Real-estate investor Aaron Million's modest proposal to build a 550-mile pipeline to move water from southwest Wyoming to Colorado's Front Range has lots of critics. But a major challenge facing opponents is how to get city types to understand what's at stake, including the spectacular scenery and recreation of the Green River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir. Unless you're into trophy-class fishing or road trips, you may never have visited the area.
So Trout Unlimited and other conservation and sportsmen groups have put together a film and presentation by a Green River native and taken it on the road. Green With Envy celebrates the Green as a vibrant ecosystem and the $118 million-a-year tourist economy flowing out of the boating and fishing to be had at humongous Flaming Gorge.
Million's plan, the subject of a 2009 feature by Joel Warner, calls for moving 81 billion gallons of water annually from the reservoir to municipalities in Colorado, including several in Douglas County. The costly project has hit a few snags, including a recent refusal by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to grant a preliminary permit. But the river's defenders are keeping the pressure on with their own education campaign.
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"The fight is far from over," the promoters of the film claim in a press release. "Aaron Million, the wealthy entrepreneur behind the project, has already announced he will resubmit a stronger proposal in the near future."
Green With Envy plays in Fort Collins on March 22 and in Durango on April 7. For more information, check out the It's Our Dam Water website.