June 10, 2021 For Immediate Release Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310 Save The Poudre Sues to Stop NISP Damage on Fort Collins Natural Areas Fort Collins: Yesterday, Save The Poudre filed a lawsuit in state district court in Larimer County against the Northern Integrated Supply Project's ("NISP") attempt to use the SPAR (Site Plan Advisory Review) process for placing a diversion structure, pump station, and massive pipeline across City of Fort Collins' Natural Areas (the lawsuit is posted here). The City Land Use Code makes perfectly clear that SPAR can only be used if NISP "owns or operates" the City Natural Area property, which NISP does not. Further, City Manager Darin Atteberry sent a memo to the City Council on April 16, 2020, telling the Council that NISP had to buy the land, negotiate an easement, or condemn the Natural Areas by eminent domain in order to build the project, but NISP has not done any of those things (the memo is posted here). "We're proud to stand up and defend the citizen-owned Natural Areas," said Gary Wockner of Save The Poudre. "If the whole Hughes Stadium issue taught the City government anything, it's that the people of Fort Collins want their Natural Areas to be protected, restored, and enhanced, not degraded and diminished." The City staff has scheduled a hearing at the Planning and Zoning Commission for NISP on June 30th. Save The Poudre in turn filed a "temporary restraining order" with the court against the City to stop the Commission hearing. Save The Poudre alleges that the City is not enforcing its own land use code and is letting NISP skate by with a bogus review process instead of forcing NISP through a rigorous permit application that must require the review of the full City Council. NISP would drain water out of Natural Areas along the Poudre River throughout Fort Collins, thereby draining wetlands, drying up the riparian forest, and diminishing wildlife habitat. Homestead Natural Area, Kingfisher Natural Area, and Riverbend Ponds Natural Area would be further degraded by the construction of a water diversion structure, pump station, and massive pipeline. "NISP is a massively damaging project that would degrade and destroy City-owned Natural Areas that were bought and paid for by City ratepayers and taxpayers. The people of Fort Collins love their Natural Areas and we are excited to stand up and defend the citizens and their property against this environmentally destructive project," said Wockner. Save The Poudre is joined in the lawsuit with No Pipe Dream Corporation. ***end***
For Immediate Release
Oct. 1, 2018
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310
State Must Investigate, Reveal Cause of Fish Kill on the Poudre River
Fort Collins: Recent news reports have indicated that the fish kill on the Poudre River through Fort Collins has wiped out thousands of fish (see Sept 28 Coloradoan story here). Further, one of the prevailing hypotheses for the kills is warmer temperatures and lower flows in the Poudre River. Further yet, warmer temperatures and lower flows may be the exact future for the Poudre River as climate change intensifies and if the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) is built.
“The State must fully investigate and reveal the cause of this fish kill,” said Gary Wockner of Save The Poudre. “If it is related to warmer temperatures and lower flows, then climate change and NISP could turn the river through Fort Collins into a muddy, stinking, dead ditch, not a river ever again.”
About 63% of the water in the Poudre River is already drained out by cities and farmers before the river reaches downtown Fort Collins. If the Northern Integrated Supply Project is built, about 40% of what’s left of the peak flow of water during May and June will also be drained out (see July 20 press release here). Even worse, the proposed ‘mitigation’ for the huge negative impacts on the health of the river wouldn’t extend downstream past LeMay Avenue in Fort Collins where the fish kill has occurred.
“NISP would basically kill the Poudre River through Fort Collins,” said Wockner. “The State and the Army Corps of Engineers must do a full analysis of the potential impacts of NISP including its low flows and interaction with climate change.”
October 4th is the deadline for comments to the Army Corps of Engineers on the Final Environmental Impact Statement for NISP.
The public can send in comments to the Army Coprs by clicking through to Save The Poudre’s ACTION PAGE HERE.