Blame someone else
I am writing in response to Mr. Meyer’s letter to the editor criticizing Scott Hummer, the water commissioner, dated Monday, Aug. 19. I have worked closely with Scott Hummer for the last five years. Scott Hummer is one of the most professional, experienced and knowledgeable water commissioners in the state.
My understanding of Mr. Hummer’s comments at the Leadership Forum is that he was telling the ski areas that they need to plan accordingly, because even though they may have the water rights, the stream might either absorb those rights, or there may not be enough carrying capacity to deliver the water into the ski area diversion structures. It is also my understanding from talking to folks at the meeting that the reporter covering the story simplified Mr. Hummer’s comments significantly, implying that the ski resorts will not have enough water to make snow. If you want to blame someone or something, blame the paper and the reporter.
On a related note, it is Mr. Hummer’s job to help folks plan for situations like this one. It does not help to stick our heads in the sand right now. Drought happens, and we all need to plan and conserve accordingly. The town of Dillon is facing extreme shortages in its municipal water supply. Such shortages are cropping up all over the state. Farmers and ranchers are losing millions of dollars and possibly their livelihoods. No one living today has seen conditions like we are experiencing right now. I strongly recommend that folks put this in perspective.
Editor’s note: The story about snowmaking and Scott Hummer’s comments were not oversimplified. The story did center around Hummer’s advice to members of the Summit Leadership Forum that conservation efforts and forethought are needed so that there would be enough water locally to make snow – especially early-season snow – that is so vital to ski resorts. Sometimes, that kind of sage advice is hard to swallow.
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