Coyote Gulch's Colorado Water
The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land. -- Luna Leopold

Project Healing Waters

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

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From the Fairplay Flume: "Fairplay is going ahead with its plans to sell water to the Red Hill Forest subdivision, two miles southeast of town, according to a press release issued by the town of Fairplay. However, skepticism about the plan has been voiced in both Red Hill Forest and Fairplay. Fairplay Mayor Fred Boyce said in the press release that the cost to built the infrastructure to provide water to the subdivision will be paid by the subdivision, and town residents and businesses will not see an increase in the cost of water. As part of the deal, Fairplay would not lose any of its water rights to Red Hill, the press release said. 'The Town WILL NOT be selling or otherwise transferring any of its water rights to Red Will,' the release said. 'Any agreement entered into would be an agreement to provide treated water only.' In addition, the town would not be spending any un-reimbursed expenses in the project, the release said."

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
7:02:32 AM    

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From the Cañon City Daily Record (Debbie Bell): "Seemingly as out of place as a fish on a bicycle, a track excavator will carefully maneuver into place next week right in the Arkansas River as a fish habitat improvement project gets under way. Scheduled to begin Monday, the project between Ninth Street and Raynolds Avenue will install rock structures into the river itself while stabilizing and improving the river bank at the same time. The effort will close portions of the Arkansas Riverwalk trail during the next three to four weeks. The $25,000 project is a cooperative effort between the Colorado Department of Wildlife, the Cañon City Area Park and Recreation District, and three area chapters of Trout Unlimited."

More from the article:

The focus of the project is to provide boulder clusters and boulder veins in the water itself, as well as install downed cottonwood trees along the edge of the river and anchor them to provide wood structure habitat. Work will be completed along a 1.25-mile stretch of the Riverwalk. Another target of the project is to remove hazardous obstacles from the river that are dangerous not only to wildlife, but also to humans...

Heavy equipment along the Arkansas Riverwalk will necessitate closure of portions of the path during the project's three or four week life span...

The project is funded by the DOW, Rec District through the Cotter Natural Resource Damage and Recovery Fund, and donations from three Trout Unlimited chapters, Southern Colorado Greenbacks (Pueblo/Cañon City), Collegiate Peak Anglers (Salida) and Cheyenne Mountain Chapter (Colorado Springs). In addition, Front Range Aggregate and Rock and Rail Railroad are contributing sponsors by donating matching materials. Trout Unlimited also will provide volunteer manpower for finish work and replanting and revegetating the area. Adjoining private property owners support the project.

Category: Colorado Water
6:47:54 AM    

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From the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Thousands of factory farms will be exempt from needing permits that limit water pollution thanks to a new Bush Administration rule signed today. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency did not adopt improved controls for bacteria and other pathogens that can pose risks to human health and wildlife.

Factory farms, also known as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), confine animals on an industrial scale and produce massive amounts of manure and other waste that can pollute waterways with dangerous contaminants. EPA estimates that these facilities generate three times more waste than people do nationwide. Moreover, factory farms lack waste treatment facilities comparable to those that treat human sewage.

The new rule:

* Creates a loophole allowing facility operators to avoid permits by claiming they won't have a discharge.

* Adopts a scheme that allows facilities to avoid certain environmental enforcement. For instance, if an operator certifies that the facility won't have a discharge, environmental authorities will ignore enforcement action, even if the facility discharges to the nation's waters.

* Rejects improvements in technology that would reduce harmful bacteria and other pathogens contained in animal waste, missing an opportunity to prevent water pollution and threats to public health.

"Literally and figuratively, this rule puts the Bush Administration's stamp of approval on a load of manure," said Jon Devine, Senior Attorney in the Water Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). "Even though Congress specifically targeted factory farms for regulation under the Clean Water Act in 1972 and EPA has recognized the importance of these operations getting pollution control permits, the Administration stepped in it today."

