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, we WON in court against the City of Thornton, and now we’re making news about it on the Front Page of the Denver Post! For 12 years, we’ve been telling the City of Thornton they should send their water down the Poudre River, all the way through Fort Collins, before taking it out near Windsor. And for 12 years, Thornton has refused to do so. Now the media is really starting to take notice. The Denver Post, Colorado Sun, Fort Collins Coloradoan, and other publications are all writing about the debacle Thornton has tangled itself in, and writing about our simple solution to untangle them: RUN THE WATER DOWN THE POUDRE! Further yet, we’ve now expanded the concept to include the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP), the City of Greeley’s proposed storage project, and the City of Fort Collins’ proposed expansion of Halligan Reservoir. All of these municipalities should use the “river as the conveyance” for their water rather than building massive pipelines that take the water out of the river. The river is “natural infrastructure,” and using the river as conveyance is a “Nature-Based Solution” to these water supply problems. Further yet, our concept of using Nature-Based Solutions is resonating across the U.S. and the planet. At COP27 recently in Cairo, Egypt, the Asst Secretary for the U.S. State Dept., Monica Medina, spoke about “Nature-Based Solutions” for climate change and environmental problems. We’ve reached out to all of the stakeholders who are trying to build new projects on the Poudre including Larimer County, the City of Fort Collins, the City of Greeley, the City of Thornton, and Northern Water to begin discussions about using the river as the conveyance for the water. Further, we are reaching out to our federal elected officials including Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper, and Congressman Neguse, to discuss the concept. We’ve also reached out to the Biden Administrations’ U.S. EPA. If the status quo continues – which includes building multiple dams and pipelines – the river through Fort Collins will be increasingly drained. We believe we owe it to the people of Fort Collins and Larimer County, as well as to the river itself, to try to negotiate a better outcome. Over $2 billion dollars is proposed to be spent by the municipal water agencies to build dams and pipelines designed to get the water out of the Poudre River before it reaches Fort Collins. We’re working to change that trajectory. While we attempt to negotiate, we’re also keeping our foot on the pedal of law enforcement! 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. If the Army Corps…
Hi Colorado Environmental Media,
Yesterday, the “Home Builders Association of Metro Denver” and the “Colorado Association of Home Builders” sent a comment letter to the Larimer County Commissioners about the proposed “Thornton Pipeline”. The Home Builders’ letter, pasted in below and posted here, is uninformed, harasses the Commissioners, and is filled with false information.
Statement by Gary Wockner, Director of Save The Poudre:
- “The Home Builders are uninformed and spewing false information to the County Commissioners and the public. It is Thornton, not Larimer County, who is refusing collaborate and delaying the delivery of water. We’ve been in contact with Thornton for 14 years about this issue, and it was Thornton who originally planned to send the water down the Cache la Poudre River, not put it in a pipeline. It is Thornton, not Larimer County, who changed its mind and spent more than a decade and millions of dollars trying to get a permit to build a pipeline in Larimer County. It is Thornton, not Larimer County, who filed a lawsuit, spending more millions of dollars, which further delayed the delivery of water and refused to collaborate.
- In fact, if Thornton simply would’ve collaborated with us and stuck to their original plan and sent the water down the Poudre River — using the River as a conveyance — and then diverted the water in Weld County near Windsor, Thornton would not have even needed a permit in Larimer County and Thornton would’ve had its water 10 years ago.
- We encourage the Home Builders to get their facts straight and stop harassing elected officials and the public in Larimer County.”
I’m happy to chat with any media on the phone about this.
— Gary Wockner, PhD, Director
Save The Poudre: Poudre Waterkeeper
Author: “River Warrior: Fighting to Protect the World’s Rivers” (2016)
PO Box 20, Fort Collins, CO 80522
Home Builders Association of Metro Denver and Colorado Association of Home Builders Comments Letter – Thornton Water Pipeline Project
Dear Commissioners Kefalas, Stephens and Shadduck-McNally:
I am writing to submit formal comments on the ongoing legal challenges surrounding the Thornton Water Project. These comments are being provided on behalf of the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver and the Colorado Association of Home Builders.
The HBA of Metro Denver represents over 500 homebuilders, developers, remodelers, architects, mortgage lenders, title companies, subcontractors, suppliers, and service providers in the eight metro-area counties we serve. The Colorado Association of Home Builders has over 2,000 members across the state, representing over 40,000 jobs that play a crucial role in providing housing for Coloradoans.
For many years, Colorado has established itself as one of the best places to live, work and raise a family. Colorado has a proud history of communities working together to tackle tough issues, solve problems and improve the prosperity of all its residents through collective reciprocity and regional collaboration. Be it in politics, business or our shared civic responsibilities, we have always prospered because of that reason – We work together.
However, we have grown concerned that this spirit of regional collaboration and problem solving is being threatened over a critical issue in northern Colorado. By refusing to allow Thornton to access the water it has owned for nearly forty-years, Larimer County is impacting the livelihood and ability for families and individuals to live closer to where they work and inadvertently exacerbating Colorado’s housing attainability crisis along the front range.
The HBA of Metro Denver and the Colorado Association of Home Builders has included the attached letter to this email, outlining our concerns regarding these ongoing delays and the need reconcile the situation in an expedited manner. In the spirit of regional cooperation and housing attainability in Colorado, we respectfully request that Larimer County work in earnest with the City of Thornton to come to an agreement on this issue that has gone on for too long.
Thank you for your time and consideration of our concerns.
Director of Government Affairs
Home Builders Association of Metro Denver
9033 E Easter Place | Suite 200 | Centennial CO 80112
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