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Western Rivers Update: We Are Taking Action in 2022!

Hi Friends of the Colorado River!

We are taking Action! First, we weighed in to support Nebraska’s Governor, who called out Colorado for trying to drain the South Platte River before it reaches the state line with Nebraska. As Govern Ricketts said, “Colorado is currently planning nearly 300 projects and over $10 billion to ensure no ‘excess’ water leaves their state. Their plans would cause up to 90% reduction in flows coming to NE.”

We’ve long opposed the Colorado Water Plan and its desire to drain every river in the state of Colorado, and we’re thrilled to see Nebraska’s Governor waking up. Check out our press release about the Nebraska Governor’s statements and plans here: “Nebraska Wakes Up and Opposes Colorado Water Plan; Save The Colorado Agrees”

Second, we’re happy to report that our engagement against a proposed mine in the Boulder Creek Watershed outside of Nederland, CO, has caused the State of Colorado to take action against the mine. Recall, the nearby Town of Nederland passed our “Rights of Nature for the Boulder Creek Watershed” resolution, and now we’ve teamed up with the Western Mining Action Project to hold the mine accountable.

The Colorado Sun newspaper has been extensively covering the story. See these stories about our work, here and here. The State of Colorado issued a “cease and desist” order against the mine, and the State fined the mine $5,000. While it’s unclear what exactly will happen in the future, the mine has issued multiple statements saying it will clean up its act, and we will continue to hold the mine accountable.

Third, a few of our fights against dams and diversions in the Colorado River basin will shift into a higher gear in 2022. A massive proposed dam on the White River in western Colorado will likely begin its decade-long permitting battle, as will the proposed Homestake III project in Eagle County, Colorado. We have our scientists and attorneys geared up to comment on these projects as soon as there’s an opportunity for public input.

The proposed White River dam fight jumps into the long-standing debate about the impact of dams on fish and ecosystem health. A recent study put out by Utah scientists indicates that the health of native fish in the White River depends on high flows of water, and that any new dams and diversions will negatively impact the fish. Our science team is keeping a close eye on all of the studies and projects to gear up for the battle to protect the White River in the near future.

Fourth, we excited to expand our global program, “Save The World’s Rivers”! We recently joined the “Global Alliance for Rights of Nature”, and the “Global Rewilding Alliance”. We’re locking arms with colleagues across the planet to learn from each other, support each other, and help each other protect and restore rivers.

I’ve recently been chosen to speak at a global conference and educational event, “Guardians of the River”, that will be held online in February. Guardians of the River has introduced the concept of “Rivercide” that I will be speaking about on the Colorado River. Rivercide is defined as: “the ecological death of rivers due to industrial activity, agribusiness, hydropower and chemical and plastic pollution”.

Finally, our work with North America Megadam Resistance Alliance (NAMRA) continues to power forward. A bit of good news is that Hydro Quebec recently announced that they have no new hydropower dams planned because wind and solar are so much less expensive than building massive hydroelectric dams. Read NAMRA’s year-end newsletter here.

We’re thrilled to expanding our work and programs in 2022. In addition, we’ll soon be helping to launch a new initiative aimed at Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River that we believe you will enjoy — wait for it!

We greatly appreciate your support of our work. Your support fuels our passion as well as our fundraising ambitions. We’re a small, provocative, outspoken river-protection organization and we don’t take money from big institutional funders so that there are no strings attached to our work. Remaining independent of other big groups and funders allows us to be nimble, agile, and laser-focused on fighting dams, supporting Rights of Nature, and protecting free-flowing rivers.

You can donate online to support our work by clicking here.

Thank you for your support!

Gary Wockner, Director.


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