A water consultant says an endangered species recovery plan for the Colorado River puts burdens on promoters of water-development projects on the river and its tributaries.

Tom Pitts, who was hired by the Colorado Water Congress in 1985, said conservation groups have not passed formal resolutions pledging their support for the recovery plan. The resolutions would allow them to formally join a committee that will implement a recovery plan, he told the Wyoming Water Development Association.The recovery plan would protect the humpback chub, the pony-tail chub and the Colorado squawfish - three endangered species.

Pitts said the alternative to the recovery plan is a long, expensive court battle. A committee to implement the recovery plan was approved and signed this year by the governors of Utah, Wyoming and Colorado.

Even with the recovery plan, water-development promoters must consider the effects their projects would have on endangered species, said Pitts, noting mitigation measures sometimes are costly.