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Dolores River Coalition Launches Campaign

Posted: 05/21/2003

On June 7th the Dolores River Coalition will launch a campaign to protect some of the outstanding natural attributes of the Dolores and San Miguel basins in Colorado and Utah.

The Coalition is made up of local national and state groups. Member groups include the San Juan Citizens Alliance, Mesa County Wilderness Coalition, Dolores River Action Group, Citizens for Accountability and Responsibility, Environmental Defense Fund, Sheep Mountain Alliance, Colorado Environmental Coalition, Western Colorado Congress, Utah Rivers Council, Colorado Plateau River Guides, Colorado River Alliance, the Wilderness Society and others for a total of eighteen members.

The Campaign will be a long-term effort focusing on several areas of concern. Specific objectives of the campaign include the protection of the river and riparian habitat, improved flows in the lower Dolores River, the protection of lands qualifying for wilderness designation, the removal of exotic species such as tamarisk, the protection of endangered species and their habitats, protection of private lands through conservation easements and sustainable local economic strategies.

The campaign kick off will be held at the Dolores River Brewery at 7:30 on Saturday, June 7, 2003. For more information about the campaign or to get involved, contact the Chuck Wanner at the Dolores River Coalition at (970) 259-3583 or contact any of the member groups of the coalition.

Dolores River Festival June 7

Saturday June 7th the Town of Dolores is conducting a river festival celebrating the river. Novelty boat races, a river clean-up, educational booths, children s activities, fly fishing clinics and free raft rides will be among a full day of activities for the whole family. For more information on the festival call Gina Kotarski at 970-882-7720.

Here is something tangible you can do today:

Urge approval of the "Three Rivers Withdrawal;" EA#UT-062-00-046; Case #UTU75392.

The "Three Rivers Withdrawal" is a great project that will remove 202 miles of the canyons of the Colorado, Green and Dolores rivers in southeastern Utah from all mineral entry for the next 20 years. Also included in the 114,000 acre withdrawal are 50 miles of important side canyons.

The Environmental Analysis (EA) for this action has been in the planning and public comment period for several years, and the Record of Decision was recently signed by BLM Moab District Manager Maggie Wyatt. However, because it is a withdrawal it also requires approval from the Secretary of the Interior. The paperwork is now on the desk of BLM Director Kathleen Clarke and we need as many calls, faxes and e-mails as possible to convince her to get Gale Norton's signature on this important document so that the river canyons can be free of future mining intrusions like those that marred Westwater Canyon a few years ago and threatened that special place with far worse destruction. Now is our chance to protect the rivers.

Please contact Kathleen Clarke and tell her you support the Three Rivers Withdrawal. You can reach her at: phone number: 202-208-6731 fax: 202-208-5242 email:


Don t forget, the Lower Dolores, below the confluence with the San Miguel, is great boating, and should have adequate canoeing and small raft flows for a while!

Associated Projects

Lower Dolores Working Group (CO)
AW is working with a broad group of stakeholders to draft a new federal legislation that protects water and the iconic landscapes of the lower Dolores River.

Associated News