Printed letters, June 12, 2013

In his May 30 column, Josh Penry called Glen Canyon Dam “indispensable.” A more appropriate term is “obsolete.”

A recent study by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation found that rising water demand and declining flows have created a water deficit of 1 million acre-feet per year in the Colorado River Basin. This deficit is predicted to increase to 3.2 million acre-feet per year by 2060.

Lake Powell is a big part of the problem. Lake Powell loses vast amounts of water through evaporation into the desert air and seepage into its porous sandstone banks. Both Powell and Lake Mead downstream have been shrinking since 1999 and are now less than half full. The water supply of 2 million people who depend on Lake Mead is in jeopardy.

A better option is the Fill Mead First plan, proposed by Glen Canyon Institute. This plan would change Glen Canyon Dam operations to allow water to fill Lake Mead before impounding water upstream in Lake Powell. Powell would be kept at a lower level, but still high enough to allow flood control, power generation, reservoir-based recreation and more natural water flow through the Grand Canyon.

Fill Mead First could save up to 300,000 acre-feet of water per year due to reduced losses from Lake Powell. This is almost a third of the current Colorado Basin annual deficit. Moreover, it would not require any new facilities, would be inexpensive, is technically feasible and could be put into action very rapidly. 

Glen Canyon Dam was built based on now-outdated 20th century assumptions. We need new solutions for the realities of the 21st century. Fill Mead First is such a solution. We urge the bureau to give it serious consideration.


Program Director

Glen Canyon Institute

Salt Lake City

JUCO committee, residents
receive thanks for hospitality

I just wanted to thank the entire city of Grand Junction for the wonderful hospitality shown each parent and player from the Central Alabama Trojans during our stay for the 2013 JUCO World Series — from our wonderful host family, the Redland Lions Club who became our “family” while there, to the waiters at restaurants we visited.

Each person was so warm and helpful during our stay. To try to name each person individually would be next to impossible, and I would be afraid I would leave someone out. Everyone made our time in your wonderful city a memorable moment. Of course, our win was just icing on the cake!

The JUCO committee and the city have formed a wonderful team to bring this special event into place and made it such a great experience.

Thank you so very much, and may God bless you all.


Fort Payne, Ala.


Environmentalists kill jobs,
use back-room settlements

This letter is in reference to the article, “BLM faces threat of lawsuit over oil shale.”

It’s hard to believe how vindictive the modern environmental movement is. They have essentially won their crusade against oil shale development by using public money to legally bully and manipulate the federal government into first eliminating most of the oil-shale-rich land from development, then making it economically impossible to lease the little bit that’s left over. And they have the audacity to sue yet again.

In this case, the enviro lobby’s excuse for killing jobs through litigation is that the BLM failed to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service in its decision to leave a few crumbs available for resource development. Enviros probably know full well the BLM couldn’t do so before evaluating individual leases, because, as the BLM spokesman said, “to do so earlier would be based largely on speculation.”

None of this matters to these groups. They have forged an entire industry out of making life more difficult for their fellow man by relentlessly attacking development that provides jobs and vibrant communities — development that also produces the energy we all need to keep us warm, produce our food, deliver needed goods and generally make our lives as rich, healthy and comfortable as they are. Their favorite approach is this kind of legal action, using back-room settlements with friendly bureaucrats to achieve what they can’t win at the ballot.

How long will Americans continue to put up with these underhanded tactics? Perhaps this time it should be the people of northwest Colorado suing the BLM, since it failed to list the American worker as an endangered species.


Grand Junction


It doesn’t take a committee
to change status of monument

I was dismayed to see that it is going to take a committee to write a sentence. How ridiculous.

If Sen. Mark Udall or Rep. Scott Tipton cannot write a one-sentence bill to change the designation of the monument to a park, then we need new representation in Washington.

All that needs to be said is, “The designation of the Colorado National Monument is hereby changed to that of a national park.” It will either pass or fail.
  We don’t need 300 pages of doubletalk that no one will understand or that will result in wasted funds. Let’s demand simplicity and logic from our representatives. Is that too much to ask?


Grand Junction


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