Conservancy urges no on `A’ | AspenTimes.com
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Conservancy urges no on `A’

The Roaring Fork Conservancy, a nonprofit watershed conservation group dedicated to preserving and protecting the rivers of the Roaring Fork Valley, urges voters to vote “no” on the statewide ballot question known as Referendum A. Referendum A proposes an increase in the state’s debt by $2 billion to support water infrastructure projects. The Conservancy has highlighted the following issues in its opposition:-Referendum A does not specify the locations or types of projects that would be supported through the bond proceeds.-It mandates a start date of at least one project by 2005, raising the question of whether adequate and smart planning will be done or is even possible given this deadline.-It does not require mitigation or compensation to “basins of origin” that would supply water if a project were trans-basin in nature.-It allows the governor full decision-making power regarding project selection.-It is geared toward large projects (costing $5 million or more), suggesting a focus on additional dams and/or major diversions.-While it allocates a portion of bond funds to conservation projects, which could promote water conservation and improvement of existing water storage facilities, this amount is minor in proportion to the total (5 percent), and these types of projects don’t generate the kind of revenue needed to pay back the bonds.-Finally, there is a question of fiscal responsibility, as there are no guidelines specified within Referendum A for how revenues will be generated in order to pay back the bond debt, which could be as high as $4 billion.You will be taking a step toward protecting the rivers and streams of the Roaring Fork watershed and away from enormous uncertainty by voting “no” on Referendum A. For additional information about Referendum A, please visit the Conservancy’s Web site at http://www.roaringfork.org.Shane HarveypresidentRoaring Fork Conservancy Board of Directors


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