Mountain News: What mountain rivers will help Denver grow? 

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Another idea calls for a diversion from the Yampa River, about 65 miles west of Steamboat Springs. The Yampa is tributary to the Green.

Still another thought sees a potential water source in Blue Mesa Reservoir, west of Gunnison. The water, some 200,000 acre-feet annually, might not actually be withdrawn from the reservoir; but the water stored within the reservoir might be appropriated for diversion to the Front Range.

Recently, reports the Crested Butte News , state representatives visited water district officials in the Gunnison area to talk about the long-term big picture. Harris Sherman, the executive director of the state's Department of Natural Resources, said the state needed to be "looking 20, 30, 40 years out."

Complicating the envisioning is the likelihood of reduced water supplies because of warming temperatures and changed precipitation patterns. While scientists remain uncertain, one study at Colorado State University sees a 2 to 20 per cent reduction in flows of the upper Colorado River, Sherman noted.

None of the world's problems were solved at the meeting. But, from the report in the News, it was an uncommonly good one for quotes.

Consider the remarks of Steve Glazer, a long-time water activist from Crested Butte. "There are a plethora of poison pills here," he said. One such "pill" is that Colorado really is not entitled to as much water as this plan envisions. A study is underway to help sort that out.

Ken Spann, who ranches between Crested Butte and Gunnison, also added some folksiness to the proceedings. He said not enough details about the plan have been provided about the Blue Mesa idea for him to have an informed opinion.

"Without meat on the horse, I can't tell whether to feed it hay or grain," said Spann.

Canmore and Banff try to help tourism evolve

CANMORE, Alberta - With real estate development in the tank, Canmore has begun studying how it can foster its tourism economy. The city government has appropriated $80,000 for the study, which will include hiring consultants.

The tourism industry is not broken, said John Samms, who directs an organization called Tourism Canmore. But it is evolving.

Up the road at Banff, municipal representatives were plotting how to sell the Canadian Rockies as an affordable alternative to Whistler for ski vacations when Whistler hosts the Olympics next February.

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