Below the Belt

Opponents of the Animas-La Plata project say Durango's ex-mayor got down and dirty.

Proponents of the water project, the first phase of which would be paid for mostly by the federal government, include Durango-area real estate interests, "dryside" farmers and ranchers, and leaders of the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribes ("Rough Waters," June 13). The opposition is a coalition comprising environmental activists, anti-development and taxpayer groups, and members of the Ute tribes who, noting that there is no funding to bring the water to their reservations, oppose it on economic and cultural grounds.

Stanford says she opposes the project on environmental grounds. Mahlum, a political-science major at Fort Lewis College who describes herself as a "far-right-wing Libertarian," says she opposes it "because it is not the job of the federal government to build it...If it was a private enterprise, fine."

Other opponents of the project vow to take the Morrissey incident up with the governor.

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