Trout Unlimited: Upper Colorado ‘on the brink’

By Bob Berwyn
summit daily news
SUMMIT COUNTY — Increased diversions from the Fraser River, in Grand County, could put the entire Upper Colorado ecosystem at risk, a coalition of environmental groups warned Friday.

“We’re really nervous. The rivers are only so resilient,” said David Nickum, director of Colorado Trout Unlimited. “You can’t talk about these systems in isolation,” he said, referring to a Denver Water proposal to take more water out of the Fraser River and across the Continental Divide.

“Multiple water diversions have pushed the Fraser River to the brink of collapse,” said Kirk Klancke, president of the Colorado Headwaters Chapter of TU, based in Grand County. “This is a river on life support.”

Nickum and Klancke were referring to a draft environmental study on the Fraser River project. The conservation groups said they’ve already been talking with Denver Water, and that the utility is open to discussing the issues. The draft study was released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Friday.

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