Erik Wilkinson's Times-Call Opinion Letter on the Fraser River

 

Our state’s resources have provided seemingly limitless prosperity for generations, but have also attracted growth and put our heritage in jeopardy.

One immediate example is the proposal to draw additional water from the Fraser River for the Front Range. Since the first water diversions to the Front Range were installed, the Fraser River has experienced a 60% reduction in its flow. Today there are plans to reduce the flows further, leaving the river with roughly a quarter its historic flows.

As a fisherman and conservation minded resident, I am concerned further reductions of the Fraser River and Upper Colorado River headwaters will lead to the death of the river system, impacting the surrounding communities.

This proposal states this water is required to meet future needs and claims no significant impact will occur. Environments are complicated and it is not possible to predict the consequences of our actions. Consider the draining of the Florida Everglades to provide more arable land: what could be wrong with draining a swamp? Today Florida acknowledges the Everglades are the life-blood of their state and is attempting, at great cost, to restore it. Is it reasonable to expect removing 75% of the water from a river won't have a similar effect?

There is a cooperative solution to water management in Colorado that meets all our needs and it begins with conversation. I urge everyone with an interest in the health of the Fraser River and all of Colorado’s rivers to learn more about the proposed Moffat project at www.cotrout.org and submit your comments to the Army Corp of Engineers by March 17, 2010. You can send comments electronically to Moffat.eis@usace.army.mil or by mail

to Scott Franklin, Moffat EIS Project Manager, Corps Denver Regulatory Office, 9307 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Littleton, Co. 80128, Fax: (303) 979-0602.

 

 

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