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Kevin
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Discussion Starter #1

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Mr. Kevin,

I skimmed through the link and the petition and it is still not clear to me what dangers the Animas river system is facing. Does someone want to put a dam near Baker's bridge? I'm all for the Animas staying just the way it is.... Wild and beautiful. Please clarify if possible.

Thank you,

Wade
 

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Kevin
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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I agree. I think we all (the paddling community) want it to stay like it is. There is no immediate threat. This group is pushing a forward thinking dialogue in hopes of potentially securing Wild and Scenic designation as a recreational status. The River Protection Workgroup will facilitate local dialogues, followed be regional dialogues and will then make recommendations to legislators about how to best protect various stretches of area rivers, including the Animas. Wild and Scenic designation would likely include some sort of federally designate water right and would ensure that federal dollars would not be used to help fund any new impoundments. None are currently planned, and the only conditional water right tied to an impoundment site is at a site in Howardsville, upstream of Silverton. It is owned and connected to the Animas La PLata project (ALP), currently Lake Nighthorse, and given that there are likely more users downstream to sell water to, ALP will likely not develop the right up at Howardsville, unless it became profitable to do so (say with a new mining or milling operation-pure speculation, like I said, no immediate threats).

At the moment there are representatives from County Commissioners, the Forest Services, City officials, and other vested interests (mining, water development, enviros, and very few, mostly commercial boaters). This petition will help secure the opinions of affected boaters for the record as the conversations move forward.

Hope that helps,
Kevin
 

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don't bogart that
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How about Zinc

When we did the water quality for the lower town section, metal concentrations from American tunnel, Cement creek were causing the Animas to be void of reproductive capabilities from Cement to Hermosa creek. I think they are throwing $10 million at the problem but that will only be a band-aid. Every one needs to sign this petition so to give more weight to the river and keeping it healthy. Silverton may or may not need a super fund site to clean up the river. The mining has polluted the Animas and Silverton is afraid to really admit their problems due to some day they would like to be known for mining again and not selling rubber tomahawks and ATV rides to overweight steam engine train riders.
 

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Just signed. Anyone that's been down this stretch of river knows that it's one of the most visually spectacular canyons in CO and reminiscent of some of the more impressive in the world. Not to mention the crystal clear water that provides miles of continuous quality whitewater that's virtually impossible to find anywhere else in CO and it's quite clear that it's an area worthy of wild and scenic designation.
 

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Interesting comment on the Upper of the Animas. "Void of reproductive capabilities from Cement to Hermosa Creek". What species are not reproducing? As an avid fly-fishermen and paddler, and also one who paddles the Upper thru Baker's regularly, I've fished various locations from below No Name through Rockwood down through Baker's. All spots have been quite productive with some rather large trout for the taking.

I completely agree with KSC...the Upper is spectacular and so much fun. No permit for Rec, ridiculous camping, spectacular overnight, good side creeking.
 

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Interesting comment on the Upper of the Animas. "Void of reproductive capabilities from Cement to Hermosa Creek". What species are not reproducing? As an avid fly-fishermen and paddler, and also one who paddles the Upper thru Baker's regularly, I've fished various locations from below No Name through Rockwood down through Baker's. All spots have been quite productive with some rather large trout for the taking.

I completely agree with KSC...the Upper is spectacular and so much fun. No permit for Rec, ridiculous camping, spectacular overnight, good side creeking.
I didn't think anyone paddled upper through bakers regularly. For those who have run Rockwood gorge, isn't it fairly burly and flow dependent?
 

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I worry that this is going the way of Brown's Canyon. The attempt to get a new land desgination on Brown's (Wilderness Area) is unabashedly marketed as a measure to attract more people to the area (currently the largest impact on the canyon). They say it will protect it from "future threats". Tread lightly and be leery.
 

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Rockwood can be run at just about any level. Super mellow at low water. Intimidating Class V when its high. Some people run Bakers regularly.

The Upper A will never be Brown's Canyon (thankfully). The water is too cold, the weather is too harsh, it has a few rapids that are too hard, the water levels are too hard to predict, and the access is too much of a pain. Basically, it takes too much effort to ever be as popular as the Arkansas.
 

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Kevin
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Discussion Starter #18
Signatures needed!! This petition will be shared on Thursday, 2/28 with the River Protection Workgroup. Some more signatures would be great. The general result will be to show that recreational boaters support the group's recommendation that there be no new impoundments on the Upper Animas, to support the work of the Animas River Stakeholders Group (who are addressing the water quality issues from area acid mine drainage), and leave suitability for future Wild and Scenic Designation on the table. Given that its a relatively small group that meets (15-20 people) a few hundred signatures would be a noteable segment for the record once this gets bumped up the chain for our legislators to consider. These processes are fast becoming the way our legislators vet these issues on the ground to see if there is community support or not in their decision to carry protection mechanisms through legislation.

On another note, if you support Wild and Scenic Designation of Hermosa Creek, send Scott Tipton a note Welcome to Congressman Scott Tipton (R - CO) | Congressman Scott Tipton (R - CO). His support in the House is crucial of the Bill that Senator Bennett will carry. Hopefully at some point we'll have more than 1/3 of 1% of CO rivers in Wild and Scenic status for future generations to enjoy.

I can't wait to paddle the Upper A rather than talk about it!
Kev
 

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Kevin
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Discussion Starter #19
"The Upper A will never be Brown's Canyon (thankfully). The water is too cold, the weather is too harsh, it has a few rapids that are too hard, the water levels are too hard to predict, and the access is too much of a pain. Basically, it takes too much effort to ever be as popular as the Arkansas."

I agree with Jmack. This is more about raising attention to the issues that could potentially affect the future of the Upper Animas. Water Quality is deteriorating because of acid mine drainage, there are conditional water rights along the corridor (yet to be perfected), and its hard to say how market conditions could affect the feasibility of another mining boom in Silverton. All that said, no dams and clean water in this stretch are at the heart of the issue and really what is being aksed for. Access is granted (for the most part) because most of the corridor is public land. Sure, there would be a potential marketing boon for the Train, Durango, and Silverton if Wild and Scenic were to become a reality. But because of the remote and challenging nature of the run itself, I don't think that this boon would translate to increased used impacts of any greater scale than simply the growing numbers of white water enthusiasts in general.

Kev
 
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