OARS and American Rivers Shine the Light on the Endangered Green River

River advocacy organization American Rivers has listed the Green River as one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers, due to threats posed by a proposed Flaming Gorge Pipeline.

Washington, D.C. – May, 15, 2012 – American Rivers named the Green River among America’s Most Endangered Rivers® today, shining a national spotlight on a boondoggle water pipeline proposal that would harm rural economies, world-class recreation, and critical fish and wildlife habitat.

“The America’s Most Endangered Rivers report is a call to action to save rivers that are facing a critical tipping point,” said Matt Rice, Colorado Conservation Director for American Rivers. “We all need healthy rivers for our drinking water, health, economy, and quality of life. We hope citizens will join us to ensure a healthy Green River for generations to come.”

Front Range water providers have proposed building a 500-mile long “Flaming Gorge Pipeline” that would send water from the Green River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Wyoming to Colorado’s Front Range. The project could potentially divert more than 250,000 acre feet of water from the Green River annually— water that currently supports a robust recreation and tourism economy, rural agriculture, native species, and urban water use downstream.

Veteran river outfitter, OARS, has joined with American Rivers in opposition of the proposed pipeline. OARS has been guiding whitewater rafting trips on rivers of the American West for over 40 years and together, with their subsidiary, Don Hatch River Expeditions, they have more than 100 years of combined outfitting experience on the Green River. The organization recognizes the importance of preserving the Green’s recreational opportunities and natural ecosystems for economic reasons as well as for the enjoyment of future generations.

Steve Markle, a spokesperson for the OARS Family of Companies, stated: “The Green River below Flaming Gorge Reservoir offers a family-friendly stretch of whitewater and world-class fishing through a series of beautiful desert canyons. The pleasant nature of the Green and its proximity to Salt Lake City make it an easily accessible river for first-timers of all ages and abilities and its waters need to be protected for future generations.”

The Green River is the largest tributary of the Colorado River, and carves some of the most iconic river canyons in the U.S. Thousands of anglers fish its water and thousands of rafters marvel at its majestic canyons each year, generating a robust rural economy across Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. The Green was listed as one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers® in 2000 because of the threat posed by dams.

Now in its 27th year, the annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® report is a list of rivers at a crossroads, where key decisions in the coming months will determine the rivers’ fates. Over the years, the report has helped spur many successes including the removal of outdated dams, the protection of rivers with Wild and Scenic designations, and the prevention of harmful development and pollution.