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Greenies Blast Plan to Flood Colorado River

Move may help fish endangered by dam, scientists say
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2008 8:15 PM CST
Greenies Blast Plan to Flood Colorado River
With the North Rim in the background, tourists hike along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in this Feb. 22, 2005 file photo in Grand Canyon, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Hossman, File)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – A plan to flood the Colorado River is a token move that leaves fish endangered, green advocates say. Federal officials retort that scientists will probe whether the controlled flood—the third so far—helps species threatened by the Glen Canyon Dam. But "doing one of these every five or six years won't get the job done in the long run," one federal researcher told the Arizona Republic.

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Environmentalists want Washington to flood the river once a year and stop the dam's drastic shifts in water release. At stake are are two endangered fish, including the humpback chub; four others have died off since the dam was built in 1963 and blocked spring floods, which help restore fish habitat and beaches. The dam supplies electrical power to millions of people across the western US. (Read more Grand Canyon stories.)

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