Many Summit County wetlands are well-protected by local rules, but Supreme Court rulings in 2001 and 2006 left some regulatory gaps. Wildife and conservation groups are advocating for passage of a federal law that would update the Clean Water Act.
New report highlights gaps in Clean Water Act protections for five Colorado wetlands, including a rare fen in nearby Park County
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — A pair of U.S. Supreme Court rulings from 2001 and 2006 have put valuable Colorado wetlands at risk, according to a new report published jointly by the National Wildlife Federation, Trout Unlimted and Ducks Unlimited. A copy of the report is online at the end of this story.
Together, the court decisions limited to scope of federal wetlands protection by narrowing the definition of navigable waters. Across the country, about 20 million acres of valuable wetlands without visible connections to larger lakes and streams have been left without federal protection, according to the report released Feb. 9.
Without regulatory oversight, the small streams, ponds and bogs are subject to being filled or drained without any mitigation. The cumulative losses could have significant impacts to water quality, flood control and wildlife habitat, the conservation groups said.
In Summit County, local wetlands regulations have filled the regulatory gap to some degree, but planning officials have been discussing updates to the wetlands regulations to address the changes resulting from the Supreme Court decision.
Filed under: Environment, Summit County Colorado, wetlands, wildlife | Tagged: Clean Water Act, Clean Water Act Restoration, Colorado Wildlife Federation, conservation, Ducks Unlimited, Environment, National Wildlife Federation, Summit County News, Trout Unlimited, U.S. Supreme Court wetlands, water, water quality, wetlands, wildlife | Leave a comment »