From: jennifer johnson <n9744322@cc.wwu.edu
To:
egweeks@dcaccess.com <egweeks@dcaccess.com
Date: Tuesday, April 27, 1999 6:28 PM
Subject: Glen Canyon Dam


I am from Utah and am going to school in Washington right now. I am
just wondering if you have researched the subject of draining Lake
Powell, or if all you've thought about in initiating your "Save the
Lake" website is the money produced by the dam and the freedom of
houseboats. Southern Utah is one of the most beautiful places I've ever
experienced. I feel it's a shame that we've decided to play God and
destroy such a large part of it by drowning it under the stifled
Colorado river.

I found it very immature of you to resort to personal attacks on the
Glen Canyon Institute. Is this because you're worried that your facts
about Glen Canyon won't hold up, seeing as how you have misrepresented
many of them and have not told the whole story? If you are going to make
information about an issue public, you really ought to not leave out so
many important facts. I just wanted to let you know how I feel about
your website after having lived in Utah for many years and having done a
lot of research on the Glen Canyon Dam subject.
Sincerely,
JenniferJohnson

n9744322@www.ac.wwu.edu

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Site author's response:

In response here you go:

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>"I am just wondering if you have researched the subject of draining Lake Powell, or if
>all you've thought about in initiating your "Save the Lake" website is the money
>produced by the dam and the freedom of houseboats."
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I began looking at Lake Powell storage in 1983 when we were deciding whether we needed to purchase spare pumps and motors for our water source at the Navajo Generating Station. (My primary responsibility is to try and make sure that we burn the least amount of coal for the same electrical output). As part of my job I became involved with the "lake pump analysis". As part of the analysis I obtained information from the Bureau of Reclamation on predicted levels of Lake Powell out into the next century.

In 1992 the level of Lake Powell was much lower than the worst case scenario that the Bureau of Reclamation had predicted in 1983. This was the first alert that I observed, that pointed to the fact that there were some significant differences in the predicted water availability versus what was reality.

If Lake Powell had not been in place in 1992, Lake Mead would have been drawn down to half capacity, threatening Hoover Dam electrical output, and the water supply to Las Vegas. If you go back to the data available for this century, there were much more severe droughts. (So much for those that say "Lake Powell’s water has never been drawn on".) After Newsweek magazine in November of 1997 stated this, I wrote letter which was published in the January 26, 1998 edition after they had researched my information and found it to be factual.

I’m not going to get into a argument about whether Las Vegas should take as much water as it does. The fact is that Las Vegas gets the vast majority of their water from pumps in Lake Mead. San Diego also receives 90% of its water from the Metropolitan Water District (MWD). The vast majority of the MWD water comes from the Colorado River. The rest comes from the Northern part of California. If the water doesn’t come from the Colorado River then it takes water that would feed the estuary at the South end of the San Francisco Bay. This is also an important environmental concern. (The San Diego/Tijuana metropolitan area is predicted to become the largest metro are in North America in the next 50 years.)

In 1997, when the Glen Canyon Institute, and the Sierra Club Board of Directors began the push to drain Lake Powell several of us in Page Arizona, took this seriously. Most of the population in Page and other fans of Lake Powell felt that the movement to drain the Lake would go away.

The money that comes from Glen Canyon Dam is not important to me. The fact that the power goes to areas that did not have reliable supply of electricity before REA brought Glen Canyon Dam power to these areas is important to me.

I would guess that you did not grow up in rural Utah. If you grew up along the Wasatch Front, I would also suggest that you had no idea were your electricity came from. I lived there for seven years (after growing up in Eastern Nevada) and most people that I knew didn’t know or care. Unless you are familiar with the coal fired plants near Evanston, Wyoming, and Price Utah, you didn't know. Those plants produce nearly all of the electricity that goes to the Wasatch Front. The small Gadsten plant near the Salt Lake City airport has provided only peaking power for at least the last 25 years. Utah Power and Light did not provide electricity to much of rural Utah.

The small rural areas in the Intermountain West that receive power from the Glen Canyon Dam will have to find their power elsewhere. None will be as economical as the REA power. Many of these people live on a marginal budget. While new plants have been built in these areas, the power produced at these plants goes to other areas (Southern California).

No matter what those in favor of draining the Lake say about how the power could be made up with conservation efforts, the fact remains that the power will have to be made up. The capacity necessary to meet electrical demands during the peak usage periods would be from new natural gas fired plants. During non-peak periods the power would be made up from the next lowest cost power – coal.

By the way, I do not own a boat, let alone a "monster" houseboat. I’m not putting out information to protect anyone who owns a houseboat. I’m putting out my information because the information the Glen Canyon Institute has put out is flawed, and I’m tired of reading what they have put out as the "truth".

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>Southern Utah is one of the most beautiful places I've ever
>experienced. I feel it's a shame that we've decided to play God and
>destroy such a large part of it by drowning it under the stifled
>Colorado River.
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The actual percentage of Southern Utah covered by Lake Powell is very small. Regrettably there are many beautiful places which were destroyed (not just covered up). Draining Lake Powell will not restore these places to pre-dam conditions. The white deposits will take decades, if not centuries or longer, to go away. There are still remnants of Prospect Lake above the level of Lake Powell. The riparian habitat will never be returned to pre-dam conditions since the introduction of exotic species, primarily the tamarisk.

