Western Communications Coordinator
503.827.5700 x. 10
5/2/2003 -- Portland, OR -- Trout Unlimited commends the Bureau of Reclamation for its recognition that the precious water resources of the West are rapidly dwindling as populations increase. What is important now are the still unknown details of the plan and how it will be implemented. If it truly emphasizes increasing water conservation and water use efficiencies, we will do everything we can to help them implement it.
If, on the other hand, it is simply a repackaging of some of the Interior Department’s flawed strategies, such as putting the interests of water users over the needs of endangered salmon in the Klamath Basin, or giving away federal reserved water rights to undermine flows of the Gunnison River in Gunnison National Park in Colorado, then we will work hard to oppose the proposal.
We appreciate that the proposal did not recommend changes to key conservation laws, such as the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and that it did not recommend construction of new, wasteful and destructive dams to increase water storage. But the proposal now enters into a policy arena where it will be reviewed by allies of the Interior Department, in Congress and the states, some of whom seek to weaken the ESA and to finance construction of wasteful new water storage dams. How will Interior and the Bureau respond to those ideas? The answer will make or break this proposal.
Mission: Trout Unlimited is the nation’s largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization, with some 130,000 members nationwide.