Browsing All Posts filed under »Rivers«

Beaver and Goats

March 12, 2014


boyz at the fallsSpring is here and my wife, Kirsten, and I are poking our heads out more and looking into environmental issues. In fact, it has felt like March in Utah since early February and it is good to get out. In addition my son, Nick, has been interning for Wild Utah Project and WildEarth Guardians, both environmental agencies. Kirsten hiked the Calf Creek Falls trail on Monday with her sister and two nephews strapped to their backs. Nick made a run down to Moab a couple of weeks ago to visit with the Forest Service, Wild Utah Project and the Grand Canyon Trust about exotic mountain goats recently plunked down on the La Sals. [ . . . more]

Our River Run Dry

November 18, 2011


The Colorado River does not make it to the sea. It's all used up 70 miles before it gets there, leaving the Colorado River Delta parched. Over 75 percent of the water extracted goes to agriculture. Whenever something about water use comes up in the press, watering lawns always comes up. That is the wrong grass. It's not lawns draining the river, it's hay. Buying up the virtual property right of water rights from farmers and ranchers is called "water ranching." I'll try to find more on that in the future. In the meanwhile, here's a piece from the New York Times on the river, and another interesting blog from a recent author on the subject, Jonathan Waterman (great name.)

Don’t do it for the cows!

November 7, 2011


If these otherwise well intentioned folks are taking out the trees so that the cows can get back in, they will find themselves going in circles. Other than that, way to go! . . . more>>

They are dry in the mouth too.

October 10, 2011


Just like the Colorado River does not make it to the Colorado River Delta and on to the sea, Australia's largest river, the Murray-Darling is dry in the mouth. A 10 year drought there has made for necessary changes. Brad Udall, director of the Western Water Assessment in Colorado, spent four months in Australia working with its Department of Water. Cally Carswell of High Country News explores with Udall what happens when the door is opened and more than special interests and lawyers are allowed in the room to talk about solutions. Udall says, "For 150 years, we’ve had three kinds of people in the room talking about water: we’ve had water users, we’ve had attorneys and we’ve had engineers. And for the most part, the public, economists and scientists have not been a part of this dialogue. In Australia, they don’t even let attorneys in the room — at least according to one gentlemen down there — when it comes to water. And they talk in these very holistic (terms): what’s good for our economy, what’s good for our social systems, what’s good for the environment — they have those three perspectives. It’s not just driven by the legal system, which is usually almost always the case here in Colorado." . . . more>>

Only one stream in Utah is wild and scenic?

October 7, 2011


Above all Utah is a wild and scenic place. Yet only one segment of one river in the state has been granted protection. There may be hope. Segments of nine rivers and streams in southwest Utah have been deemed eligible by the Bureau of Land Management for possible protection under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Zach Frankel, executive director of the Utah Rivers Council, said getting rivers or sections of streams designated as wild and scenic is difficult because of the required congressional approval. Frankel said his group has been identifying rivers for designation throughout Utah, but a congressional sponsor is needed and no one has shown much passion. Why the lack of concern? . . . more>>

Colorado is watching the water in streams with real money

October 3, 2011


Over 60 percent of the Colorado River's native flows are permanently removed at its headwaters by urban water systems, according to Colorado Trout Unlimited, and now two proposed water projects for Denver and the Front Range​ could take another 20 percent if enacted. The threatened Fraser River​ is a main tributary of the Colorado. It starts at Berthoud Pass, flowing for 32.5 miles — 19.5 miles in protected U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands — past Winter Park to Granby, Colorado. In 1992 Colorado voters overwhelmingly approved Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) to receive up to 50 percent of Colorado Lottery proceeds and use the funds on projects that protect and enhance Colorado's parks, wildlife, trails, rivers and open space, and more than 5 million people by last year. We can watch how that money is used to speak for the value of water in streams. . . . more>>

Conservative Utah Lawmakers Espousing More Debt and More Taxes

September 21, 2011


The water managers have already paid themselves $25 million studying the Lake Powell Pipeline. The project cost is going over estimates. There are other ways to get and save water. One must ask, who benefits the most here? . . . more>>

Grow Hay and Drain the Colorado River

September 20, 2011


The Flaming Gorge Pipeline Project (FGP) is a proposed diversion of the Green River at Flaming Gorge for the purposes of sending water to Denver and the front range of Colorado. The pipeline would follow the I-80 corridor and could head as far south as Pueblo, CO. The FGP is intended to withdraw 250,000 acre-feet of water per year from both the Flaming Gorge Reservoir (165,000 acre-feet) and the Green River above the reservoir (85,000 acre-feet). Since most of the water in the West is used for growing hay, might not hay be better place to find water? . . . more>>

A River Set Free

September 19, 2011


It's been twenty years from decommissioning to actual dismantling of the Elwha dams, but it's finally happening. Sweet for Washington, sweet for salmon. . . . more >>