The head of the San Juan Water Commission said a proposal to study the effects of water flow on endangered fish in the San Juan River would kill all future development and cripple the county economically.
A meeting planned in the Bureau of Reclamation's Salt Lake City office Tuesday will allow attorneys for those affected by the proposal to present alternatives.The proposal was contained in a draft memorandum that reviews a biological opinion from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in May. That opinion said the Animas-La Plata water project for northwestern New Mexico and southern Colorado would jeopardize the endangered Colorado squawfish.
The bureau proposed a five-year research project to study the effects of water flow on the squawfish and the endangered razorback sucker by using fluctuating flows from Navajo Reservoir.
Dunlap said the proposal would hurt San Juan County because every planned and previously approved diversion of water from Navajo Reservoir would have to go through a procedure under the Endangered Species Act that determines what impact, if any, water diversion would have on the species.