Let's protect the Yampa
To the editor:
According to recent articles in the Denver Post and the Craig Daily Press, people here in Moffat County are expected to roll over and watch as two huge and powerful entities fight it out over who is going to preside over the ultimate destruction of the Yampa River.
This battle is taking place between the Fort Collins Water Authority, which wants our water for the people on the Front Range, and Shell Oil, which is claiming Yampa runoff for its future large-scale shale oil extraction projects. Both entities would like to siphon massive quantities of Yampa water into a gigantic reservoir north of Maybell, from which it will be transported elsewhere.
The incredible irony is that these organizations are battling each other over who gets to help themselves to our water, without even consulting the opinions of the people who live here.
Both entities state that they will only take "so much" of our water.
Don't believe it, folks - once they get a foot in the door, no amount of water will ever be enough to satisfy either of them. As soon as we have a couple of dry years, or as the demands for our water increases throughout time, the amount of water removed from the Yampa will increase.
Even if that were not the case, artificially controlling runoff flows will impact our river and our county in negative ways.
Instead of relying on our water, what should these thirsty entities do?
Well, large oil companies should get busy developing viable sources of alternative energy. It has to be done in any case, as there is only so much oil to be had no matter how much drilling gets done. Oil shale development is not a long-term answer to our energy problems.
As for the Front Range, they need to figure out better ways to manage their own water needs. If they want more water, let them destroy their own water systems to get it - the Poudre might be a good place for them to start.
The Yampa is the life-blood and the heart of Moffat County, and we need to protect it. We must stand up to corporate bullies who insist on having their way with our water without even talking to us about it.