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Poudre River Update: Please Comment or Testify Against Thornton’s ZOMBIE Pipeline

Hi Poudre River Lovers,

We killed it once, but Thornton’s ZOMBIE pipeline is back again!

Next week on April 10th, there will be a hearing at the Larimer County Planning Commission. On April 22nd, there will be a final hearing in front of the Larimer County Commissioners.

We have dissected the application and provided comments to the Planning Commission. Our comments are posted here.

A summary of our comments:

  1. This new application has changed very little from the previous application in 2018. It’s a waste of Larimer County’s time to even consider this application when there is no significant benefit to the County. Further, the former Larimer County Commissioners denied the application, and then Thornton lost in court, twice. This new application should meet the same demise.
  2. Larimer County’s Land Use Code requires that applicants must “FIRST AVOID” negative impacts to the County, its citizens, and its natural resources. Instead of avoiding those impacts, Thornton’s application tries to “mitigate” impacts.
  3. Using the “Poudre River Option,” Thornton must send its water down the Poudre River instead of putting the water in a pipeline, an option that would AVOID all impacts in Larimer County.
  4. Thornton could’ve sent its water down the Poudre River 10 or 20 years ago WITHOUT even needing a permit from Larimer County, and so its not Larimer County’s fault, or Save The Poudre’s, that Thornton doesn’t already have this water.
  5. The application provides almost no material benefit to the County and its residents which is required by the Land Use Code. Thornton must choose the “Poudre River Option” which sends the water down the Poudre and would provide the following benefits to help restore and heal the Poudre River:
    • The river water would be cooler which would benefit native fish and people recreating in the river.
    • The higher flow would help flush sediment and mud out of the river channel.
    • Trout could more easily spawn in a cleaner riverbed of sand and gravel.
    • Less algae would grow on the riverbed and on rocks, making the river safer for people.
    • Less water treatment and expense might be needed by the City’s wastewater
      treatment plant, and city-wide stormwater runoff would have less negative impact
      on water quality in the river.
    • Wetlands would be helped to flourish along the river providing more bird and wildlife habitat.
    • Cottonwoods and willows would be helped to flourish along the river.
    • Recreational opportunities, including those at the new Whitewater Park, would be
    • Flooding impacts may decrease.
    • The river would be more beautiful.

Hearing dates with the Planning Commission and County Commissioners:

Sign up to speak through the Larimer County website here.

Planning Commission – Wednesday April 10
Board of County Commissioners – Monday April 22
All meetings will start at 6 p.m. and will have a hybrid format.
In person: 200 W. Oak St. and via Zoom (link to be provided)

In addition to showing up for the Hearings, writing letters to the Planning Commission and the County Commissioners is important! Write letters to John Barnett in the Planning Department using this email:, and/or write letters to the Larimer County Commissioners using this email:

Let our Commissioners know exactly how you feel about a destructive pipeline running through our properties, and how the Poudre River Option is the answer to Thornton’s water needs.

Let’s Kill The Zombie Pipeline Again!

Thank you!

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