Business coalition opposes West Slope water pipeline

A group of more than 250 businesses from seven states announced Thursday their opposition to a proposed pipeline that would transport water from the Green River on the Western Slope to the Front Range.
Protect the Flows, a coalition of businesses that depend on the river and its tributaries, timed the announcement of its effort to stop the pipeline with the start of a state task force reviewing the proposal. The coalition said in a statement that it has gathered resolutions from West Slope governments opposing the pipeline.
Concerned about effects on the region’s recreation industry on the Colorado River tributary, the coalition aims to lobby Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Colorado Conservation Board to drop the project. The 560-mile pipeline would stretch from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Southwest Wyoming over the Continental Divide to the Front Range and could cost at least $7 billion, according to the coalition.
“We depend on anglers, rafters, birders and hikers coming to our communities to fuel our economy,” Lisa Jenkins, executive director of the Grand Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. “This massive siphoning of water will decrease flows in the Green River by 20 (to) 25 percent, and cripple the annual $10 billion recreation-based economies that communities like Grand Lake depend on for our survival.”

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