Press Release Dec 12, 2012

New Colorado River Basin Study Provides Important Analysis, Misses Opportunity by Omitting National Parks Perspective

Statement by David Nimkin, Southwest Senior Regional Director, National Parks Conservation Association

“The Bureau of Reclamation’s Colorado River Basin Water Demand and Supply Study that was released today is an important piece of analysis that lays out the potential water demand and supply scenarios for the Colorado River basin through 2060, all of which is crucial to understanding the future need for cities, agriculture, hydropower, recreation and the environment of the entire basin. NPCA applauds the Bureau of Reclamation and its project study team for a step towards identifying healthy river flows in the basin.

“We are disappointed and concerned that the National Park Service and the resources of our national parks did not have a consistent voice or visible presence in the study. The national parks within the Colorado River basin are not only iconic parklands, they are also significant economic engines for the region. The successful protection of nine national parks and national recreation areas is greatly dependent on compatible river management. When most Americans think about the Colorado River, it is likely in connection to their experience with one of these nine highly prized national treasures that are truly defined by the river. Arches National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Curecanti National Recreation Area, Dinosaur National Monument, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Grand Canyon National Park, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and Rocky Mountain National Park all deserve better treatment from the government agencies that are responsible for safeguarding the future protection of the river and its surroundings. This study is an ongoing opportunity to guide management choices for the Colorado River; it is the responsibility of government agencies to ensure that America’s national parks are wholly incorporated into the complicated discussions for future management options.”


About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit

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