Letter to the editor: Ask US Forest Service to stop proposed new reservoir
Please write to the United States Forest Service to stop a proposed new reservoir near Holy Cross Wilderness. The cities of Aurora and Colorado Springs want to build a new reservoir, taking water from Homestake Creek and its tributaries in the Holy Cross Wilderness.
They have applied for a special use permit as is necessary when any municipal or commercial entity wants to conduct business on public land. If allowed they would be able to conduct geotechnical test holes up to 150ft in depth at ten different sites to determine the optimal placement of the dam for the reservoir. Environmentally damaging new roads would be needed to conduct these intrusive exercises.
They are also proposing that 500 acres of land be taken out of Holy Cross Wilderness near the potential reservoir site. This conflicts with the ethos of this region. Many in this community remember rallying for wilderness protection here and in Eagle County and now there is a direct assault on those very values.
The White River National Forest is OUR land and the ecological damage cannot be allowed by this egregious proposal. The unique fen wetlands would be damaged and have not be proven to be able to be restored.
Instead of destroying our valuable land and water, I recommend that these cities engage in a robust water conservation initiative instead of decimating our land. Therefore, I urge that the USFS deny this special use permit and related categorical exclusion in connection with the Homestake Partners attempt at geotechnical investigation for water diversion from Holy Cross Wilderness.
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