Hi Poudre River Lovers! We greatly appreciate your membership and support, and we are committed to fighting to protect the Poudre through 2019 and beyond. A few months ago, I got an email from another Poudre River Lover, Sue Pendell of Fort Collins, who wanted to meet and discuss a donation to Save The Poudre. At our meeting, Sue told me that for for 40 years she has enjoyed going to the Poudre River in Fort Collins and up in Poudre Canyon. Sue's not a kayaker or fisherperson -- she enjoys the peace and solitude and often takes a book along to read as she relaxes along the Poudre River. Sue has very generously donated $10,000 to Save The Poudre out of her retirement account to support our work to protect and restore the Poudre River! I told Sue that I’d like to tell all of you about her generous donation because it may inspire other people to give. Sue replied, “Oh, I’m just a regular person. Nobody knows me. I doubt if that will help you.” And I told Sue, “That’s exactly why I’d like to let our supporters know – you’re just a regular person, and that’s the story of Save The Poudre. We’re thousands of ‘regular people’ who want to protect the Poudre River through Fort Collins. In the spirit of Sue’s donation, our end-of-year fundraising goal is to match Sue’s $10,000. Can you join us and help match Sue’s love for a healthy, free-flowing Poudre River? Please renew your membership by clicking here: http://www.savethepoudre.org/take-action/donate/ Here’s an update on all of our work in 2018 and our plans for 2019: First, some really great news: We hired one of the best public-interest environmental law firms in the U.S. – Meyer, Glitzenstein & Eubanks LLP – to coordinate the writing of our comments in to the Army Corps of Engineers for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the massive proposed river-draining dam project we’ve been fighting for 15 years, the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP). Having this great law firm on our team will ensure we are in the best place possible if and when litigation is needed in the future. We also hired a team of experienced scientists and analysts to review and comment on the FEIS – all of which was finalized on Oct. 4th. Your support helped make this happen! Second, we have heavily engaged to try and influence the City of Fort Collins and the State of Colorado in their roles of commenting on and permitting NISP. Good news -- the City of Fort Collins continued its “do not support” position on NISP. The State of Colorado is working to finalize its position and permit in the next few months. Third, we did extensive public outreach to the Larimer County Commissioners regarding their role in permitting for NISP. We sent them a strongly worded legal letter that sets us up to continue engaging with the County during its permitting process in 2019. Fourth, we helped…
For Immediate Release
May 14, 2018
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310
To Avoid Federal Permit, Thornton Continues to Drain the Poudre River and Proposes Massive Water Pipeline that would Wreak Havoc on NoCO Neighborhoods, Even Though “Poudre River Option” is $50 Million – $150 Million Cheaper
Fort Collins, CO: Through a Colorado Open Records Act, it has been revealed that the City of Thornton has long been analyzing the “Poudre River Option” (see map here) for their Thornton Water Supply Project. That analysis indicates that the Poudre River Option could be $50 million – $150 million cheaper than a “Pipeline Option”, but Thornton is almost solely choosing the Pipeline Option to avoid permitting processes, especially a federal permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The short summary presentation (posted here, dated June 3, 2014) was prepared by City of Thornton staff for the Thornton Planning Commission and the Thornton City Council back in June of 2014. The presentation contains several slides about the permitting process and the City’s discussions with the Army Corps of Engineers about how to avoid the Corps permit process.
The Cache la Poudre River through Fort Collins is already severely depleted, with 63% if its water drained out by farms and cities before the river reaches downtown Fort Collins. Thornton’s diversion already occurs, but the amount of water — up to 20,000 acre feet (over 6 billion gallons/year) — proposed for the Project could be sent down the Poudre River through Fort Collins and diverted into the Thornton Pipeline downstream near Windsor, thus vitally replenishing the Poudre River through Fort Collins. In addition, the water could be sent down the river during the peak flow months of June/July/August when the water would make the river healthier for people and the environment.
“Thornton has the opportunity to do the right thing. In fact, we’ve been talking to Thornton about this for nearly 10 years,” said Gary Wockner, Director of Save The Poudre. “Running this water through Fort Collins would not only save Thornton a lot of money, it would make the river cleaner and healthier for people who recreate in the river as well as support the wetlands and riparian forest through Fort Collins.”
Thornton has applied for a “1041 permit” from Larimer County to run the water through a proposed massive pipeline under and along Douglas Road north of Fort Collins, through other neighborhoods north and east of Fort Collins, and down through neighborhoods near Windsor. The Larimer County Planning Commission is considering the permit on Wednesday, May 16th. If the Planning Commission approves the pipeline, the final permit authority goes to the Larimer County Commissioners at a meeting currently scheduled for July 9th.
“Thornton should collaborate instead of continuing to drain the Poudre River through Fort Collins and wreaking havoc on neighborhoods,” said Wockner. “Why won’t Thornton collaborate? The people of Fort Collins would embrace Thornton as a good neighbor if Thornton did the right thing here.”
Over the last several years, Save The Poudre has told Thornton that Save The Poudre would support the federal permit and help shepherd the Project through the permitting process at the state and federal level if Thornton chose the “Poudre River Option”.