In recent years the conflict between Grand County residents and Denver Water has been held in check by continued open communication and the water utility’s being sensitive to riparian and instream flow needs. The old animosity didn’t take much provocation to bubble back up to the surface however. Here’s a report about Wednesday’s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public hearing at Silver Creek, from Tonya Bina writing for the Sky-Hi Daily News. From the article:
[Fraser resident Kirk Klancke] took the podium Wednesday night at the Inn at SilverCreek in Granby where official comments on the draft EIS were being taken and outlined the dire need for flushing flows for first-aid treatment of the Fraser River and a plea for more time to review the 2000-page draft “environmental impact statement” document…
“If we don’t draw the line here, where are we going to draw it?” asked Mara Kohler of Kremmling. “How can we protect the rivers that sustain us, if we don’t sustain them?”
“There needs to be a massive education campaign in the Front Range and Denver,” said Randy Piper of Fraser during his three minutes, “educating them as to the dire circumstances we have. Tourism is a tremendous revenue-generator in this state. The people who come here don’t come to Denver to take long hot showers and run barefoot through the lawns. They come here to the mountains. The bottom line is: We need to conserve, not take more.”
Comments were directed to the meeting facilitator, Scott Franklin of the Denver division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency checking the methodology and modeling of Denver’s draft environmental impact statement in conformance with National Environmental Protection Agency protocol. The Corps’ objective, according to Franklin’s statements, is to keep in check “the national concern and protection of limited resources balanced against detriments.”[…]
“This project makes no mention of the horrendous degradation of the William’s Fork River,” commented Ray Miller of Grand Lake, a 30-year resident and former ranger. “And the Colorado River is over-allocated. This profound alteration of this watershed has been institutionalized so long, East Slope interests have come to (view) it as a given. It’s been going on so long, they’ve lost sight of how ecologically viable this watershed is in its natural state … The benefits of diversion pale in comparison to the benefits of sustaining this ecological system.”
More Moffat Collection System Project coverage here.