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Save The Poudre: Patagonia Matching Grant, $10,000!

Hi Poudre River Lovers!

We have good news. Our wonderful partners at Patagonia, the outdoor gear/apparel company, will match your donation to Save The Poudre, up to $10,000, starting today through the end of 2019.

The donation link is here: 
https://www.patagonia.com/actionworks/grantees/save-the-poudre-poudre-waterkeeper/donate/

Patagonia will securely process your donation and then transfer the money to Save The Poudre.

We are especially excited to partner with Patagonia in this matching grant campaign because they are one of the leading voices on the planet for fighting dams and protecting rivers. Patagonia is also one of our leading funders!

What did Save The Poudre accomplish in 2019?

  1. Helped stop the Thornton Pipeline dead in its tracks!
  2. Intervened in state district court against the City of Thornton to defend the Larimer County Commissioners against Thornton’s lawsuit.
  3. Saw through the construction of the amazing Poudre River Whitewater Park, a project that we initiated back in 2010!
  4. Filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Colorado to stop the proposed Windy Gap Water Project in Colorado.
  5. Intervened with the Larimer County permitting process against the Northern Integrated Supply Project (“NISP”), the massive proposed dam project we’ve been fighting for 17 years.
  6. Intervened with the State of Colorado permitting project against NISP.
  7. Filed more comments with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers against NISP.
  8. Kept the Poudre River’s voice alive to the public, in the media, and throughout the northern Colorado region.
  9. And more!

When you donate to Save The Poudre, we get right to work! Patagonia Action Works is a wonderful partner putting your money into action.

Please donate here through Patagonia Action Works and help us protect this amazing river!

The donation link is here: 
https://www.patagonia.com/actionworks/grantees/save-the-poudre-poudre-waterkeeper/donate/

Thank you for your support!

Gary Wockner, Director, Save The Poudre. 

PRESS RELEASE: Judge Allows Save The Poudre To Intervene Against Thornton Pipeline

July 14, 2019
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310

Judge Allows Save The Poudre To Intervene Against Thornton Pipeline

Poudre River, Colorado: Today, State District Court Judge, JUAN G. VILLASEÑOR, issued an order allowing for Save The Poudre to “intervene” in the lawsuit the City of Thornton is waging against Larimer County about the proposed Thornton Pipeline (the order is posted here). Thornton opposed Save The Poudre’s intervention and formally motioned the court against it. The neighborhood group, “No Pipedream”, was also allowed to intervene in the same order.

“We are pleased with the court’s decision and, to the best of our ability, we will defend the Larimer County Commissioners’ decision to stop the Thornton Pipeline and send the water down the Poudre River through Fort Collins,” said Gary Wockner, director of Save The Poudre. “The Poudre River is already degraded by dams, diversions, and pipelines — adding this water to the river will increase the river’s health and make the river cleaner for all Larimer County residents to enjoy.”

The court case is expected to play out of the next 6 – 12 months as attorneys for Larimer County, Save The Poudre, and No Pipedream will all now defend the decision by the Larimer County Commissioners. Thornton has fought a bitter, expensive, and so-far losing battle to build their pipeline while other alternatives exist including the “Poudre River Option” which was discussed at length during the year-long permitting battle that Thornton lost.

“We should all be collaborating about how Thornton can get water and how we can restore the Poudre River, rather than fighting in court,” said Wockner. “Thornton is wasting millions of dollars of its citizens’ money, continuing to anger Larimer County residents, and wasting everyone’s time.”

**end**

PRESS RELEASE: Save The Poudre Tries To Defend Larimer County Against the City of Thornton

For Immediate Release
June 20, 2019
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310

SAVE THE POUDRE TRIES TO DEFEND LARIMER COUNTY AGAINST THE CITY OF THORNTON LAWSUIT

Poudre River: This week, Save The Poudre filed a “motion to intervene” (posted here) to defend Larimer County against the lawsuit filed by the City of Thornton. The lawsuit tries to overturn a unanimous decision by the Larimer County Commissioners to “deny” the Thornton Pipeline from diverting Poudre River water upstream of Fort Collins and piping it across the county and down to Thornton.

Save The Poudre believes the organization has a strong right to intervene and is optimistic the court will allow intervention:

  • Save The Poudre literally started this issue 10 years ago by reaching out to Thornton.
  • Save The Poudre kept in touch with Thornton over the years.
  • Save The Poudre originally brought the “Poudre River Option” to the attention of the Douglas Road neighbors (a coalition now called “No Pipedream”).
  • Save The Poudre participated in all of the Larimer County hearings and Working Group processes, arguing for the Poudre River Option.
  • Thornton discussed the Poudre River Option at length during the County hearings, and also offered the County to put a small part of its water rights back in the Poudre.
  • The issue is solely about Poudre River water and whether to run some or all of the Thornton water rights down the Poudre.

