Get involved in the management of YOUR and YOUR water
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — It’s time for another edition of This Land is Your Land, with several upcoming hearings and meetings on issues that affect us all.
Public lands management and allocation of critical resources like water often appear to be controlled by special interest groups behind the scenes, but in reality, there is a well-defined legal process to ensure public participation — especially in the arena of publicly owned federal land.
It’s up to us to step up and assume responsibility for the fate of those lands.
Now, read the short blurbs below, check the links to inform yourself and then, fire up your computer and send in some comments. It’s up to you and me!
First, two members of the Colorado Wildlife Commission are holding an Oct. 21 session in Granby (the Inn at Silver Creek, 62927 Highway 40, 6 p.m.) to take input on potential impacts to fisheries and stream flows from the proposed Windy Gap firming project.
Trout Unlimited and other conservation groups, landowners and business owners, public officials, guides and outfitters and other concerned water users are rallying their troops to send a strong message: The Wildlife Commission needs to hear public concerns about growing environmental impacts to the Upper Colorado River — almost 70 percent of the natural flows of the Upper Colorado could be taken if the project goes through, which could lead to an ecological “tipping point” for the river unless these impacts are offset with meaningful mitigation measures.
Trout Unlimited has documented serious degradation of habitat, including a severe loss of sculpin, stone flies and other indicators of healthy habitat. The group wants the wildlife commissioners must hold the major stakeholders accountable for ensuring true protection of the river in this project.
Visit the Colorado Wildlife Commission online here. Some of the meetings are webcast live, and there is contact info for each member. Here’s the commission’s general e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another action alert comes from the Center for Native Ecosystems, advocating for strong land protection in the northwestern Corner of Colorado, where the Bureau of Land Management‘s Little Snake Field Office recently revised a management plan for the area. Here’s what the group has to say:
The Bureau of Land Management recently released their proposed management plan for the Little Snake Field Office in northwest Colorado. This plan governs the activities that will occur on 1.3 million acres of federal public lands over the next 20 years.
Though the plan does take some important steps to preserve the wild beauty of the Little Snake Field office, BLM could do better to ensure strong protections for native plants and wildlife. They need to hear from you!
Little Snake’s rugged topography features soaring plateaus, scenic river canyons, and sweeping sagebrush seas. The area is home to a host of threatened species, including greater sage-grouse, white-tailed prairie dog, and Colorado’s only population of the critically-imperiled black-footed ferret.
Other powerful interests would like to see the entire field office open to oil and gas drilling and other industrial operations. Without your input, these at-risk species may not receive the protection they so critically need. Let BLM know that you appreciate the work they have done, but they need to go further to protect iconic plants and animals in the Little Snake Field Office of northwest Colorado.
Filed under: Colorado Division of Wildlife, energy, Environment, gas drilling, oil drilling, public lands, rivers, Summit County Colorado Tagged: | Bureau of Land management, Dillon Reservoir, Public land, Woody Guthrie