2/22/2024 For Immediate Release Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310 Save The Poudre Opposes House Bill 24-1107, "Judicial Review of Local Land Use Decision" Fort Collins: An extremely dangerous, anti-democratic bill has been introduced into the Colorado State Legislature titled, "Judicial Review of Local Land Use Decision." HB24-1107 would allow defendants in lawsuits -- including developers, quasi-governmental agencies, and local/state govt -- to obtain their attorneys fees against plaintiffs -- including citizen and non-profit groups -- if the defendants won in court in so-called "Rule 106" conflicts. Forcing local citizen groups and non-profits to pay the attorneys fees of developers and agencies would hamstring the enforcement of local and state laws. In fact, right now Save The Poudre is in court in a Rule 106 lawsuit against the former Larimer County Commissioners, and Northern Water, for giving a permit to the Northern Integrated Supply Project, a massive proposed dam that would further drain the Poudre River in Fort Collins. Save The Poudre has already lost in district court and is currently in the state court of appeals with the lawsuit. If Save The Poudre was required to pay attorneys fees of defendants Larimer County and Northern Water, it could easily eclipse Save The Poudre's entire yearly ~$100,000 budget. "This bill is an extreme pro-developer bill intended to squash public dissent and squash local non-profits fighting to protect the environment," said Gary Wockner of Save The Poudre. "We strongly encourage the legislature to kill this bill and find ways to raise the voices of citizens instead of trying to change state law to silence dissent." HB24-1107 is scheduled to be heard in the House Transportation, Housing, and Local Government Committee at 1:30 on Thursday, February 27th. ***end***
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Wockner of Save The Poudre and Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310
Colorado Rivers Press Release: Thornton Water Pipeline DENIED by Colorado State Court of Appeals
Fort Collins: Today, the Colorado State Court of Appeals in Denver upheld a lower court’s ruling that denied the City of Thornton the right to build a water pipeline across northern Larimer County north of Fort Collins.
For several years, Thornton has tried to build a water pipeline across northern Larimer County to transfer water from over 20,000 acres of farms down to the City of Thornton. In 2018, the Larimer County Commissioners denied a permit for the pipeline, and Thornton sued the County. Save The Poudre, which has about 1,000 members in Larimer County, and another neighborhood group, No Pipe Dream, both intervened in the case to support Larimer County which was sued by Thornton. The pipeline proposes to transfer over 14,000 acre feet of water from farms down to Thornton.
Pipeline opponents, Save The Poudre and No Pipe Dream, argued that Thornton should run the water down the Cache la Poudre River through Fort Collins until it reached the Town of Windsor and then divert the water into a pipeline, thus restoring flows to a critically endangered 12-mile section the Poudre River.
“We’ve told Thornton for over 10 years that the water should flow down the Poudre River through Fort Collins,” said Gary Wockner of Save The Poudre. “This is potentially a win-win project, but Thornton refuses to use the River as a conveyance and continues to waste everyone’s time and money in court.”
Thornton must now decide if it will appeal the ruling to the Colorado Supreme Court, or propose a new pipeline route in Larimer County, or simply let the water flow down the Poudre River to Windsor which is an outcome that doesn’t even require any kind of permit in Larimer County.
“Once again, we offer to collaborate with Thornton rather than litigate,” said Wockner. “By working together, we can restore the Poudre River and Thornton can get the water.”
Save The Poudre’s mission is to protect and restore the Cache la Poudre River of northern Colorado.