“Our organization and our members have a right to be in this case because this case directly impacts our mission to ‘protect and restore the Cache la Poudre River of northern Colorado,’ said Gary Wockner, Director of Save The Poudre.

The City of Thornton has initially “opposed” Save The Poudre’s intervention, but the judge has now given Thornton 30 days to formally respond to Save The Poudre’s full motion.

“It’s completely ridiculous that Thornton opposes our intervention,” said Wockner. “We have every right to defend Larimer County, represent the Poudre River, and represent our members in this lawsuit.”

***end***

Take Action: Send an email to the Fort Collins City Council about their Poudre River LEGACY.

Hi Poudre River Lovers!

This Fort Collins City Council will make “legacy” decisions about the future of the Poudre River.

They can stand up and be statewide leaders in water conservation and river protection! Please send them an email by clicking here — ask them to protect and restore the Poudre River for future generations: http://www.savethepoudre.org/take-action/send-action-alert-email/

Thank you for taking action!

The Save The Poudre Team

Save The Poudre, March Newsletter — Take A Look!

Hello Poudre River Lovers!

We Are Deep Into The Fight And Need Your Support! Please make your tax-deductible donation today by clicking here. 

First, we had a HUGE VICTORY against the Thornton Pipeline! In February, the Larimer County Commissioners voted unanimously to “deny” the Thornton Pipeline, in part thanks to your support! You sent the Commissioners about 1,000 emails and many of you showed up to provide comment during the six public hearings over the last year. We also participated in the “Larimer Water Projects Working Group” for several months, all the while arguing that Thornton should send their water down the Poudre River!
What’s next for the Thornton Pipeline and the “Poudre River Option”? It’s up to Thornton – they’ve publicly stated that they might file a lawsuit against the Larimer County Commissioners, and if they do, we will stand behind the Commissioners’ decision and support them in court. If you see the Commissioners, please THANK THEM for standing up for the Poudre River throughout the permitting process.

Second, the permitting process for Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) is all coming to a head at the County, State, and Federal Level in the next few months:

1. NISP has applied for a permit from the State of Colorado Dept of Public Health and Environment for a “401 water quality certification”. Their application is 1,247 pages of extremely technical analyses that we have to digest and respond to in 60 days! We have a team of scientists and attorneys digging into the application. Your support is what makes the difference in our ability to hire professional experts to respond to this permit.

2. NISP is in the process of developing a “1041 permit” and “Intergovernmental Agreement” application to the Larimer County Commissioners to build Glade Reservoir, move Highway 287, and build two large pipelines north and east of Fort Collins. As soon as the drafts of these permits are public, in the next month or two, our team will dig into them – again, we expect them to be hundreds of pages of technical information. Your support is what makes the difference in our ability to hire professional experts to respond to this permit.

3. Last week, our attorneys sent the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers a legal letter demanding that the Corps prepare a “Supplemental Environmental Impact Analysis” for NISP. This demand is a response to the new revelation that NISP now expects to buy over 100 farms in Larimer and Weld County to obtain 25,000 acre feet of water to make NISP and Glade Reservoir feasible. This farm-buying scheme is a dramatic new twist in the now 16-year NISP debacle that changes everything about how the project would work and what its impact would be on northern Colorado. Again, your support is what makes the difference in our ability to hire professional experts to respond to this permit.   

For 16 years, Save The Poudre has been the voice for the Poudre River, and YOU are the megaphone that keeps that voice alive

Please donate on our website by clicking here: http://www.savethepoudre.org/take-action/donate/

Thank you for your support!
The Save The Poudre Team

Read More

PRESS RELEASE: Dam To Nowhere? Massive Northern Colorado Dam Project Must Now Buy “100 Or More Farms”

For Immediate Release
March 6, 2019

Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310

Dam To Nowhere? Massive Northern Colorado Dam Project Must Now Buy “100 Or More Farms”

Fort Collins, CO: Last week, the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (Northern Water) revealed that they would have to buy “100 or more farms” containing 25,000 acre feet of water to supply the proposed Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) and its huge proposed Glade Reservoir.

Read More

Take Action: Say “NO” to the Thornton Pipeline, and “YES” to the Poudre River!

Hi Amazing Poudre River Lovers!

We have a once-in-100 years opportunity to help restore the Poudre River, and your voice can help do that — don’t miss out!!

On January 28th, the Larimer County Commissioners will be making a decision on the Thornton Pipeline. Save The Poudre and many homeowners north of Fort Collins have been working with Larimer County for over a year to support the County Commissioners in saying “NO” to the Thornton Pipeline and “YES” to the Poudre River.

Thornton can send their water down the Poudre River and remove that water from the river near Windsor, instead of putting the water in a massively damaging pipeline across northern Larimer County. This is a “win-win” for Thornton, Larimer County, and the Poudre River.

We need you to click through here to send an email to the Larimer County Commissioners.

Please click through today!

