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A small win, a bad fall, and a Jewell!

Hello Friends of the Colorado River!

Whenever we have any kind of victory, it’s important to celebrate!  This week, a radical anti-environmental attempt to undermine the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act was stopped in Congress.  That’s good!  Congressman Cory Gardner (R-CO4), tried to insert an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act that would have fast-tracked dam and reservoir projects, undercut sound science, and undercut our environmental laws, but his colleagues did not support the amendment in the Water and Power Subcommittee of the U.S. House.  Gardner tried to create the “Office of Water Storage” in the Army Corps of Engineers, which could have hastened new dam and reservoir projects across the Colorado River basin.  You can read more in our blog here.  Gardner and other policy makers need to focus on alternatives to new projects and invest in conservation, recycling, growth management, and sharing water with farmers. Victory!

Jump out farther and pull that chute sooner — ouch!  The Colorado River itself isn’t just a recreational playground.  All around the Colorado River — including the vertical canyon walls near Moab — are home to climbers and base jumpers.  This week a video went viral of a base jumper, Ammon McNeely, who didn’t quite jump out far enough or pull his chute fast enough.  The GRISLY video (warning, graphic) shows McNeely bouncing off the canyon walls on his way down, and then McNeely himself videoed the grisly scene at the bottom of his leg basically torn in half.  Want some good news?  A few days later, McNeely reports that doctors think the leg won’t have to be amputated and he will walk again. McNeely is a world-famous and highly accomplished climber and base jumper.  All we can say is, Kids, Don’t Try This At Home!  We hope McNeely gains a full and speedy recovery.

Secretary Jewell speaks out about the Colorado River!  So far in her tenure, Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell has stayed pretty quiet about the Colorado River, which has been quite different than her predecessor, Ken Salazar, who was an outspoken supporter of protecting and restoring the river.  That changed yesterday during her speech at the National Press Club.  Jewell spoke out strongly about the problems facing the Colorado River, and acknowledged climate change and supported more water conservation efforts. “Climate change is upon us,” she said. “You see it in droughts throughout the West. You see it in the Colorado River. If you look at the levels in Lake Powell or Lake Mead or any of the other lakes that are in that region, you will see that we have a huge problem.”  We hope that Jewell continues to speak out in support of protecting and restoring the river, and continues to push for outdoor recreational opportunities across the basin.

Stay tuned for more updates — thank you for your support!


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