Hi Poudre River Lovers! Thank you for checking out our website and for taking action to protect the beautiful Cache la Poudre River! You may not know this, but the Poudre River through Fort Collins is deeply endangered. Much of its water has already been diverted out, and even more water is proposed to be diverted before the river reaches downtown Fort Collins. Right now, there are four proposals for new dams, diversions, and pipelines upstream of Fort Collins that would take even more water out the river potentially turning the river in Fort Collins into a muddy, stinking ditch. These new diversions of water would have serious negative impacts on the health of the river, on the forest along the river, on the new Whitewater Park in downtown, and on the fish and ecosystem in the river. But you can take action to do something about these problems right now! One of the proposed new dams/diversions is called the “Northern Integrated Supply Project” and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – which has to go through a permit process for the project – recently released the “Final Environmental Impact Statement” for the project and is accepting comments from the public about the proposed permit until October 4th. Save The Poudre’s excellent team of highly experienced scientists and attorneys has analyzed the Final Environmental Impact Statement and has created a short summary of problems that the Army Corps needs to fix. We will also be sending in a much longer technical letter with our comments, but you can take action to send in a summary of comments that will give you legal standing in the permitting process now and in the future. Please click here to go to our Action Page and send a comment letter to the Army Corps. Thank you for visiting, and thank you for Taking Action! The Save The Poudre Team
June 11, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310
Fort Collins: Last night, the City of Fort Collins “Land Conservation and Stewardship Board” (LCSB), which advises the City Council on the management of the City’s thousands of acres of protected Open Space and Natural Areas, sent a tersely worded memo (link here) to the City Council advising the Council take urgent action to oppose the massive proposed dam called the Northern Integrated Supply Project (“NISP”). The memo describes staggering negative impacts that NISP would cause to the Natural Areas along the Poudre River including:
- “NISP’s removal of water from the river will, quite simply, dehydrate our Natural Areas’ ecological resources and degrade them; hundred-year-old trees will die, understory plants will shift to more drought tolerant species, biodiversity will decrease, and forest- and wetland-dependent animals will disappear.”
The memo reminds the City Council that the citizens of Fort Collins tax themselves to buy these Natural Areas, most recently by a city-wide vote in 2014 with 82% supporting the taxation. The memo further states:
- “The citizens of Fort Collins, as they have invested in Natural Areas, have believed that those areas and their ecological resources and recreational opportunities would be protected in perpetuity. In the opinion of this Board, perpetuity ends on the day that NISP bulldozers arrive to divert water from the Poudre River.”
Finally, the memo calls for “urgent” action by the City Council to “actively oppose NISP”:
- “Active opposition, led by City Council, is urgently needed. If there is no change in position, and if NISP is implemented, then ecological and recreational treasures will be injured beyond repair. Fort Collins can join other entities in opposing NISP under Federal and State permitting processes, and this Board urges Council to do so without delay.”
“The Land Conservation and Stewardship Board is entrusted to manage and watchdog these great resources for the future of all citizens,” said Gary Wockner, Director of Save The Poudre. “Active opposition to NISP is needed right now — through the County, State, and Federal permitting processes — and we strongly urge the Fort Collins City Council to take the Board’s advice.”
Permit Status Update:
- The Colorado State permit was given to NISP in January 2020. Save The Poudre has appealed that decision to the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission. The final hearing is scheduled for November.
- Larimer County has begun its permit process with hearings in June, July, and August (see hearing schedule here).
- The Record of Decision from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permitting process is expected in later 2020.
“We’ve been fighting to stop NISP for 17 years and we’re going to sprint through the finish line with enormous support from the people of Fort Collins and Larimer County, with a great team of scientists and attorneys, and with the vision for protecting the river in perpetuity for the entire community to enjoy,” said Wockner