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Colorado River Update — FIVE GOOD NEWS STORIES!

Hello Friends of the Colorado River!

Yes, there’s good news and bad news, but we thought it would be useful to fill just one of these blogs with only good news, so here we go! FIVE GOOD NEWS STORIES!

First, YOUR VOICE HELPED MAKE A DIFFERENCE in San Diego! Recall back in July, we highlighted San Diego and its Mayor Kevin Faulconer as a “bad actor” who needed to take the drought seriously and pass stronger water conservation rules. Well, Mayor-Kevin-Faulconerthis week the City and the Mayor are in the process of doing just that. The City is moving forward with “Stage 2 Drought Restrictions” and Mayor Faulconer has publicly backed the proposal. In a news conference this week, Mayor Faulconer said, “The vast majority of San Diegans have conserved, and I want to thank them for their efforts, but unfortunately, these other circumstances require us to do even more.” Save The Colorado worked with San Diego Coastkeeper to highlight the City’s need to take the drought seriously and when the Mayor stated his position last week, the Coastkeeper thanked him for his support: “As we enter the fourth year of drought in California, and recognize the likelihood of cutbacks and rationing in Southern California in the near future, we have to plan for long-term changes,” O’Malley said. “With the mayor’s support and continued work by council members David Alvarez and Ed Harris, we can bring San Diego into alignment with water conservation measures practiced throughout the state.” Read the whole story here in the Times of San Diego. Thank you — your voice made a difference!

Second, last week a federal district court upheld the ban on uranium mining in the Grand Canyon! Led by the super eco-fighting law firm Earthjustice, the fight to stop img_3578_smalleruranium mining near the Canyon included tribal, environmental, and national park stakeholders. Uranium mining pollutes land and water, and mares landscapes. The court ruling upheld the U.S. Department of Interior’s decision to ban mining. You can read more about it here on the Sierra Club’s website. Thank you to everyone involved in this fight!

Third, tomorrow President Obama is slated to designate the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument! The San Gabriel Mountains is the entire mountain backdrop for the City of Los Angeles, and also is the crucial watershed for protecting part of the water supplies for the City. Just last month, Save The Colorado worked with the Los Angeles Waterkeeper to support this designation, and so we are absolutely delighted to see President Obama act so quickly to get this job done. We offer a huge thank you to all of the groups involved with San Gabriel Mountains Forever which have worked for years to protect the mountains, and we offer an EVEN HUGER thank you to President Obama! Read about the new monument in the Los Angeles Times here.

Fourth, local rafters in Moab fish a HUGE culvert ouf of the river!  Take a look at this whopper of a story!  Last week, a flash flood near Moab apparently washed this giant_culvert_fished_out_of_colorado_river_m7massive culvert from a side canyon down into the Colorado River. Local rafting companies didn’t just float by the culvert, they organized themselves and spent a 12-hour day getting the dangerous obstacle out of the Colorado River. A big thank you to Scott Solle and his team at Canyon Voyages Adventure Company for organizing his rafting colleagues to remove this hunk of steel. Take a look at the story in the Moab Sun News here.

Fifth and finally — and I know what you’re thinking…can he actually find FIVE “good news” stories for the Colorado River this week? Yes We Can! — people in Wyoming despise new dams on the Green River! Take a look at this heartwarming public opinion poll that came out of Wyoming last week which shows very little support for massive new dams. The poll is in response to Governor Matt Mead’s attempts to push forward a Wyoming Water Plan that could support new dams across the state. You can read more about it in WyoFile here.

There! You didn’t think we could do it, did you? Five Good News Stories. Next week we will return to our regularly scheduled doom-and-gloom programming.

As one last note, tomorrow — Friday — is the last day to tell Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper to focus on water conservation in the Colorado Water Plan. Please click through here to send him an email at the end of this public comment period.

Have a great week and thank you for your support!

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