Can dams be positive? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-22-2003   #1
cosurfgod's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
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Can dams be positive?

Can a dam be a positive thing? On the east coast everything is damed and they enjoy a much longer paddleing season. The only rivers that are running right now are because of dams. If we had more dams would there be a longer paddleing season? It sounds crazy but is there any truth to it?

Let me have it.

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Old 10-22-2003   #2
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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depends on your perspective

Dams are great for houseboat/powerboat recreation. Bear in mind the fact that the same aspects that make for a good whitewater recreation experience - steep descents, narrow canyons, ample flows - also make for good damsites. If you want to give up a good whitewater run so that folks on the front range can grow lush, green lawns in a semi-arid climate, decrease flows on the Colorado and Arkansas due to trans-basin diversions, dams may be great!

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Old 10-22-2003   #3
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So true what Andy says. The best dam sites are the best river runs. They want to dam the Poudre say goodbye to some excellent ww runs.

If Colo Springs gets their dam built, say goodbye to the lower part of the Numbers down to Frog Rock... all underwater. If Denver water builds Two Forks, say goodbye to Waterton, Foxton and the Chutes. There were also projects slated at Cable rapid in the Gunnison Gorge that would have flooded that whole run. There was a plan to build a dam in Gore Canyon so that would be gone too.

I have never boated back east but it sounds like they have a lot more rivers with a lot more ww runs - maybe even some to spare. I guess having a lot of dams back there works for them. It's not the same out here. Just say no to Kentucky Bluegrass.
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Old 10-22-2003   #4
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There is more to it than length of season. check out and comment on the thread titled DAMS
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