Why Colorado's headwaters matter

There is a bedrock natural law that anglers and most people understand as common sense-all waters are connected. If we trash or pollute a creek upstream, it could affect downstream conditions as well. That's why the newly proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency and Corps of Engineers to restore the coverage of the Clean Water Act is so important to Colorado's quality of life...

Colorado is a headwaters state and we understand that these headwater creeks, while small, are vital to the health of our watersheds, wildlife, and water supply. Their health shapes the condition of everything else downstream. They serve as the lifeblood of Colorado's recreation economy.

In Colorado alone, about 75 percent of rivers and streams-some 76,000 miles of waterways-are seasonal or ephemeral in nature and thus could fall outside the net of CWA protection, putting them at the mercy of filling and dredging operations, oil spills, toxic industrial waste and unregulated development...

Our waters, large and small, are interconnected-and to pretend otherwise is to invite disaster. When we allow polluters to dump toxins or trash upstream waters, we can expect pollution and devastation downstream, in our most prized rivers and streams.

Let's support the Clean Water Act's commonsense protection of our most precious heritage-our home waters.

To read the rest of David Nickum's Guest Commentary, please visit The Denver Post.