I am a Western person

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It’s been a while since I published one of Justice Greg Hobbs’ poems. Here you go:


I am a Western person
educated to yellow cactus
flowers and snow
white peaks,

California to Colorado,
Alaska to New Mexico,
shaped for beneficial use
born to a higher purpose,

We are visitors,
lifetime visitors,
shaped for beneficial use
born to a higher purpose

Reprinted, with permission, from Colorado Mother of Rivers: Water Poems by Justice Greg Hobbs. Click here to order the book from the Colorado Foundation for Water Education.

NIDIS Weekly Climate, Water and Drought Assessment Summary of the Upper Colorado River Basin

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Here are Henry Reges’ notes from yesterday’s webinar.

More Colorado River Basin coverage here.

2010 Colorado elections: Scott McInnis and the Hasan Family Foundation background

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Here’s a background piece about the relationship between the Hasan Family Foundation and Scott McInnis from the Associated Press (Steven K. Paulson) via The Durango Herald. From the article:

Hasan says he was expecting Scott McInnis to work full-time for two years writing and lecturing on solutions for Colorado’s protracted drought, but McInnis delivered only a few speeches and submitted plagiarized essays before bailing out after only a month’s work to go to join a high-priced Denver law firm. “I looked at the grant sheet and realized that no amount of time had been specified for him to be working. I thought it breached our understanding, but it was a legally binding document,” Hasan said.

McInnis gave the foundation records that showed he gave a speech on Sept. 30, 2005, at the Colorado River Water Seminar in Grand Junction titled “Washington in the Rear View Mirror.” He also gave four other keynote addresses to the Delta Chamber of Commerce, the Davinci Institute in Denver, the Denver Rotary Club and the Colorado Mining Association, along with several television interviews…

Hasan said he became concerned about Colorado’s water problems while driving to monthly clinics on the Eastern Plains and added it to his agenda, even though it wasn’t part of the original mission. Seeme Hasan hired McInnis, whom she called “the most knowledgeable person in the state when it comes to federal and state laws regarding water and land issues.” Instead of solutions, the foundation says it got 59 pages of folksy “Musings on Water” interspersed with history and facts plagiarized from a 1984 essay written by state Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs, a nationally recognized water expert…

Hasan said his wife read the papers when McInnis turned them in and determined they were unpublishable, but Hasan said he was legally bound to pay McInnis because of the loose wording of the grant letter…

Hasan said he already had friends in the White House and in Congress when he hired McInnis to write the essays and didn’t need his help. “I’ve never gone to Congress for anything. The government can’t do anything for you, it can only get in the way,” he said.

More election coverage from Ashley Keesis-Wood writing for the Windsor Beacon. From the article:

Windsorite Aaron Lore, who stopped by the Main Street Grill to chat with McInnis, said one of his concerns was the environment. “What’s your position on in-situ mining?” he asked McInnis. In-situ mining is the process being proposed by PowerTech to extract uranium from more than 5,700 acres of land near Nunn. McInnis said he comes from a mining area in Colorado, and is generally a pro-mining and pro-jobs guy. “I’m not sure about the specifics of this project,” he said. “But I will look into it.”

More coverage from Westword (Michael Roberts):

[Monday], Scott McInnis made his first public appearance — at Adams State College in Alamosa — since word of his plagiarism problems broke. But according to Channel 7’s John Ferrugia, who was there, McInnis treated a subsequent interview like a game of dodge ball, repeatedly declining to answer direct questions about his now-infamous “Musings on Water” or the assertion from old family friend turned under-the-bus-tossee Rolly Fischer that he’s been lying…

It’s been widely reported that none of the attendees at [Monday’s] campaign event asked about plagiarism. But assuming that means the public in general doesn’t care about the topic may be a leap too far. “We were told in an e-mail back-and-forth that McInnis would be answering no questions about the Rolly issue,” Ferrugia says. “He would only be answering questions about farming issues.”

More 2010 Colorado elections coverage here.

