What Southwestern Water Conservation District Doesn't Want You To Know

Posted: 01/23/2002
by Nick Lipkowski

From the CITIZENS' PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE

Durango, CO-the Four Corners - A CO water district has filed suit in an effort to deny a non-prof corporation access to public documents requested under CO's Open Records Act. The "Southwestern Water Conservation District (SWCD) is using taxpayer dollars to inimidate citizens asserting their rights under the law. Their arrongance is staggering" said Phil Doe, Chair of Citizens' Progressive Alliance.

CPA, a public interest watchdog group with regional offices in Durango, Grand Jct., Littleton and Flora Vista, NM; is seeking records of correspondence between SWCD and the Navajo Nation pertaining to the highly controversial ALP.

For over 20 years citizens have encountered difficulties obtaining public documents from SWCD. In it's complaint, SWCD strenuously objects to the impossible burden of producing records which are admittedly public.

The SWCD has spent millions of dollars promoting and lobbying for the Animas-LaPlata Project (ALP); doing almost all their work behind closed doors in secrecy. Now the District is determined to keep that record secret. "They're simply stalling, paying one of their pricey law firms high fees to thwart the intent of the law," said Steve Cone, CPA's ALP coordinator.

In response to the SWCD suit, CPA has filed a Motion to Dismiss and Quash and an Application for Show Cause Order against SWCD. CPA contends that the denial of inspection by SWCD of public records properly requested was arbitrary and capricious and not in compliance with the law.

For further information see www.angelfire.com/al/alpcentral/