Thou shalt not build a dam

  After a several-week delay, the Roman Catholic bishop of Pueblo, Colo., has spoken, and not to the liking of backers of the Animas-La Plata water project. In early November, a nine-person citizens' group, the Human Development Commission of the Pueblo Diocese, blasted the project proposed for southern Colorado as wasteful and destructive (HCN, 11/27/95).


Outraged proponents - attorney Sam Maynes of Durango, lobbyist Ray Kogovsek of Denver and the elected leaders of the Ute Mountain Utes and Southern Utes - pressured Catholic Bishop Arthur Tafoya to repudiate the statement. Maynes branded the citizens' group a willing tool of the Sierra Club, according to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.


Bishop Tafoya first delayed. Then, after meeting with opponents and proponents, he said he saw no reason to "distance myself from the Human Development Commission," and added, "In this time of scarcity, taxpayer dollars should be spent wisely and for the greatest common good." Maynes and Kogovsek, by putting Tafoya publicly on the spot, forced him to add his imprimatur to attacks on the project.- Ed Marston