"It's outrageous to see the environmental yard sale that marks the Bush Administration's final days in office," said Jeffrey Odefey, Staff Attorney at the Waterkeeper Alliance. "Clearly, industry lobbyists are picking up last-minute deals intended to preserve their right to pollute for years to come. Instead of offering meaningful protection of our nation's waters and communities, EPA has come up with an unworkable muddle that sets the country back by decades."

"Clean water is too important to allow polluting factory farms to continue business as usual," said Ed Hopkins, Sierra Club's Environmental Quality Program director. "Yet again, the Bush Administration has put private industry profits before public health."

Category: Colorado Water
6:42:13 AM    

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Reclamation is hoping to repeat the success of the New York Museum in a test of Pseudomonas fluorescens bacteria to kill off or reduce quagga mussels, according to the AP via the San Diego Union-Tribune. From the article:

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is beginning tests to see if a common bacteria can kill an invasive mussel threatening to spread across the West's waterways and damage systems that deliver water to millions of people in the region. Reclamation scientist Fred Nibling said a preliminary test was done this summer at Davis Dam, on the Colorado River at Laughlin, Nev. Quagga mussels were exposed to a dead form of Pseudomonas fluorescens bacteria, a non-infectious microbe that occurs commonly in food, soil and water. Reclamation decided to test the bacteria after a report by a researcher at the New York State Museum showed that both zebra and quagga mussels died after ingesting it...

This summer's initial test involved exposing mussels to the bacteria in jars. Nibling said the next test would be conducted in a 10- to 20-gallon aquarium under conditions that simulate water flowing through the dam. The water used is disposed of through the dam's evaporation pond and never enters the river. A third experiment will involve a domestic water intake line at the dam that's currently encrusted with 2 to 3 inches of mussels. "We'll have a series of tests where we're going to be testing off-line, off the river, so we can have the data to where we can apply for the permits to test elsewhere,[per thou] Nibling said. Reclamation could then do a larger scale test, possibly involving a marina. Open water tests would require Environmental Protection Agency approval and depend on the cost and availability of large quantities of the bacteria...

New York State Museum researcher Daniel Molloy confirmed the effects of Pseudomonas fluorescens on the mussels in 1998. The museum patented the invention, and in March announced that the Davis, Calif., firm Marrone Organic Innovations had been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to commercialize the technology. According to Molloy's research, when mussels ingest a high density of a strain of the bacteria, a toxin inside the bacteria's cells destroys the creatures' digestive tract. Mussels readily feed on the bacteria, making it superior to a treatment like chlorine, which causes the mussels to close their feeding valves defensively. The research also found the bacteria caused no mortality in fish and other desirable, freshwater organisms, including other shellfish.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

Category: Colorado Water
5:50:29 AM    

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From the Summit Daily News (Bob Berwyn): "After a long drought, local anglers may once again soon be hooking feisty rainbow trout in the Blue River. Hoping to rebuild wild populations of the popular game fish, the Colorado Division of Wildlife this week planted about 20,000 trout at three different spots along the Lower Blue north of Silverthorne."

Category: Colorado Water
5:36:24 AM    

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Here's a look at opposition to Amendment 52, from the Glenwood Springs Independent. From the article:

A coalition of eight mayors from Aspen to Parachute have all come out in opposition to Amendment 52...

Mountain Mayors, a group that includes the mayors of New Castle, Glenwood Springs, Basalt, Carbondale, Aspen, Rifle, Parachute and Snowmass Village, say while they understand the challenges the state faces in funding highway projects, the amendment does not give the Colorado Department of Transportation the tools it needs to address infrastructure and congestion issues. "Instead, it puts funding mandates in the constitution for transportation (at) the same time Amendment 59 proposes taking funding mandates out of the constitution," the mayors said in a letter released Thursday. Amendment 52 would maintain the current severance tax rate but, even if revenues increase, cap the money going to those state programs at the previous year's amount, plus inflation. State analysts say the Colorado Department of Natural Resources would get $181 million next year under current law, but only $92 million if Amendment 52 passes. The rest, $89 million, would be shifted to highway projects.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
5:26:46 AM    

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