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Colorado River Update: Save The Colorado Digs In To Protect The Grand Canyon

Hi Friends of the Colorado River!

The attack against the Grand Canyon is accelerating and we are deep in the fight to protect this amazing and beloved National Park.

First, back in November of 2019, a hydropower company put in an application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build dams in the Little Colorado River. One of the most beautiful places in the U.S., the turquoise water of the Little Colorado River is beloved by tourists and locals, as well as being a critical piece of the Grand Canyon ecosystem. Save The Colorado, in coalition with other groups, jumped at the chance to defend this special landscape and river system. We ‘intervened’ in the FERC battle and are awaiting the company’s next move which we will fight vigorously. See our November 2019 press release here.

Second, in March of this year, yet another hydropower company proposed to create a multi-billion dollar “pumped hydropower” scheme above Lake Powell. Because the project would invest billions in keeping Lake Powell operational, we jumped at the chance to oppose it. Lake Powell and its Glen Canyon Dam are one of the most controversial and most environmentally damaging projects in U.S. history, as well as causing massive negative impacts on the Grand Canyon. The entire flow of water through the Grand Canyon, and ecosystem in the Grand Canyon, has been severely negatively impacted Lake Powell. Glen Canyon Dam needs to be torn down, not further buttressed with a multi-billion dollar hydropower scheme, and so we intervened again against this FERC application along with a coalition of groups. See our March 2020 press release here.

Finally, on Monday of this week, we jumped into yet another fight against a proposed dam near the Grand Lake Powell bathtub rings crowding La Gorce Arch, Davis Gulch off Escalante RiverCanyon. A hydropower company is proposing yet another “pumped hydropower” storage project in “Big Canyon” near the Grand Canyon. We joined a large coalition of groups fighting against this project, all with the support of Earthjustice, the nationally recognized law firm, to intervene in this FERC permit. See Monday’s press release here.

This push to further dam the pristine landscapes around the Grand Canyon is yet another aspect of the MASSIVE effort to build new dams and diversions of water across the Colorado River basin. We oppose every project — all TWENTY SIX of them (see our website here) — and we are in the thick of the battle working as hard as we can with the resources and coalitions available to us. Across the Colorado River ecosystem, the dam builders and river destroyers are in high gear, and we are in high gear responding to them and fighting against them.

Let’s be point-blank and loud and clear — GROWTH is trying to devour the Colorado River ecosystem. More water and more electricity are proposed to be diverted and created to feed the unquenchable thirst for GROWTH across the fragile Southwest U.S. We are standing in the way of every single project. Our attorneys and scientists are hard at work fighting and stopping projects at every turn and crook in the river system.

Thank you for your financial support — it keeps us working hard to passionately defend this river system!

Gary Wockner, Director, Save The Colorado


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