Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

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U.S. Water News Online: "The city [Flagstaff] has signed off on a five-year contract extension to sell treated wastewater for snowmaking at the Arizona Snowbowl ski area, even as a federal appeals court ponders the legality of using the water. The extension was approved without action by the Flagstaff City Council as an administrative matter, city officials said. The contract carries three five-year renewal options. The ski area plans to being snowmaking operations next winter if a federal appeals court now weighing an appeal by Indian tribes doesn't block it. The project would use up to 1.5 million gallons of treated Flagstaff wastewater a day from November through February. It would be piped 14.8 miles from Flagstaff, across Lowell Observatory and into a 10 million gallon storage pond.

"Several Indian tribes, including the Navajo Nation, have sued to stop the snowmaking plan, alleging that a ski resort expansion and the use of reclaimed water is an affront to their religion and its existence. They also argued that the water may be harmful."

We're going to see more of this type of conflict here in the west. Others are moving ahead like Parker and Aurora.

Category: Colorado Water

6:18:12 PM    

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Dirk Kempthorne's Department of Interior has decided to propose listing the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, according to the Washington Post. This is news because the administration had been resisting policies that embraced the science around global warming.

From the article, "Identifying polar bears as threatened with extinction could have an enormous political and practical impact. As the world's largest bear and as an object of children's affection as well as Christmastime Coca-Cola commercials, the polar bear occupies an important place in the American psyche. Because scientists have concluded that carbon dioxide from power-plant and vehicle emissions is helping drive climate change worldwide, putting polar bears on the endangered species list raises the legal question of whether the government would be required to compel U.S. industries to curb their carbon dioxide output. 'We've reviewed all the available data that leads us to believe the sea ice the polar bear depends on has been receding,' said the Interior official, who added that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials have concluded that polar bears could be endangered within 45 years. 'Obviously, the sea ice is melting because the temperatures are warmer.'"

Thanks to Political Wire for the link.

7:01:13 AM    

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Conservation easements are used to keep land out of development. They're catching on big time in Colorado, according to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. From the article, "About 38 land trusts in Colorado have protected more than 620,000 acres since 2000 - a 183 percent increase over the volume of protected private land six years ago, according to a study conducted by the Land Trust Alliance. Only California and Maine have more private land protected under conservation easements than Colorado...

"The Land Trust Alliance's study claims that the United States is losing about 2 million acres of farmland, forests and open space annually, while agrarian landscapes are being converted to shopping malls, subdivisions and highways. But faced with the prospect of seeing their farm and ranch land transformed into tract housing, increasing numbers of landowners are seeking conservation easements for their land to prevent unwanted development from occurring, the study says. Nationwide, the total land area conserved by land trusts totaled 37 million acres in 2005."

Thanks to New West for the link.

Category: 2008 Presidential Election

6:49:00 AM    

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