Gila River diversion project likely to starve to death

Hayduke lives!

Twenty nine Native American tribes hold 20 percent of Colorado River rights and today there is conscious action to remove the Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona since Lake Mead could now hold the contents of Lake Powell.

In September we motored to Oracle, Patagonia, Bisbee and Morenci, Arizona from Santa Fe and were shocked by the ravages of surface mining at Silver City and in SE Arizona. Operations owned by Morenci and Miami are ravaging water supplies and reducing entire mountain ranges to piles of waste rock. These are Republican enclaves where the rules of law are simply suggestions.

In January the Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump Organization's Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and its local representatives saying the agencies are allowing cattle in restricted areas along the Gila River and its tributaries in southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona. Investigators from the Center discovered cattle on the Gila National Forest in excluded riparian zones in violation of a 1998 legal settlement. Because of pollution from cattle grazing American Rivers named the Gila the nation’s most endangered river in 2019. Today in the Gila the Mexican gray wolf population in New Mexico and Arizona has increased by at least 24 percent according to the Center's Michael Robinson.

Draining fragile aquifers and quietly lobbying for more water from the Gila River is the House of Saud who owns land in Arizona where it raises alfalfa to ship to Saudi Arabia.
The New Mexico Entity of the Central Arizona Project trained its focus on submitting comments to the draft environmental impact statement related to its proposed series of diversions on the Gila and San Francisco rivers during its regular meeting Monday, held via Zoom, but veered off into speculation about “collusion” and “corruption” by parties — including “multimillion-dollar radical environmentalist” groups and Arizona interests — who allegedly want to sink the controversial project. Because of significant delays during the National Environmental Policy Act study process, the Entity missed a deadline at the end of last year, one which cost it approximately $66 million in additional Arizona Water Settlements Act money that was solely to be used for constructing a diversion project. Allyson Siwik, executive director of the Gila Conservation Coalition, tuned in to Monday’s meeting and responded to Bays’ accusations by calling the draft EIS a reality check. “The facts stand for themselves,” Siwik said. “It’s been apparent from the beginning that the Gila River diversion proposal doesn’t make sense. The draft EIS shows that the costs of the project are much greater than the benefits, and irrigators can’t afford this very expensive water.” [Gila diversion group: Feds’ study ‘prejudges’ project]

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