By Juley Harvey Trail-Gazette
The Supreme Court`s rulings in 2001 and 2006 narrowed protection to only “navigable waters,” leaving wetlands, ponds waterfowl habitats and the intermittent creeks and streams that run throughout Colorado`s mountains open to the jeopardy of pollution. Wildlife organizations say that more than 76,000 miles of Colorado streams (73 percent of the state`s waterways) are at risk because of the looser law.
“Headwater streams, especially the intermittent and ephemeral streams that are dry for parts of the year, are the ‘Rodney Dangerfields` of the water resource world: they don`t get enough respect,” Steve Moyer, vice president for government affairs for Trout Unlimited, said. “Yet the best science we have tells us how extremely valuable headwater streams are for drinking water, water quality and fish and wildlife habitat. If the Clean Water Act`s visionary goals are ever to be achieved, Congress must restore protection for these critical resources.”