Parunuweap Canyon Wilderness Study Area downstream of the proposed Cove Reservoir. PHOTOGRAPH by David Pettit.

 

CSU is asking the Utah Legislature to de-prioritize the $10 million dollar appropriations request because there are multiple unresolved issues and the proposed Cove Reservoir is not ready to receive Utah taxpayer money. Among other issues, the reservoir’s Environmental Impact Statement is still underway and the public has not had an opportunity to understand the project’s viability or comment on its anticipated impacts.

 

How can you help?

Please email, call, or text any or all of the 17 members on the Natural Resources, Agriculture, Environment Quality Appropriations Subcommittee members, ideally before 7pm Wednesday, January 31st (if not possible, sometime within the next week is still helpful!) and ask them to postpone consideration of this $10 million dollar appropriation until the 2025 Legislative session.

 

Contact Information

To email, call, or text: click here to download contact information for all 17 subcommittee members. Individual emails are more powerful than a group email to the whole list.

OR

To send a message from the web: Click here and navigate to the right-hand side of the page for the list of Subcommittee members. Click on the legislator’s name and a new page will open. Scroll down to the CONTACT box, fill out your personal information, paste your message, and click Submit. Repeat process for the next legislator.

 

Send a Copy to CSU

If you have just a bit more time and energy, we would really appreciate if you could send a copy of one of your emails to martha.ham@conserveswu.org, so we can keep track of how we are doing!

 

Tips

Include your home address. This is necessary when contacting legislators.

– Keep your message brief.

Use a powerful subject line to draw attention to your message. Legislators generally run a simple tally of how many communications they receive for or against a project.

Personalize your communication. Canned letters are not as effective.

 

Sample Talking Points

  • Shouldn’t the legislature hold off on considering appropriations requests unless and until NRCS funding is approved? The federal decision on whether to fund the request for $40 million is currently not forecasted until the close of 2024. If the project is funded the $40 million by the NRCS, the sponsors could return to the legislature in 2025 with their request.
  • Shouldn’t the legislature postpone funding discussions until the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is released?  Due process for Cove Reservoir funding should allow public and legislative study of the EIS. The draft EIS is not scheduled for release and public comment until the summer of 2024 (tentative).
  • Do Utah taxpayers want to fund another high-risk dam? The 2023 Legislature approved $10 million to mitigate the dangers of high-risk dams and is requesting $5 million to continue this important work to protect the public. The Utah Division of Water Resources estimates that $250 million is needed to bring Utah’s high-hazard dams up to minimum safety standards. Does the Legislature want to fund construction of an additional high-risk dam when a state sponsored effort is in progress to mitigate these public hazards?
  • Should less costly solutions like secondary water metering be considered before a resource-intensive reservoir? The State of Utah wisely implemented the Agricultural Water Optimization Program to fund and encourage secondary metering for agricultural lands, and the Legislature has authorized over $200 million for this program, but there is no secondary water metering along this section of the East Fork of the Virgin River.

 

Example Email

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Subject Line: Postpone approval of $10 million appropriation for Cove Reservoir

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Dear Senator Blouin,

I am resident of Washington County, Utah. I am writing to respectfully ask you to please postpone approval of the $10 million appropriation for Cove Reservoir.

This project is not ready for an appropriation consideration as it has not completed the federal environmental review process nor has it received approval for the $40 million core funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NCRS).

This project has been stalled for years and funding this project with $10 million in Utah taxpayers’ dollars before the NRCS approves the project is premature and risky.

Thank you for considering my concerns.

 

Sincerely,

Name

Street address

City

Phone  #