More Animas Info From Duranglers

Several comments on the toxic mining mess on the Animas River near Durango, CO. (It’s Like Deja Vu…) Glad you’re all in. And yes, as reported initially, the EPA is to blame (several of you pointed this out) and appears to have taken full responsibility.

Red Boat Mark points out another potential mess in the Parrot Tailings in Butte. There are old tailings and associated ponds all over the Rocky Mountains that could threaten clean water and fish. Someday each one of them will.

And while the EPA caused this one, I am going to assume they were investigating ways to fix the problem, and not deliberately trying to kill all the fish in the Animas.

Andy McKinley from DurAnglers also responded with a bit more information about the Animas and the long term effects mining in the Silverton area has had on that river:

[us_testimonial author=”Andy McKinley” company=”Duranglers Flies & Supplies / Durango, CO”]Thanks for the article guys. This whole situation is a stressful one for us here in Durango, but we are holding out hope that in the long run this will bring more focus on the situation with the Animas and Silverton mines. Like you said, many mining practices are so shortsighted but have long lasting effects.

Truth be told, these mines have been leeching heavy metals and toxins into the Animas for a while now. It’s almost as if the trout and aquatic invertebrates in Durango have evolved to survive in water that, while beautiful looking, has high concentrations of heavy metals, alkalies, and a higher ph count. The sad part is the farther upstream you go, the worse the bug and fish life is until you get to Silverton…where nothing survives.

We are hoping and praying that while this disaster sucks in the interim, the long term will see the Animas recover better than ever. If you were ever fortunate enough to ride the Durango/Silverton narrow gauge railroad, then you have seen the upper Animas canyon. Quite possibly the best looking trout water in the state that holds very few fish.

Thanks again for the blog post. Here is to hoping that we seen these incidents decline in our lifetime.[/us_testimonial]

New Mexico Declares Emergency

And now New Mexico is declaring an emergency over the Animas Spill, as the 3 million gallon toxic plume spreads downstream and into the San Juan River, a major source of water for the Navajo Nation.

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  • Hey, John, Complicating the tragedy of this spill is the EPA’s lack of communication about what happened, and that it’s not taking full responsibility for actions committed. See here:

  • Yes. Got it. The EPA is at fault. But the EPA did not dig this mine. The point is more about mining and the potential devastating impact it has on the environment. The facts that there are probably hundreds of similar existing settling ponds throughout the Rockies, and that mining interests continue to push for more short sighted development is what should concern us most.

  • For many years the Colorado state record brown trout was a 20-lb+ cannibal captured right below the hatchery in downtown Durango.
    Having worked with acid mine drainage in both Colorado and Montana I confirm that John Arnold’s take on this is correct. AMD is a blight. There have been success stories. Unfortunately remediation requires capital that is usually sent in another direction.

  • Stephen, that is spot on!

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