Please check out our new video about the Thornton Pipeline here!

Thank you for Taking Action to Restore the Poudre River!

Look Who Donated $10,000 To Save The Poudre!

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 fight the proposed Thornton Pipeline to a standstill. In fact, the application for the pipeline to the Larimer County Commissioners was “tabled” and a Working Group was appointed to try and resolve the conflict. I was appointed to the Working Group which has been meeting throughout the Fall and Winter 2018/19.

Fifth, FUN! The “Whitewater Park” in downtown Fort Collins is breaking ground right now, and it is in part due to the eight years of our work instigating this project. A small dam (photo below) has been removed and the heavy equipment has come in to build the park throughout the winter.

Sixth, we will continue to bird-dog the Colorado Water Plan to make sure it contains no pro-NISP support or funding. We’ve fought against bills in the Legislature that may further harm the Poudre, and we will continue this work in 2019.

Finally, we continue to be the strongest voice in the media, with over a dozen stories in newspapers highlighting our work to protect the Poudre River, with more to come.

It is YOUR support that helped make all of work possible! The next 24 months will be critical in our fight to stop the massive NISP dam project, address the Thornton Pipeline, and protect the river for future generations of people and all the non-human critters that depend on the river for survival.

Thank you for your past support, and for considering us in your year-end giving in 2018. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.

Please renew your membership by clicking here:
http://www.savethepoudre.org/take-action/donate/



Gary Wockner, PhD, Director
Save The Poudre

PRESSER: The Northern Integrated Supply Project Would Violate Clean Water Act

For Immediate Release
October 4, 2018
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310

The Northern Integrated Supply Project Would Help Kill The Poudre River, Violate Clean Water Act

“Diverting what’s left of the peak flows of water would increasingly turn the river — which is greatly loved by the people of Fort Collins — into a muddy, stinking, lifeless ditch.” — Gary Wockner

Fort Collins: Today, Oct 4th, was the close of the public comment period for the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP), a massive, billion-dollar, proposed dam and diversion that would further drain the Cache la Poudre River through Fort Collins. Save The Poudre and other Conservation Groups inserted a 36-page document into the comment period (along with 282 pages of technical attachments) — prepared by the Washington D.C.-based law firm, “Meyer, Glitzenstein & Eubanks LLP” — arguing that the Army Corps would be violating the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act if they give a permit to NISP.

Save The Poudre and the Conservation Groups argue that the impacts of NISP on the Cache la Poudre River would be devastatingly negative to the health of the river and the wetlands along the river as it flows through Fort Collins. Building NISP, the Groups argue, would not be the “Least Environmentally Damaging Practical Alternative” (LEDPA) which the Clean Water Act requires. In fact, about 63% of the river’s water is already diverted by farms and cities before the river reaches downtown Fort Collins, and NISP proposes to cause massively more environmental damage by diverting about 40% of what’s left of the peak flows in the months of May and June, on average.

“NISP would cost over a billion dollars and basically kill the Poudre River through Fort Collins,” said Gary Wockner of Save The Poudre. “Diverting what’s left of the peak flows of water would increasingly turn the river — which is greatly loved by the people of Fort Collins — into a muddy, stinking, lifeless ditch.”

Save The Poudre and the Conservation Groups factually argue that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ FEIS violates the Clean Water Act and National Environmental Policy Act because the Corps:

  • Failed to implement and analyze a proper “alternatives analysis” that would cause less damage on the environment, including alternatives that use more water conservation and buy water from farmers.
  • Failed to adequately analyze the negative impacts to water quality in the river.
  • Failed to adequately analyze negative impacts to sensitive wetlands and the forest along the Poudre River corridor in Fort Collins.
  • Failed to adequately analyze the negative impacts to the Whitewater Park currently being built in downtown Fort Collins.
  • Failed to provide adequate mitigation caused by the devastating negative impacts of NISP.

“The FEIS violates federal law,” said Gary Wockner. “The Corps has one more chance to correct these fatal errors when they create the ‘Record of Decision’ in the coming months. We’ve had an eagle-eye on NISP and the Corps for 15 years and we are dug in to protect the beautiful Cache la Poudre River through the end of this process.”

The Conservation Groups include Save The Poudre, Sierra Club, Waterkeeper Alliance, Wildearth Guardians, Save The Colorado, and Fort Collins Audubon Society.

On Tuesday, Nov. 2nd, the Fort Collins City Council also responded to the FEIS by voting to send comments to the Corps about the negative impacts on the river and to “Not Support NISP”. The City focuses on the project’s negative impacts of how “the declined flows, and only three days of peak days, would hurt the surrounding environment, flood plains and overall river health.” (as reported by the Fort Collins Coloradoan — see article here)

The Save The Poudre/Conservation Groups’ comment letter is posted here.

This press release is posted here.

***end***

 

PRESSER: State Must Investigate, Reveal Cause of Fish Kill on Poudre River

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.

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