Denver Federal Center based Reclamation team is researching poison, blasts of ultra-violet light, shock waves and the introduction of a mussel-destroying predatory sunfish as possible methods for the control of invasive mussels

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From The Denver Post (Bruce Finley):

The researchers testing these tactics say some seem to work and, if proved, could save tens of millions of dollars by protecting western hydropower and water delivery facilities against the proliferating Eurasian quagga and zebra mussels. “Once the mussels are there, this would help control them,” said U.S. Bureau of Reclamation mussel program coordinator Leonard Willett, who this week was supervising tests at dams along the lower Colorado River.

Lab tests of the poison are “very promising,” he said. It contains Pseudomonas fluorescens — derived from a bacterium that destroys mussels but apparently not fish. The Environmental Protection Agency has been asked to issue an emergency permit allowing open-water tests…

One tactic involves installing underwater UV-ray devices on pipelines. Mussels inside pipes respond to sudden, intense ultraviolet light by closing up, rendering them unable to attach. Testing of underwater cylinders that emit pulses of energy and discourage mussels from attaching is underway at Colorado’s Leadville Fish Hatchery. Teflon-like coatings also are being tested. And, while quagga and zebra mussels have no natural predator in the United States, researchers are exploring the possibility that a type of sunfish, if introduced, could devour mussels…

This year, the mussels’ spread in Colorado has indeed slowed. A suspected colonization of Blue Mesa Reservoir, west of Gunnison, was not confirmed. Mussels in Pueblo Reservoir and others appear to be somewhat contained, perhaps due to periodic colder temperatures that inhibit breeding, Hosler said. “In Colorado, for right now,” she said, “it looks like we’re winning.”

More Pseudomonas fluorescens coverage here. More invasive species coverage here.

Natural Resources Defense Council: One out of three counties in the U.S. lower 48 states faces an increased risk of water shortages due to climate change

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Here’s a report on the study I linked to yesterday, from Bobby Magill writing for the Fort Collins Coloradoan. From the article:

Larimer County’s water supplies – and those of most of the state’s mountain counties – are at little risk of diminishing in the face of climate change because Northern Colorado could see more precipitation as the Earth warms, not less…

Some of the most devastating effects on water supplies will be felt up and down the Great Plains, including Weld County and Denver, according to the report…

Climate change might pose moderate to extreme risk to water supplies in Jackson, Mesa, Delta, Montrose, Montezuma, La Plata, Alamosa, Rio Grande, Moffat and Saguache counties in addition to those in the Eastern Plains, according to the report. The study’s lead author, Tetra Tech principal engineer Sujoy Roy, said Tuesday that Colorado’s Eastern Plains are at high risk of seeing their water diminish by mid-century because of the region’s heavy use of groundwater, which could begin to dry up…

Larimer County is expected to see more precipitation as temperatures rise, lowering the risk to the county’s water supplies, Roy said.

More coverage from Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

In particular, Pueblo County, the Lower Arkansas Valley and Eastern Plains are among the areas to be hardest hit if temperatures increase and water supply dwindles, as predicted by 16 varying climate models. A report by Tetra Tech for the Natural Resources Defense Council used publicly available databases and a set of models from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to evaluate the risk posed by climate change…

The report mirrors concerns the Colorado Water Conservation Board has been dealing with in statewide water supply, but puts into focus the impacts that would be anticipated strictly in terms of water demand for agriculture. The report looks at climate and takes other changes, such as growth or the export of existing water supplies into account, said Sujoy Roy, principal engineer and lead report author. “The goal of the analysis is to identify regions where potential stresses, and the need to do something about them, may be the greatest,” Roy said.

More coverage from USA Today. From the article:

High-risk areas include parts of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The rising risk results from decreases in precipitation, based on 16 leading climate models, and increases in water demand, based on current growth trends. The report says water demand is projected to increase by as much as 12.3% between 2000 and 2050. “This analysis shows climate change will take a serious toll on water supplies throughout the country in the coming decades,” said Dan Lashof, director of NRDC’s Climate Center, adding that the only real solution is “meaningful legislation” by Congress to reduce global warming.

More climate change coverage here and here.