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Colorado River Update for March: Rights of Rivers and The Dam Truth!

Hi Friends of the Colorado River!

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

First, we are thrilled to keep you posted about our new “Rights of Nature for Rivers” program! We launched the program in January and we are already at work with local communities across the state of Colorado and Utah to help put in place “Rights of Rivers” laws and regulations at the municipal level. Our new program also seeks to win the hearts and minds of local communities and jumpstart a new conversation about the necessity of river protection.

We are partnering with the Boulder, Colorado-based Earth Law Center on the new program. The Earth Law Center was founded over a decade ago and has worked with communities and governments across the world to help establish Rights of Nature laws.

Save The Colorado’s Rights of Nature program has already begun discussions with people and groups on Boulder Creek in Boulder, CO; Cache la Poudre River in Fort Collins, CO; Saint Vrain Creek in Lyons, CO; South Platte River in Denver, CO; Yampa River in Steamboat Springs, CO; Eagle River in Eagle and Vail, CO; Las Animas River in Durango, CO; San Juan River, in Bluff, UT; and Colorado River in Moab, UT

Second, our battle to stop the Gross Dam expansion in Boulder County, Colorado, is moving forward fast and furious. Denver Water, which is trying to build the tallest dam in the history of Colorado, has now started the permitting process with Boulder County, and we are right in the middle of it. We will battle this project every step of the way.

Denver Water’s application was totally incomplete, and we sent strong comments into Boulder County that the application needed to be rejected. Thank you all for sending in comments to Boulder County – over 1,000 of you sent in comments! This dam would not only further drain the headwaters of the Colorado River, it would be the biggest and most environmentally damaging construction project in Boulder County history.

In addition, our federal lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for giving a permit to Denver Water, is continuing to play out. We expect to be filing briefs soon arguing that the Army Corps violated the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. We will enforce those federal laws to the strictest letter, making sure that everything can be done to stop construction of this project. Stay tuned for how you can continue to be involved!

Third, we continue to lead the fight against a proposed dam in and near the Holy Cross Wilderness in Eagle County, Colorado. Just upstream of the Colorado River near Vail, the proposed dam would destroy pristine wetlands on Homestake Creek and send nearly 10 billion gallons of new Colorado River water over to the sprawling Denver metropolis every year.

We have filed stinging comments with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and are leading a coalition of groups to stop the project. Just last week, the USFS issued the permit for the project and we are preparing for a legal battle.

There are now TWENTY FIVEthat’s right 25 – proposals for new dams/diversions/pipelines in the Colorado River basin that would further drain and deplete the river. Save The Colorado is the only organization that tracks them all, and fights to stop them wherever we can.

All of our other legal and advocacy fights are still moving forward including:

  • Federal lawsuit against the operating plan for Glen Canyon Dam.
  • Intervention against FERC permits for three hydropower dams near the Grand Canyon.
  • Intervention against proposed dam on the Little Virgin River in Utah.
  • Intervention against the Lake Powell Pipeline in Utah.
  • Bird-dogging the proposed new dam on the Little Snake River in Wyoming that is supposed to start permitting this year.
  • Bird-dogging the proposed new dam on the White River in Colorado that is supposed to start permitting this year.

Your support makes all of the difference! Please donate online by clicking here:

THANK YOU for your support!

Gary Wockner, PhD
Executive Director, Save The Colorado

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