Hi Friends of the Poudre, First, yesterday we filed a lawsuit "appeal" with the Colorado State Court of Appeals in Denver against the former Larimer County Commissioners and the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP). Last month, a district court judge in Larimer County ruled against us, and because we strongly disagreed with the judge's decision, we are now appealing the decision in the state court system in Denver. In the lawsuit appeal, we principally claim that: Former Larimer County Commissioners Steve Johnson and Tom Donnelly were biased in their support of NISP and never should've been allowed to make a decision about the County permit in 2020. In the Larimer County permit process, NISP should've been required to analyze and use the "Poudre River Alternative" to send all of its water down the Poudre River rather than put the water in a pipeline north of Fort Collins. This State Court of Appeals lawsuit will play out over the next 6 - 18 months in Denver, and so you're support will keep us running through the tape! Second, in addition to this State lawsuit, we are still preparing our Federal lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for giving a permit to NISP. In fact, the 'statute of limitations' to file that lawsuit doesn't end for 5 more years, and if we move that case forward it could take several more years in court after that. As such, we are taking our time and being very careful and deliberate in our preparation of that lawsuit. Finally, NISP also has to get a permit from the City of Fort Collins, a process that hasn't even started yet. When that process does start, likely in early 2024, it will play out over 6 - 12 months within the City, and then if we don't agree with that decision, we can also challenge it in court. In summary, it could be YEARS in the future before the final outcome on NISP is decided. Throughout this entire process, we are working STOP NISP or get the best possible outcome for the Cache la Poudre River. In fact, last year we created and publicly supported a "compromise" solution (read about it here) that would allow NISP to be built, but run ALL of its water down the Poudre River instead of putting the River's precious water in a pipeline. So far, our compromise has not gotten traction. When NISP started out in 2004, it was supposed to cost $147 million, whereas in 2023, NISP is now supposed to cost $2.25 billion. We will continue to fight as long as it takes to make sure any money that is spent includes the protection and restoration of the Poudre River. It's YOUR SUPPORT that keeps us working hard, keeps us in court, and keeps the Poudre River alive! PLEASE DONATE ONLINE BY CLICKING HERE. Thank you!
Hello Poudre River Lovers! Thank you for your support!
We are pushing hard on every single lever to protect and restore the Cache la Poudre River.
First, NISP DOES NOT HAVE A PERMIT TO BEGIN CONSTRUCTION!
Many of you have reached out to see what’s going on with the apparent construction in the valley where Glade Reservoir might be built. Please know that we are paying close attention and consulting with our legal team constantly.
The digging at the proposed site for Glade Reservoir is deemed by the Army Corps of Engineers to be “pre-construction” and “test hole drilling” that does not require a permit from the Corps. NISP is doing this work on land that NISP owns, and while it is very concerning to everyone, including all the neighbors, we talked at length with our legal team and there’s no way we can stop it.
Northern Water, which is building the Chimney Hollow Reservoir west of Loveland right now, did similar pre-construction work at that site. After we filed the lawsuit against Northern and the Corps’ after the permit came out, all of the construction at Chimney Hollow stopped.
We are very vigilant about everything that’s going on at the Glade site, and we are in constant communication with our legal team. We are nearly 100% likely to file a lawsuit against the Corps and Northern when the NISP permit is released. We expect the Corps to release the permit any day, and our legal team is poised with pens ready to fight and file.
Second, recall that we sued the former Larimer County Commissioners for giving a permit for NISP, and that lawsuit is still playing out in state court in Larimer County. We believe we have a strong case and our legal team is fighting hard to get the best outcome.
So far, the judge has not acted on any motions, and hasn’t issued any kind of rulings. It could take a year or more for this lawsuit to play out.
Third, our intervention in the lawsuit to stop the proposed Thornton Pipeline recently had a hearing in front of the state court of appeals in Denver. We are expecting a ruling in the coming weeks or months. Recall, the Larimer County Commissioners denied a permit to Thornton, then Thornton sued the County. Thornton lost in state district court and has now appealed to the state court of appeals.
Fourth, we continue to be engaged in the preparation of the City of Fort Collins’ new “1041 regulations” that will apply to NISP. We’ve provided many comments to the Council and the staff, and we are waiting for a final draft that will be on the City Council agenda in October or November. These regs are very important to protect the Poudre River as well as the Natural Areas all the way through Fort Collins.
PLEASE KNOW – Your past support has made all of the difference in our ability to engage in these battles, and your current and future support is what will keep us fighting hard. We’ve been girding for this legal action for 19 years.
Every $25 or $50 makes a real difference. If you can afford $100 or $250 or more, that’s great too! All donations are tax deductible
Please donate on our website at:
Thank you for your support!
Mark Easter and Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre