January 5, 2006
For Immediate Release:
Contact: John Weisheit 435-259-1063
Grand Canyon Cover Up
Federal study launched to mislead the public into supporting failed efforts to recover endangered species
(Phoenix, AZ) While native species continue to decline within one of the world's most famous river corridors, federal officials are soliciting public comments for remedies without acknowledging the problem, nor their intent to continue with the same failed strategies exacerbating the losses.
"The main problem in Grand Canyon is the loss of endangered species due to failure to operate Glen Canyon Dam according to the mandate of the Grand Canyon Protection Act," says John Weisheit, from Living Rivers. "Yet now that an out-of-court settlement has forced this new study on the operations of the dam, the public is not being informed of these impacts, nor that Grand Canyon is the principle victim of their mismanagement policies."
The launch of this new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) comes after more than three decades of studies and experimentation, Congressional interventions, and millions of taxpayer dollars invested principally to reverse the decline of endangered species in Grand Canyon National Park.
The most egregious errors have come over the past ten years during the implementation of an extensive adaptive management and research program. Annual program reports repeatedly show that these efforts have not been sufficient to improve a single threatened natural or cultural resource.
Under adaptive management, one more fish species has gone extinct, the razorback sucker, and another, the humpback chub, has dwindled to just a few thousand fish. Additionally, Native American archeological sites that were to be protected, have either suffered further damage, or required emergency stabilization.
Despite this lack of progress, Bureau of Reclamation briefing materials introducing this new EIS, ignore any mention of endangered species, archeology or, with one minor exception, the Grand Canyon itself.
"If the Bureau won't honestly describe the problem, how can the public have faith that they are seriously interested in developing a solution," adds Weisheit. "The ten-year experimental plan they intend to develop demonstrates that nothing has changed and the Bureau of Reclamation remains intent on administering to the slow demise of the Grand Canyon."
Reclamation web page about Glen Canyon Dam Long-Term Experimental Plan EIS