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Colorado River Update: What Would Edward Abbey Say?

Hello Friends of the Colorado River!

The famous environmentalist, Edward Abbey, once said, “Sentiment without action is abbey-sentimentthe ruin of the soul.” We agree!

And that’s why we are doing our best to push both — sentiment and action — into the public debate about managing the Colorado River.

FIRST, HERE’S OUR SENTIMENT: Last week, Lake Mead fell to its lowest water level in history. That very same day, the main reporter who covers this story for the Las Vegas Review Journal, Henry Brean, called me to talk about it. I told him that the entire Screenshot (307)river is being managed very poorly — both for water supply and for river protection — and so this continued falling of Lake Mead is no surprise. In addition, while the agencies in Arizona, California, and Nevada are proposing to try and keep more water in the Lake, the agencies in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming are trying to further drain it!

He quotes me in his article: “At the same time the agencies in the lower basin are discussing cuts, the agencies in the upper basin are working to suck more water out of the river,” Wockner said. “It’s a zero-sum game.”

A few days later, the renowned environmental journalist, Abrahm Lustgarten, published a piece in the New York Times about the continued demise of both Lakes Mead and Screenshot (306)Powell in which he suggested it was time to consider draining Lake Powell and tearing down Glen Canyon Dam.

Abrahm reached out to me as well as our boardmember and former Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Dan Beard, who said:  “‘The Colorado River system is changing rapidly. We have a responsibility to reassess the fundamental precepts of how we have managed the river.’ That reassessment, Mr. Beard and others said, demands that even as new projects are debated, it is time to decommission one of the grandest dams of them all, Glen Canyon.”

Around the same time, another of our boardmembers, the famous nature photographer John Fielder, has been giving presentations about protecting the Yampa River and other rivers in the state of Colorado. During his presentations, John makes it point-blank and 20160506_201324-fielder1loud and clear that new dams and diversions are not needed to meet future water needs, but rather that conservation and water-sharing with farmers is the best path forward.

In short, Save The Colorado is OUT THERE in the media and in the public making our sentiment known far and wide. We are THE leading voice in the media and in events speaking out for the protection and restoration of the river.

SECOND, HERE’S OUR ACTION: At the same crazy time that the river and reservoirs are being drained, four new dams and diversions are being proposed in the Colorado River system. We are deep in the fight to stop every project! We agree with the President of the Waterkeeper Alliance, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., when he told the Denver Post, “The idea of taking any more water out of the Colorado River or its

Screenshot (308)tributaries seems like a kind of insanity right now.”

In Colorado, we are facing off against the Moffat Collection System Project and the Windy Gap Firming Project; in Utah, we are helping to fight the Lake Powell Pipeline; in Wyoming, we are leading the charge against the proposed Fontenelle Dam re-engineering project. We’re leading, or joining, coalitions of groups fighting these projects, we’ve injected scientific comments into the permitting process, and we’ve argued that conservation and water-sharing are faster, easier, cheaper paths forward.

In addition, we’ve also set our eyes on Glen Canyon Dam. The National Park Service is currently re-examining how it manages the dam, and we’ve inserted intense comments into the EIS process to argue that NPS has not taken climate change seriously, and has failed to fully analyze alternatives to protect and restore the Grand Canyon including draining Lake Powell and decommissioning Glen Canyon Dam. In fact, so far NPS has failed to comply with the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. They have another chance to right this wrong during the permitting process before groups like ours spring into action.

In short, we are taking action on every possible front to protect and restore the Colorado River and its tributaries!

SENTIMENT PLUS ACTION! That’s what you get when you support Save The Colorado! Twice per year, we reach out to you to ask for support for our work. We cannot do this work without your support! Please donate to Save The Colorado to keep the SENTIMENT and the ACTION moving forward.

Please Click Through Here To Our Website To Donate!

Thank you for your support — Let’s Save The Colorado River!

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