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PRESS RELEASE: Life or Death of the Cache la Poudre River May Escalate to Colorado Supreme Court

For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Wockner, 970-218-8310,

Life or Death of the Cache la Poudre River May Escalate to Colorado Supreme Court

Cache la Poudre River, CO: Yesterday, a state district court in Larimer County, CO, ruled against considering the “Poudre River Option” as a conveyance for delivering water downstream to water users, and instead supported a massive 6-foot diameter pipeline that would drain an additional 13 billion gallons of water/year out of the Poudre River before the River reaches Fort Collins.

The court’s decision is posted here.

The ruling sided with former Larimer County Commissioners who supported a 1041 permit for the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) in an October 2020 decision. The ruling didn’t just dismiss the Poudre River Option but completely neglected to discuss it although the lawsuit brought by Save The Poudre, as well as Save The Poudre’s engagement in the permit process back in 2020, extensively argued in support of using the River as the conveyance for water.

Save The Poudre’s response brief in the lawsuit, arguing extensively for the Poudre River Option, is posted here (see pages 19 – 26).

“NISP wants to take 13 billion gallons of water out of the Poudre River every year and put that water in a pipeline that runs near the River and then crosses the River miles downstream near Windsor,” said Gary Wockner of Save The Poudre. “Using the River as the conveyance for this water, rather than a massive pipeline, is a common-sense compromise that protects the Poudre River as well as saves hundreds of millions of dollars on pipeline costs.”

Both NISP and a parallel project, the Thornton Pipeline, propose to divert Poudre River water into massive pipelines upstream of Fort Collin rather than use the river as a conveyance to get the water downstream. The Thornton Pipeline expects to put in a new application to Larimer County in the coming weeks, while NISP likely faces more court battles as Save The Poudre considers its options for appeal. Further, NISP faces a potential court battle over a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, and NISP needs a permit from the City of Fort Collins.

See the image above, as well as page 3 of the court’s ruling, which depicts how NISP would divert a massive amount of water out of the Poudre River into the proposed Glade Reservoir, and then put that water in the “NISP Delivery Pipeline” that would run across Larimer County north of the Poudre River, and then run all the way down along I-25 to Windsor where it would cross the Poudre River.

“We believe that the state’s highest court may need to decide, once and for all, whether the Poudre River lives or dies,” said Wockner. “We are considering our options to appeal this district court decision because Nature created a perfectly good pipeline that runs all the way through Fort Collins and Larimer County — Nature’s pipeline is called the “Cache la Poudre River.”

This press release is posted here.




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