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For Immediate Release
February 18, 2014
   Gary Wockner
   Save The Poudre: Poudre Waterkeeper

Save The Poudre Requests Fort Collins Meeting
for Controversial Colorado Water Plan

Threats to Poudre River more extreme than any river in the state

Fort Collins, CO -- Today Save The Poudre sent a request to State officials asking for a public meeting in Fort Collins for the Colorado Water Plan. Last week the public meeting schedule for the South Platte River basin (which includes the Cache la Poudre River) was released (posted here), but there are no meetings in Fort Collins or Larimer County at all, with the closest meeting being in Longmont.

At the same time that Fort Collins was not included in the Colorado Water Plan process, the threats to the Cache la Poudre River are the most extreme in the state. Five huge proposed dam/reservoir/pipeline projects would impact the Poudre River including the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP), Halligan Project, Seaman Project, Bellvue Pipeline, and Windy Gap Firming Project. NISP, Halligan, and Seaman would involve large new dams on or near the river and would remove massive quantities of water from the Poudre River before it flows through Fort Collins. The Bellvue Pipeline would divert more water out of the river and send it to Greeley. The Windy Gap Firming Project proposes to drain water out of the Colorado River and use it to fill NISP reservoirs and send water to the largest climate-change polluter in northern Colorado, the Rawhide coal-fired powerplant north of Fort Collins.

"Threats to the Poudre River in Fort Collins are more extreme than for any river in the state," said Gary Wockner, director of Save The Poudre. "The people of Fort Collins deserve to have their voices heard in the Colorado Water Plan process."

The Colorado Water Plan process was instigated by Governor John Hickenlooper through an executive order in March of 2013 but has become extremely controversial. Since last March, and with practically no public input, a group of "roundtables" in each river basin has been creating drafts of the plan. In August of 2013, after a draft of the plan for the Front Range was leaked to the public, Save The Poudre issued this press release which revealed that the plan appeared to be getting hijacked by water developers. The initial draft of the plan supported building a massive network of dams, reservoirs, and pipelines that would potentially further drain and destroy every river in the state and pipe that water to the Front Range (see new article in Summit County Voice here). The "roundtable" in the South Platte River basin has zero members (out of a total of 50) who represent strong river protection positions, even though state officials keep saying in the media that the process is "bottom up" and "grassroots." After Save The Poudre exposed this draft plan, state lawmakers have engaged, passing a bill out of committee in the senate last week that would force more public input opportunities in the plan process.

Save The Poudre's request was emailed to James Eklund (Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board), John Stulp (Governor Hickenlooper's Water Advisor), Mike King (State Director of Natural Resources), and Senator Gail Schwartz and Representative Randy Fischer (Co-Chairs of the State Water Resources Review Committee for the State Legislature).

Last week, Save The Poudre joined with 18 Colorado conservation groups to give input into the Colorado Water Plan. That input supported alternative water supply concepts, no more dams and diversions, and creating river restoration plans throughout the state. That input is posted here; a video version of the input is posted here.

This press release is posted here.


Gary Wockner, PhD, Director
Save The Poudre: Poudre Waterkeeper
Fort Collins, Colorado

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