As I show on my website, and as the link to the www.lakepowell.net site shows, there is an incredible area to be explored. As one comment of a Newsgroup pointed out "the majority of the power and house boat crowd will not walk more than a beer away from the Lake". Anyone that wants to explore this now available wilderness is free to do so, and the chances of meeting anyone is very small, once you get away from the Lake.

As far as playing God, we do that every time we build a new mall in landfilled wetlands/swamp. By the way, "God" or "Mother Nature" dammed Glen Canyon several times in the past.

There has been created a new riparian habitat, both upstream and downstream of the dam. While it is not natural, "real" experts in the field admit that if the Lake were to be drained there would be significant impacts on the species that have found a home in the new habitat. Unless new habitat is created somewhere else, these species (some endangered, and threatened) will have a significant decrease in population. Where do you suggest that the new habitat be created/restored? (This is from an article by Dr. Lawrence Stevens – the "guru" of the Grand Canyon – see below.)
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>I found it very immature of you to resort to personal attacks on the
>Glen Canyon Institute. Is this because you're worried that your facts
>about Glen Canyon won't hold up, seeing as how you have misrepresented
>many of them and have not told the whole story?
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Well, I have received responses to my website from all over the U.S. and other countries as well. I’ve been told I was "out of touch", "why should we play God", and other similar statements. The only people that have said that I made "personal attacks" are you and David Orr. By the way, Mr. Orr ran again for the Sierra Club Board of Directors in the last election, and came in "dead last". I have also received "fan mail". Much of it asking who was going to stop the movement to drain Lake Powell.

All of my data on the water and power issues was reviewed by people in the Bureau of Reclamation or Western Area Power Administration (an organization similar to the Bonneville Power Authority). The habitat issues were addressed by a local amateur ornithologist, and this information is well documented.

Which facts specifically do you feel will not "hold up". If a full EIS is done my facts will be supported. That’s more than I can say for the Glen Canyon Institute’s claims.

My intent was not to tell "the whole story". It was to counter information that the Glen Canyon Institute and others have provided that is inaccurate. The Glen Canyon Institute Website provides a great deal of information on the advantages of draining Lake Powell. They minimize any positive effects of Glen Canyon Dam, and gloss over what the negative effects of draining the Lake would be.

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>I just wanted to let you know how I feel about your website after having lived in Utah
>for many years and having done a lot of research on the Glen Canyon Dam subject.
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I wonder if you have done as much research on the subject as those that did the Lake Powell Research Project, or if you have ever read the reports from this project. The summary of the project is contained in the book "Lake Powell – Virgin flow to Dynamo" by Potter and Drake, - 1989 – University of New Mexico Press. The reports listed in the "References" section are available through UCLA. I was lucky enough to find that we have copies of the reports here in Page at the John Wesley Powell Museum. A friend found the book in our local library. I purchased my own copy (after paying a few late fees to the library) from Amazon.com. They said that it was out of print and that they would try to find a copy. Within three weeks I had a soft cover copy, still rapped in plastic, with a map of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. If you’re really interested, please pursue this effort, because I’m not giving up my copy. As I state in my web site those involved with the study were:

Arizona State University
Dartmouth College
John Muir Institute
Northern Arizona Society of Science and Art
University of Arizona
UCLA
UC Santa Barbara
University of New Mexico
University of Rochester

Have you done the research that some of the scientists have, who have attended the Glen Canyon Institute’s "scientific panel" discussions? Over 1000 people attended a "revival" with Woody Harrelson (who by his own admission did not know what he was going to say, after being picked up at the Salt Lake City airport). David Brower, and Kati Lee, were also there. It amazes me (well not really) that only about 30 people showed up for the scientific panel meeting the next day. Dr. Paul Holden, and Dr. Jack Schmidt of Utah State University were both in attendance as panel members. Both are considered experts in the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam. I was told by one attendee that Dr. Schmidt told David Wegner that his group (the Glen Canyon Institute) was "na´ve" three times before Wegner finally blurted out that "WE ARE NOT". Dr. Holden and Dr. Schmidt do not agree with the GCI’s "science".

Since this meeting, there was a conference held near Page at the Wahweap Marina, the "Desert Fish Symposium". There were much the same players, and much the same response. The Glen Canyon Institute’s science is not holding up under peer review.

Larry Stevens (Dr. Lawrence E. Stevens) has studied the Grand Canyon for over 30 years. He was recently introduced at a meeting of the Grand Canyon River Guides, at Marble Canyon, Arizona as the "guru" of The Canyon. He wrote a great article for the "boatman’s quarterly review" Winter 98-99 edition. He discusses the problems associated with draining Lake Powell, and the importance of the new habitat. The volume also includes counterpoints by two activists, to which he responds.

You can request a copy of the article from:

520-773-1075
gerg@infomagic.com

Grand Canyon River Guides
Box 1934
Flagstaff, AZ 86002
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Thanks for a response. May I add your note (with my response) to my website?

(Note I did not recieve a response after a month, so I added this to the list)