12:11pm

Wed May 16, 2012
Environment

Two Colorado Rivers Make 2012 Endangered River List

This year’s list of the 10 most endangered rivers in the country includes two Colorado streams. The environmental group American Rivers ranked the Crystal River 8th, and the Green River - which flows through Wyoming, Utah and northwest Colorado - as the 2nd most at risk.

Neither river made the most endangered list in 2011 [pdf].

The organization’s Colorado Director, Matt Rice says Crystal made the list because of the proposal to build dams and create tributaries along the river.

“Dams obviously have huge impacts on our rivers. They change the timing of the flow. They block sediment and gravel transport which is incredibly important for these types of snow melt fed river systems. They can impact recreation and they certainly impact water quality.”

With the Green River, it ranked toward the top of the watchlist because of the proposed Flaming Gorge Pipeline. Rice says sending water from the river to Wyoming and the Front Range would negatively impact fish and wildlife habitats as well as recreational opportunities.

America's Most Endangered rivers of 2012

  1. Potomac River (MD, VA, PA, WV, DC)
  2. Green River (WY, UT, CO)
  3. Chattahoochee River (GA)
  4. Missouri River (IA, KS, MN, MO, MT, NE, ND, SD, WY)
  5. Hoback River (WY)
  6. Grand River (OH)
  7. South Fork Skykomish River (WA)
  8. Crystal River (CO)
  9. Coal River (WV)
  10. Kansas River (KS)

Update 1:32pm: American Rivers says the main threat to the river is a proposed dam and reservoir planned a few miles upstream from the town of Redstone. But as Aspen Public Radio’s Luke Runyon reports, water providers say the proposed dam may be necessary in the future when water is more scarce...

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