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Save The Poudre Press Release 2009-06-04

For Immediate Release
Save The Poudre Coalition
September 1, 2009
Contact: Gary Wockner, 970-218-8310


Fort Collins, CO -- At its Tuesday, August 25th special Council meeting, the City of Fort Morgan officially started planning for an alternative to the expensive and destructive NISP/Glade Reservoir project. The story was covered in the Fort Morgan Times here on Wednesday, August 26th:

NISP/Glade is now 5 years late and millions over budget, with no end in sight. Fort Morgan's share of NISP was 3,600 acre feet, or about 9% of the total project. Including the cost of principle and interest, Fort Morgan would have to pay about $90 million for NISP/Glade, all to meet the demands of new growth that has now nearly stopped in Fort Morgan and many other Weld County towns.

"We strongly encourage communities that need water to start planning for alternatives to NISP," said Gary Wockner, spokesperson for the Save The Poudre Coalition. "We have put together such an alternative plan that is cheaper, better for farms, and will protect the Cache la Poudre River."

A summary of the "Healthy River Alternatives" has been mailed to all NISP participants, and is available for download here:

"NISP/Glade will accelerate the pave-over of farms, send these small towns into massive debt, and destroy the Poudre River," said Wockner. "The Save The Poudre Coalition is committed to stopping this project and encouraging more responsible water planning efforts."

"It is our understanding that the Army Corps of Engineers is redoing all of the science that was in the DEIS," continued Wockner. "It could take years for a final EIS to come out, and then the project might never receive a permit. Fort Morgan is wise to start planning for a better alternative. Other NISP participants should follow suit."

In related news, the "Tri-Districts" or northern Colorado recently pulled out of the Halligan Reservoir project, citing the cost and time delay involved with permitting, even though the Halligan project was supposed to cost 4 times less than NISP/Glade. Story here:

"It seems that all of these little towns were led to believe that federal permitting would be easy," continued Wockner. "Whoever wants to drain, divert, or dam the Poudre needs to know that it won't be fast, cheap, or easy."

The Save The Poudre Coalition is made up of 15 national, state, and regional groups including: National Wildlife Federation, Clean Water Action, Defenders of Wildlife, American Rivers, Western Resource Advocates, Colorado Environmental Coalition, Lighthawk, Environment Colorado, Sierra Club – Rocky Mountain Chapter, Fort Collins Audubon Society, Citizen Planners, Wolverine Farm Publishing, Poudre Paddlers, Friends of the Poudre, and the Cache la Poudre River Foundation. Membership in these groups totals over 3 million American citizens.

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