Environmental Lawsuit

By: AP
By: AP

Several Colorado environmental groups are suing the federal government over a deal they say will harm the Gunnison River.

The groups filed the lawsuit today in federal court against the National Park Service and the Interior Department -- which oversees the Park Service.

At issue is a plan to set a base flow of 300 cubic feet a second all year through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in western Colorado. Environmentalists say that could harm the Gunnison River's trout fishery.

They also argue the plan may be illegal because it wouldn't provide enough water to protect the park's features -- which were carved over time by the river.

The state and federal government agreed to the deal -- which will provide more water for other users. Interior Secretary Gale Norton has said the plan fits with her agency's policy of giving states input into management of federal lands.


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