Agreement Puts Colorado River on Road to Recovery


Those of you who wonder aloud what Trout Unlimited does for your business should take note of this.  The group just kept water in the Colorado River, and that’s going to help Colorado outfitters in a big way.  Read on for the details of this latest (among many) success TU wins on behalf of anglers and angling businesses.

Tim Romano
Managing Editor, Angling Trade

From Colorado Trout Unlimited:

The Colorado River received an early Christmas present this year, as an agreement was reached today that will help offset impacts from the proposed Windy Gap Firming Project (WGFP) and put the Upper Colorado River on the road to recovery.  Trout Unlimited today praised the multiparty agreement reached with the Municipal Subdistrict of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (Municipal Subdistrict), which will provide significant protections for the Upper Colorado River and result in major investments in restoring the river’s health. The package of river conservation measures —negotiated among the Municipal Subdistrict, Grand County staff, Trout Unlimited and the Upper Colorado River Alliance (UCRA)—was approved today by the Grand County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) as part of a permit issued for the Windy Gap firming project.

Several years ago, TU (along with the Colorado Environmental Coalition and Western Resource Advocates) issued a report – Facing Our Future – on meeting Colorado’s water supply needs in an environmentally sound way.  A more recent follow-up report, “Filling the Gap,” further developed recommendations for river-friendly water supply strategies.  In both reports, WGFP was identified as a potentially smart supply project — IF its west-slope impacts were responsibly addressed.  In light of commitments secured from the Municipal Subdistrict, the project’s sponsor, TU believes that those impacts are now being addressed and we have voiced our support for the WGFP moving forward in light of the river protection measures that would be included.

Background:  The original Windy Gap project – which pumps water from the Colorado River below its confluence with the Fraser up to Lake Granby and then through the Colorado-Big Thompson Project facilities to the Northern Front Range – was expected to have only very modest effects on the Colorado River.  Unfortunately, those projections proved badly wrong and the fishery has been in significant decline… Click here to continue reading more in-depth information on the agreement.


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