Friends of the Animas, fishermen, boaters, rafters, Southern Ute Wildlife Division, Animas Ditch owners, lovers of open space and wildlife: All please unite and write a letter to our county commissioners to vote "no" regarding the Little Fishes gravel pit development on County Road 213.
Upon touring this land, it is visible the damage already done irrevocably could change the course of the Animas River at high water levels. Fish will be moved and lost, dying in warm waters when flood flows recede. And with additional excavation, an island could be created that would divert the Animas River from a 10,000-year natural course.
While I do not begrudge a landowner from doing what he wants with his land, the Little Fishes project is not good stewardship, and the county commissioners should see that this proposal does not fit with the future master plan for La Plata County. The property owner could place homes on the land to sell and make a return on his investment while maintaining the historical and biological structure of the riverbed.
The plan currently in place for a gravel operation would divert water, remove the land base and destroy the existing natural water flow of the Animas River.
All users and lovers of the Animas River please e-mail our county commissioners – Kellie Hotter, Wally White and Joelle Riddle – before they vote Tuesday.
Let us hope they vote for stewardship to preserve the lands of La Plata County – especially our vibrant, valuable water source, the Animas River.
Linda Mannix, Durango