Flaming Gorge Task Force: Colorado conservation organizations have collected 16,195 signatures opposing funding the task force (and the project) as of this morning

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The groups plan to ask the Colorado Water Conservation Board not to fund a proposed task force that has been approved by basin roundtables throughout the state…

As of Thursday, more than 13,000 [ed. 16,195 as of 5:30 a.m. today) had signed the online petition at the Change.org website.

From the Change.org website:

As population increases along the Front Range of Colorado, from Pueblo to Fort Collins, some developers and water utilities have proposed projects to ship and sell more water to the region. One extreme proposal is to take 81 billion gallons of water every year out of the Green River at Flaming Gorge Reservoir in southwest Wyoming and pump it 560 miles across Wyoming, up and over the Continental Divide, and down to Colorado. This proposal – called the “Flaming Gorge Pipeline” – could cost up to $9 billion. If it were constructed, it would deliver water at a price that would be the most expensive in Colorado’s history.

The true cost only begins with the outrageous financial figures. The environmental damage would be severe. A world-class trout fishery, the ecosystem within Dinosaur National Monument, and other important habitat would be harmed by the project. This, in turn, would hurt the local tourism economy, and take away recreational opportunities that are the core of our Western way of life. This great river system and the people who depend upon it need your help to speak up for its protection!

On September 13, 2011, the Colorado Water Conservation Board – which is appointed by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper – will consider a $150,000 grant request from a regional water authority pushing the Flaming Gorge Pipeline to create a special task force to study the proposed project. There are existing stakeholder forums, such as the Interbasin Compact Committee, that can, and are, evaluating this project and others, but the pipeline’s proponents want a special process with their rules and their participants. We are petitioning the Colorado Water Conservation Board to deny this grant request – taxpayer money should not used to study or support a project that would irrevocably damage Colorado’s rivers.

Please sign the petition. You do not have to live in Colorado to sign – anyone, anywhere who wants to protect the Green River and the Colorado River can sign on.

More Flaming Gorge pipeline coverage here.

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