Water proposal threatens outdoor recreation
White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams was right when he said “you can’t replace 10,000 years of work” about a proposal to flood the Homestake valley near Minturn (“Aurora, Colo. Springs seek to drill on lower Homestake Creek dam sites,” July 17, Aspen Journalism).
The newly proposed Whitney Reservoir would flood one of the most beautiful wetlands in the state in an area along Homestake Creek, right next to the Holy Cross Wilderness. This is also one of the best places in the state for fly-fishing. Go up this valley any weekend in the summer and you’ll see all kinds people enjoying the many outdoor recreation opportunities that draw visitors from all over to the central mountains.
For those who don’t know where Holy Cross Wilderness or Homestake creek is located, it’s a creek that runs between Leadville and Minturn, and the water flows into the Colorado River. Aurora and Colorado Springs utilities applied together for a permit to drill underground near the creek and test where to best develop the large lake Whitney Reservoir to ultimately pump water to the front range.
I grew up fishing Homestake Creek and camping in Holy Cross Wilderness. This is a special place that should be protected for kids to visit to fish and camp in the future. What we ought to be doing is protecting places like Homestake Creek and Holy Cross Wilderness, not developing them, because there are less and less of these places left.
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