This dam will die

  Dear HCN,

Thanks for the story of the U.S. House of Representatives voting 221-200 to cut funding for the Animas-La Plata Project (HCN, 8/5/95). Since the Senate then voted to include funding, it will now go to a conference committee for some sort of compromise. But it is clear that the dam's days are numbered. There is no longer support in Washington, D.C., for mammoth Western water projects which are not economically justified.

The successful campaign in the House was the result of actions by a broad coalition of environmental and taxpayer groups, helped enormously by bipartisan support. It goes to show that when environmental issues merge with fiscal responsibility, Republicans and Democrats can still get together and do the right thing.

The ALP campaign is also a textbook example of how big organizations, such as National Wildlife Federation, U.S. PIRG, Natural Resources Defense Council and Taxpayers for Common Sense can work closely and effectively with local grassroots groups such as taxpayers for the Animas River, Southern Ute Grassroots Organization and Four Corners Action Coalition.

It is not a matter of grassroots vs. ational. We need both in order to effect change in our United States. We will be back in Washington, D.C., when ALP supporters ask for $60 million-$70 million. And we will have more time to work on the Senate. And we will be successful, if we all work together.

Michael Black

Durango, Colorado

The writer belongs to Taxpayers for the Animas River and has been opposing the Animas-La Plata dam project for several decades.