Today marks the comment deadline for the Cedar City Water Grab DEIS. It has been a whirlwind of a week. But we are proud of what we achieved. We’ve led a campaign that upholds our promise to demand sound science, government integrity, and community-focused analysis on massive water exportation projects. And it is paying off.
Our comments and actions are substantial. That’s because the federal government is not upholding its duties to protect places and people, culture and heritage, natural wonders and life-giving resources.
What brings me joy is the nature of our collaboration. We’ve worked with rural governments like Beaver, Millard, Juab and White Pine Counties and agricultural communities. We’ve worked with NGOs like Utah Rivers Council, Center for Biological Diversity, National Parks Conservation Association and many more. We’ve worked with leaders from the Indian Peaks Band of the Paiute Tribe of Utah and the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation.
These entities don’t always see eye to eye. But they do on this water grab. That is a testament to our mission: keeping water local.
In the past few months, thousands of individuals have acted. Nearly two-dozen groups joined us in submitting more than 100 pages of comments to the Bureau of Land Management on a flawed and biased environmental review. We barnstormed small towns with presentations. We shared the unbiased science. We sparked national media attention. We committed to doing the things the people in power should be doing for us. In other words, we demanded accountability.
That is no small feat for our small non-profit. But it is what you should expect from us.
Our nexus of NGOs, tribes and rural governments works to ensure communities, lands and waters across the Great Basin are considered for the long haul. We couldn’t do that without our brilliant attorneys at Advocates for Community and Environment and the hydrologic analysis from Roux Associates.
This fight is far from over. But it is important to recognize and reflect on a milestone like this.
We’ll see where we go next.
As they say: The sand stays, the water goes.