Hi Amazing Poudre River Lovers! We all knew this day would come, and come it has. Last Friday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sent out a press release saying they had signed the Record of Decision and 404 Permit for the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP). As we always do, we jumped into action to learn as much as possible and stay on top of the swirl of media. We had quotes in stories in the Denver Post and Colorado Sun over the weekend, and more are coming. While one phase of the battle to save the Poudre has almost ended, another begins. We will soon have two active lawsuits against NISP: 1) against the former Larimer County Commissioners who gave a permit to NISP. This lawsuit will play out in 2023. And 2) against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for giving a permit to NISP. We will file that lawsuit against the Army Corps in the coming weeks as soon as we are able to read and analyze the permit. This federal permit court fight could take 2 to 3 years in federal district in Denver. In both lawsuits, we are thrilled to have a Great Legal Team. Further, our attorneys have their minds and pens ready as the briefing schedules play out. We have worked with them for years preparing for this day and for the next year. Further, NISP still needs a 1041 permit from the City of Fort Collins which is a whole different permitting process and arena, and we are 100% engaged in this Fort Collins permit as well which could take another year to play out. Here's what we know in our hearts -- the Cache la Poudre River is the heart and soul of Fort Collins, and the people of Fort Collins want the river protected and increasingly restored. YOU have given us our marching orders and we intend to march into court to make sure the Poudre River gets its day in court. At the same time, we continue to communicate with anyone who will listen -- NISP, Fort Collins, Greeley, Thornton, Larimer County -- about finding some sort of solution that meets everyone's needs, not just the narrow needs of water suppliers. We are working on every level to protect and restore the Poudre, and 2023 will be busier than ever. YOUR SUPPORT IS WHAT WILL KEEP US CHARGING FORWARD IN 2023! You can donate online by clicking here. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT Gary Wockner, Mark Easter, and the STP Board/Team
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 gives a permit to NISP, we will also likely sue the Corps.
Finally, 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 early 2023. 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 fight these battles, and your current and future support is what will keep us fighting. 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!