Poudre River

qurlyjoe / Flickr

Wildlife officials are asking for the public's help to determine what caused thousands of fish to die in a northern Colorado river.

The Fort Collins Coloradoan reports Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking if anyone noticed changes in water quality or fish behavior on the Poudre River between Sept. 19 and Sept. 21.

Matt Bloom/KUNC

Standing at the edge of the Cache La Poudre River in Fort Collins, Boyd Wright adjusted his sunglasses against the bright sunlight. He pointed to the Fossil Creek ditch, a diversion structure dividing the waterway.

As technology advances, many industries are being disrupted by increased automation. But when it comes to managing and protecting the water supply, there are many tasks that still require a combination of people and technology.

That's where reservoir caretakers come in. Some cities and counties employ these workers to live in remote locations and watch over the water supply.

Northern Water

Fort Collins council members voted to oppose a project calling for the creation of two new reservoirs in Northern Colorado, at least for now. The Northern Integrated Supply Project would build two reservoirs to supply water to growing towns in Larimer, Weld, and Boulder counties.

The city is not opposed to the idea of the project, but Fort Collins natural areas director John Stokes, in a presentation Tuesday night to council members, said the June supplemental draft environmental impact statement released by the Army Corps of Engineers fails to adequately evaluate and address environmental impacts.

"A key component that is currently missing from the environmental impact statement analysis is a quantitative temperature and water quality model," said Stokes.

Stephanie Paige Ogburn / KUNC

More than 400 people filled a room at the Fort Collins Hilton Wednesday night. They were waiting to speak their mind about a proposal to build two new reservoirs in Northern Colorado -- a project called the Northern Integrated Supply Project.

Their purpose is to provide water -- about 40,000 acre-feet -- to smaller Front Range communities, towns like Fort Morgan and Frederick, who lack water to supply their fast growing populations.

The water for Glade Reservoir, which at 170,000 acre-feet would be a bit larger than Horsetooth, would come from the Poudre River. Because of this, it has many opponents.  

Stephanie Paige Ogburn / KUNC

Surrounded by “Save The Poudre” stickers, banners, books and swag, more than 100 people filled the community room at Fort Collins' Avogadro’s Number to learn about a proposal to build two new reservoirs in Northern Colorado. Or, more correctly -- to learn how to oppose it.

“I want to be point-blank and loud and clear that you are getting a perfectly biased viewpoint from an organization whose mission is to protect and restore the river and we will do everything we can to fight to stop this project for as long as it takes,” said Gary Wockner, director of Save The Poudre, the group organizing the event.

He then led the crowd through a 10-point presentation of why the latest analysis released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Northern Integrated Supply Project was flawed.

Stacy Nick / KUNC

For plein-air painters - that's French for "open air" - creating a work of art can be tough. Even just pronouncing it. Some say "plane air."

"The French call it 'plen air' – 'en plein air,' actually, and they are the ones who coined the term," said plein air painter Danna Hildebrand.

As a retired professor of 28 years from Sheridan College in Wyoming she would know, though she won't fault you for mispronouncing it. Pronunciation is the least of the challenges artists face when they hit the trail with their easels.

Stephanie Paige Ogburn / KUNC

The proposal to build two new reservoirs in Northern Colorado, a project known as the Northern Integrated Supply Project, reached a new waypoint with the release of an Army Corps of Engineers a draft supplemental environmental impact statement.

The analysis is an addendum and update to an environmental analysis released by the Corps in 2008. The proposal for the new reservoirs was put forward by Northern Water on behalf of several towns and water districts in the area seeking new water supplies.

In a statement, Eric Wilkinson, the general manager of Northern Water, said he was pleased "to have reached this important milestone after 12 years and nearly $15 million in expenditures by the NISP participants." 

Stephanie Paige Ogburn / KUNC

A proposal to build new reservoirs that would take water from the Poudre River hit a key deadline June 19. Residents of Northern Colorado can be forgiven, though, if the Northern Integrated Supply Project doesn't ring a bell. It's been seven years since the project's last deadline.

The last time NISP and its two proposed reservoirs was in the news was in 2008 and 2009, when a draft environmental impact statement was released.

Jim Hill / KUNC

Colorado is known worldwide for incredible skiing on its magnificent mountains… but the resort experience also comes with long lines and uber-expensive lift tickets. Back in the 1970s you could have simply headed to Greeley.

Instead of dodging moguls, you could have been dodging tumbleweeds at Sharktooth Ski Area – located on the plains east of the Rockies, perched atop a 150-foot bluff overlooking the Poudre River.

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