Last Chance for the Fraser River

  • By: Margaret Pojar
  • Target: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Commander Col. Joel R. Cross, Regional Administrator Jim Martin

Denver Water’s Moffat Firming Project threatens to effectively kill the aquatic habitat of the Fraser River. Denver Water is currently taking over half of the River’s flows by diverting it to the Front Range, and we are seeing serious declines in River health and aquatic life.

The proposal, which requires a Permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers, will increase the diversion to the Front Range to about 80% without an enforceable plan to ensure the long-term health of the River. Information developed so far is inadequate to assess impacts, and science cannot fully answer what will happen once the River is left with only 20% of its natural flows.

No one knows for sure what the impact will be to the River, therefore a mechanism must be in place to address problems that arise in the future. The only protection for the River going forward is to make sure that Adaptive Management and Monitoring is included in the Permit.

The Corps of Engineers is about to make a decision this week on the content of the Permit. Please let the Corps know how important it is to include Adaptive Management and Monitoring in the Permit-this is the last chance for the Fraser River.

By signing the petition, you will send the Governor Hickenlooper, the Corps and involved government officials the message below, and you will have done your part to save a River.

__________________

I am writing to you today to express my serious concerns with the status of the proposed Moffat Collection System Project (Moffat Project) and the future governance provided in the contemplated Permit.

Elevated temperatures are already an issue for the Fraser and Ranch Creek, and increased diversions in the summer will make the situation worse. 

            Sedimentation issues already threaten the Fraser River and the further loss of flushing flows will only make matters worse. 

            An accurate prediction of the impacts of the Moffat Project and needed mitigation is not possible today.  Ongoing monitoring and adaptive management is imperative – so that additional mitigation can be designed to address the project’s actual impacts in the years to come.  If the initial mitigation measures are not getting the job done, then new measures need to be put in place-we need a mechanism for that.  This was the approach recently taken in the context of the Southern Delivery System project proposed by Colorado Springs.

          

            The decisions you make regarding the Moffat Project may well mean life or death for one of the major river assets in the State of Colorado. I appreciate your efforts so far and urge you to make the decisions for the river based on making sure its future and health can be protected while giving Denver Water its use of the water-a win-win for all.

            Thanks for your consideration. 






Col. Joel R. Cross, Commander









U.S. Army Corps of Engineers









Omaha District









Via email – joel.r.cross@usace.army.mil









 









Jim Martin, Regional Administrator









U.S. Environmental Protection Agency









Region VIII









Via email - Martin.Jim@epamail.epa.gov









 









            Re:  Moffat Project









 









Dear Colonel Cross and Mr. Martin,









 









            I am writing to you today to express my serious concerns with the status of the proposed Moffat Collection System Project (Moffat Project) and the future governance provided in the contemplated Permit.









 









Elevated temperatures are already an issue for the Fraser and Ranch Creek, and increased diversions in the summer will make the situation worse. 









 









            Sedimentation issues already threaten the Fraser River and the further loss of flushing flows will only make matters worse. 









 









            An accurate prediction of the impacts of the Moffat Project and needed mitigation is not possible today.  Ongoing monitoring and adaptive management is imperative – so that additional mitigation can be designed to address the project’s actual impacts in the years to come.  If the initial mitigation measures are not getting the job done, then new measures need to be put in place-we need a mechanism for that.  This was the approach recently taken in the context of the Southern Delivery System project proposed by Colorado Springs.









           









            The decisions you make regarding the Moffat Project may well mean life or death for one of the major river assets in the State of Colorado. I appreciate your efforts so far and urge you to make the decisions for the river based on making sure its future and health can be protected while giving Denver Water its use of the water-a win-win for all.









 









            Thanks for your consideration. 





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