Verde Makes America's Most Endangered Rivers List!

Take Action on this Issue:
http://actionnetwork.org/campaign/Verde_Endangered

Today Arizona's Verde River was named one of America's Most Endangered Rivers of 2006.

The Verde made the list because the City of Prescott and Town of Prescott Valley plan to build a pipeline and divert water from its supporting aquifer, paving the way for further development. But the inclusion of the Verde River on the America's Most Endangered Rivers list presents a unique opportunity to change the course of the river's future.

Please take a moment to join thousands of others who are contacting decision-makers and spreading the word about the Verde River. Action by citizens like you could make the difference for its future.

Please help spread the word about the Verde by forwarding this email to your friends, family and neighbors!

Send a letter to the following decision maker(s): Branch Chief David Castanon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, Region 2, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Protect the Verde River in Arizona!

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

As a concerned citizen, I urge you to fully evaluate all of the potential impacts of the Big Chino pipeline proposal in central Arizona through an Environmental Impact Statement. This unique riparian ecosystem will wither if the Big Chino aquifer is depleted, and with it, the economic and recreational opportunities it provides for so many.

The Verde River's pristine waters, clean air, scenery and wildlife are invaluable assets for nearby communities. The Verde River has thus far managed to thrive while playing dual roles: those of critical municipal resource and natural paradise. The Verde provides crucial irrigation and drinking water to Phoenix and irrigation water to many other communities in the Middle Verde. It also contains the only section of river to carry the national Wild and Scenic river designation in the state, and supports an outstanding display of riparian wildlife such as the bald eagle, roundtail chub, southwestern willow flycatcher, javelina and Arizona toad. Likewise, the Verde has long been a popular destination for recreational opportunities such as boating, hiking, fishing and bird watching, which have generated stable economic benefits for local communities.

Rapid urban growth, combined with the lack of comprehensive water use planning, threatens Arizona's rivers and groundwater supplies. The Big Chino Water Ranch project will exacerbate this water supply management problem on the Verde River. A reduction in the volume of water in the Upper Verde would reduce the availability of clean water in downstream communities and farms in the Verde Valley, diminish the recreational opportunities on the river, and threaten the health of many native fish and wildlife species.

Before any final decisions are made on the Big Chino Water Ranch project, I urge you to complete a full Environmental Impact Statement that not only addresses the impacts to species located on the lands that the pipeline will cross, but also the species that rely on the flows of the Verde River and its associated riparian areas. A "No Action" alternative should be included in this EIS, and all proposed alternatives should include appropriate mitigation for impacts to Upper Verde River flows and its associated riparian habitat.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,


cc: Asst. Field Supervisor Brenda Smith, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Chief Cindy Lester, Army Corps of Engineers Field Supervisor Steve Spangle, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Mayor Harvey Skoog, Town of Prescott Valley Mayor Rowle Simmons, City of Prescott

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