This petition, addressed to the Animas River Protection Work Group, seeks support from area private boaters for protection on the main stem of the Upper Animas (from Silverton through Baker’s Bridge) to ensure that its outstanding and remarkable values are protected for future use. The River Protection Workgroup or “RPW” is a community-driven project in Southwest Colorado that covers five river and stream segments.The purpose of this multi-year project is to bring diverse stakeholders together in a collaborative process to determine values needing protection – ecological, economic and social; to recommend the types of tools necessary, either existing or newly-developed, to protect the values; & to make recommendations in the context of striking a balance between the protection of natural values and water development. In the final report of this RPW process it will be critical to demonstrate that area boaters from played a role, advocated for protections and stand beside the (outstandingly remarkable) values that makes the Animas suitable to have this discussion. If you are supportive of actual Wild and Scenic Designation for any stretch of the Upper Animas River, please note that in the comments field of the signature page when signing this petition. More information about Wild and Scenic Designation is available at http://ocs.fortlewis.edu/riverprotection/sanjaun/pdf/FAQs_WSRivers.pdf
Petition:There are many reasons to protect the Animas River.The Animas is a free flowing alpine stream at the very headwaters of the San Juan and Colorado River watershed and we are all downstream stakeholders as a result. The Animas watershed is also the lifeblood of many ecosystems along its length.Additionally, the Wilderness corridor along the Upper Animas and consequent public access offer superb recreational opportunities for recreationalists of all sorts. The Durango & Silverton and Narrow Gauge Railroad that follows the banks of the Animas is yet another unique feature of this system and community that deserves protective inclusion as well. As a local stakeholder, I truly appreciate the proactive efforts of this group in coming to a consensus about how we protect this precious resource. While federal designation of the Upper Animas main stem, from Silverton to Baker’s Bridge, as a Wild and Scenic River would be the preferred tool to protect all current values and uses while ensuring that federal dollars would not support any new impoundments, I would favor any strategy that would accomplish the same result.