CTU Rally in Denver – Save the Upper Colorado River
Today, January 26th 2012 Colorado Trout Unlimited got together for a rally outside of the EPA office in downtown Denver. Their objective was to raise awareness with the general public as well as show the EPA that people care. The issue is regarding the proposed Windy Gap Firming Project. If this project gets passed by the federal agencies including the EPA, Coloradans would see the mighty Colorado river flowing at 20% of the historic level. If flows go that low it puts the Upper Colorado in danger of loosing many of the major insect hatches that make this such an amazing fishery. Once the bugs disappear, so will the fish.
The message was clear. In order to save the mighty Colorado River and keep it healthy, wild, and stable, Colorado’s Front Range can not pull more water out of Windy Gap Reservoir. There needs to be a balance between the growing needs of the metropolitan areas along the Front Range and the preservation of Colorado’s natural resources. Pulling out more water from the headwaters of the Colorado is NOT solving anything for the growing demands. People need to understand that having green grass in the arid desert of the Front Range can no longer be a priory.
A few other points that were made by CTU’s president Sinjin Eberle, were about what it takes to keep a river healthy. Flushing flows each spring are essential for the ecosystem survive for the rest of the year . Since the Upper Colorado is damn controlled, and most of the water in the reservoir is owned by the Front Range, a small bump in spring flows is hardly enough. The water needs to be ripping like we saw in 2011. Big flows make for great angling opportunities. It puts lots of food in the water, clears out critical spawning gravel, and increases bug life. All these things make for fatter, healthier fish.
I can only hope that the Federal Government does not turn a blind eye to protecting the very namesake river of our great state. If we protect our headwaters the benefits can be felt down the entire length of the river system. Stay informed and get involved at Colorado Trout Unlimited.
Lets not have this flag stand for anything other preservation our wild places.
I hope the efforts of CTU and everyone who attended make a difference.