helping to educate the next generation of river-protecting lawyers at the same time – a win-win! Stay tuned for the outcome of these court cases.

Third, we are ramping up our engagement in the new long-term Colorado River Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) being prepared by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. It’s through this process – that will play out over the next 24 months – that the biggest change in the river’s management is likely to occur.

We are going to argue hard that climate change is real, and that fewer dams, not more, are one of the answers to managing the system in a sustainable way. Right now, the Bureau is managing the entire system on a month-to-month basis instead of having any eye on future sustainability.

This campaign dovetails with our “Decommission Glen Canyon Dam campaign” and will be a centerpiece of our advocacy throughout. The EIS process is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get the Bureau of Reclamation to consider decommissioning Glen Canyon Dam as an official “alternative” that can be carried forward into future policy as climate change intensifies. We are asking our supporters to send comments to BuRec Commissioner, Camille Touton, arguing that climate change must be taken seriously in the EIS process and Glen Canyon decommissioning must be considered.

The link to send an email is here:

Finally, we are continuing to focus our fights against proposed new dams to a few projects where we think we can make a difference, rather than splattering our work over the entire Southwest U.S. These specific proposed new dams are in our crosshairs to oppose:

  • The White River Storage Project in Rio Blanco County, CO.
  • The West Fork Dam in Carbon County, WY.
  • The Whitney Reservoir Project in Eagle County, CO.
  • The “Defend The Fens” dam fights in Summit County, CO.
  • The Gross Dam fight in Boulder County, CO.
  • And maybe 1 or 2 others that rise to the surface.

So instead of fighting all 25 proposed new dams across the Southwest, we’ll focus on a few, but still play a supporting role to other groups who are leading in other watersheds.

Once again, we emphasize that we are a very small, very aggressive river-protection organization, and that it is solely YOUR SUPPORT that keeps us working and fighting to protect the Colorado River!

Please donate online: Or mail back the enclosed envelope today.

Gary Wockner, Director, Save The Colorado/Save The World’s Rivers

Back To Top