Home
What's New?
Articles
Newsletter
History
H.RES. 380
Testimony
Help Us!
Links
Quotable
Comments

© 1999 Friends of Lake Powell, Inc.
www.lakepowell.org
P.O. Box 7007
Page, AZ 86040 USA
(928) 645-2741  Fax: 928-353-2227

OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JOEL HEFLEY
A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS
FROM THE STATE OF COLORADO

Mr. Chairman, I don't have a prepared statement. I would like to just say a few things. I guess I am surprised that the Committee is taking time with a nutty idea like this. I don't know anyone that really takes it seriously. I suppose we will hear some testimony today from some folks that do. But it kind of ranks in my mind with the idea that came out a few years ago of taking the whole plains of the West and Midwest and turning them back into a buffalo preserve, because that is what they were originally, and move people out of those areas. And that would be many, many States. Maybe we will have hearings on that as well. It is kind of a similar idea.

I don't need to educate you, Mr. Chairman, on Western water, because you are the expert on it. I think Senator Campbell and others have pointed that out. Our water comes in the form of snow in the wintertime. And if we don't capture that water and store it for use throughout the year out there in the West, we just simply don't have water. And maybe it becomes a buffalo preserve. Maybe we do move everybody off the land, because there is simply no water there for us to live on or to support the populations that are out there.

Now, it might have been—might have been nice if we could have had a Garden of Eden type setting in the world and that man didn't disturb that setting, but when you have populations that we do, you do make changes. And we do have technology. And just like I think that canyon is God-given, I think our ability to use technology is God-given as well. And I think we have used it rather well with Lake Powell.

I am a little surprised, I guess, at the Sierra Club. I don't know if they realize what this does to their credibility. Because there are—I would hope all of us consider ourselves environmentalists, but there are responsible environmental groups, and there is the nutty fringe of environmental groups. There is the fringe that always has to buildup straw men to fight against in order to get their donations so they can stay in business. I never thought of the Sierra Club as being in the nutty fringe. But with this idea, I begin to wonder, Mr. Chairman.

And I guess it is OK for us to have these hearings and to hear the viewpoints. I would hope this idea goes absolutely nowhere. And I hope this Committee would not spend its time on these kinds of craziness in the future, because this is something that is not going to happen. We are not going to drain Lake Powell. And we can discuss it. You can raise money with it. But we are not going to do it. It simply isn't going to happen, because the West cannot afford that kind of activity. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

For more information contact. friends@lakepowell.org