The Fryingpan-Arkansas Project diverts water from the Western Slope of Colorado to the Arkansas Valley in eastern Colorado. The project was debated for years in Colorado and Washington D.C. before finally being authorized after substantial negotiations and compromises. Given the current drought on the Colorado River, the concerns of the Western Slope regarding all transmountain diversions seem almost prescient. Also up for debate was the then future possibility that Western Colorado would be able to develop an oil shale industry for which the water would be needed. These primary documents demonstrate some of the debate in the late 1950s before the negotiations and compromises that eventually allowed the project to be authorized.
During debates about the Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP) in the mid-1950s, one proposal included building the Echo Park Dam inside Dinosaur National Monument in northwestern Colorado on the Green River below the mouth of the Yampa River. These debates ultimately centered around the limits of protections on national parks and monuments and also proved to be one of the major victories (and mistakes) of the Sierra Club. Ultimately, conservationists sacrificed Glen Canyon (now Lake Powell) to save Dinosaur National Monument without realizing what would be lost by doing so.