Can you hear us now? On Wednesday morning, TU staged a boisterous rally on the steps of the Colorado state Capitol building, sending Gov. John Hickenlooper a clear message: “Don’t Suck the Upper Colorado River Dry.” A group of about 70 river advocates turned out to hear several speakers, including Drew Peternell, director of TU’s Colorado Water Project, who told the crowd that the recreation opportunities many Coloradans take for granted “will no longer exist” on the Upper Colorado if the river is not protected. TU Headwaters chapter president Kirk Klancke emotionally recounted how his children had worried about the health of the Upper Colorado and wondered if it would be there for them. And Field and Stream columnist Kirk Deeter offered an analogy to plans to take two-thirds of the Upper Colorado flows — would it be acceptable, he asked, if the state decided to take two-thirds of Pikes Peak, another Colorado icon? Read Deeter’s terrific blog post on that theme here.
The event received some good media coverage, including a report on Colorado Public Radio and a great column in the Denver Post by outdoor writer Scott Willoughby.
At the end of the rally, TU leaders took a giant postcard with a “Don’t Suck the Upper CO River Dry” message on it–along with a petition and letter with some 2,000 signatures and comments — to the Governor’s office, where it was received by his staff. The recent rallies and events have made clear that Coloradans care about their rivers and want them protected. Is Gov. Hick listening?