Conservationists offer alternative Colorado River plan

By Jennifer Yachnin | 04/01/2024 01:30 PM EDT

The seven advocacy groups want the Interior Department to weigh their proposal alongside competing state plans for managing the river.

A boat floats past bathtub rings showing how low Lake Powell levels have dropped

A boat in June 2022 floating past bathtub ring that show the decrease in water in Lake Powell in Arizona. Brittany Peterson/AP

Seven conservation groups are offering their own proposal for managing the drought-stricken Colorado River, urging the Biden administration to put environmental stewardship on par with other major uses of the waterway.

The coalition — comprising the National Audubon Society, American Rivers, the Environmental Defense Fund, Western Resource Advocates, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership — unveiled its pitch to the Interior Department on Friday, framing the proposal as an alternative to competing state plans.

“The innovative Cooperative Conservation Alternative broadens the conversation about future management of the Colorado River in the era of climate change, to be more inclusive of various interests, Tribes, and the environment,” said Sinjin Eberle, who serves as American Rivers’ Southwest communications director.


He added, “Expanding the scope of how water is managed to encompass a more realistic view of all pressures on the River puts forth a new vision to sustain the Colorado River and build resilience for the communities and ecosystems that rely on it for generations to come.”