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Letter: Decades of hard work and good science

I was disappointed in the obstructionist approach of the Upper Colorado River Watershed Group (UCRWG) and Save the Colorado (STC) in their response to the Environmental Assessment (EA) of the Windy Gap Connectivity Channel that was printed in the March 18 paper.

There were several options studied in the EA but only one picked as the logical option to move forward with. This option is to construct a mile of new stream channel around the existing, federally permitted dam.

The request by UCRWG and STC to delay the project to study breaching the dam is based on politics and not science. STC and UCRWG have come in at the eleventh hour in hopes of delaying any decision made, which will delay construction of the project intended to start this May. Delaying the project start threatens the project’s federal grant, which must be used soon or will be lost.



Reconnecting the Colorado River is the single most environmentally important project for the aquatic and riparian health of the Upper Colorado River. Stalling this project until federal funding is lost will be as damaging to the river as putting the dam on its mainstem in the first place.

Decades of hard work and good science have been done on this project by West Slope groups like Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Colorado River District, Grand County Government, the Middle Park Water Conservancy District and Trout Unlimited. The science is there and the funding is too. Fringe groups like UCRWG and STC should be working with these reputable people instead of trying to obstruct a good project that science concludes will be the single most important project in healing the aquatic habitat of the Upper Colorado River.



Kirk Klancke, President, Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited

 


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