From the Vail Daily (Derek Franz):
…Trout Unlimited, a non-profit conservation organization, is currently working to unite the Western Slope to ensure the region has a strong voice at the bargaining table [ed. during development of the Colorado Water Plan]. The group is asking governments to sign onto the Our Colorado River project, which outlines five “core values” that various stakeholders might agree upon.
“We’re trying to show unity and resolve on matters that have sometimes been points of contention between the agriculture and recreation communities,” said TU’s Colorado River Basin Outreach Coordinator Richard Van Gytenbeek. “By agreeing to these core values, we can provide a united focus on a common platform as we move toward the Colorado Water Plan, which is due in 2014.”
Gytenbeek said he has asked seven counties to sign the plan since this spring, including Eagle County on Oct. 15.
“I’ve also asked Routt, Summit, Gunnison, Garfield and Mesa counties,” he said. “Garfield and Mesa counties are the only ones that seem to be waffling.”
Our Colorado River project’s five core values are:
Cooperation, Not Conflict – Work together to ensure the Colorado River is able to meet our diverse needs, from agriculture to recreation and tourism. Cooperation is the key to sustaining our economy and way of life.
Protect Our Quality of Life – Maintain our open spaces through a vigorous agricultural sector and ensure that our rivers and streams are flowing and healthy.
Modernize Irrigation – Upgrade our aging irrigation infrastructure systems to make them more productive, economical and habitat-friendly.
Innovative management – Explore new ways to meet our water supply needs through innovative conservation and management practices.
Keep Our Rivers at Home – Leave water in its home basins and oppose new, large-scale, river-damaging trans-basin diversions from the Colorado River to the Front Range.