The Chatfield Reservoir Reallocation Project Fish, Wildlife and Recreation Mitigation Plan prepared for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission is now available for review. A formal presentation of the mitigation plan is scheduled for 10:15 on Friday, November 15, 2013, at the Commission’s meeting in Lamar. Please see the Commission’s website for the meeting agenda, the schedule for future meetings, and a link to live audio broadcasts.
Slides (8.9 MB in pdf format) and audio (4.5 MB in mp3 format) for a Colorado Parks and Wildlife presentation to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission on “Chatfiled Reallocation Project Impacts.”
Please see our autumn foliage photos for a close-up look at some of the habitat that the Reallocation Project would destroy.
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(Video courtesy of Havens Productions, LLC)
Chatfield State Park, one of Colorado’s most visited State Parks, is threatened by proposed changes that would destroy much of its woodlands and riparian habitat and heavily impact the activities of Park visitors. A consortium of water districts has requested to store additional water in Chatfield Reservoir. The maximum storage level of the Reservoir would be increased by 12 feet, expanding its footprint significantly. Perhaps worse, routine water levels in the reservoir would fluctuate by as much as 21 feet. Swim beach facilities would have to be moved. Woodlands would be inundated. The floating marina would have to be re-anchored to accommodate the larger water level fluctuations. Shady picnic sites in areas to be flooded would have to be moved to higher treeless locations.
Because the consortium owns very junior water rights, water would only approach the maximum level in extremely wet years. Many years the reservoir would be maintained close to its current level. At low water levels, the swim beach facilities would be more than 600 feet from the water’s edge. Rich woodland and riparian habitat along Plum Creek and the South Platte River would be flooded during wet years and transformed into mud flats much of the time. Visitors would have fewer wild birds and other animals to observe and fewer opportunities for contact with nature.
Quality of Life
Metropolitan Denver’s population is predicted to roughly double by 2050. The Draft Feasibility Report / Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) correctly points out the urgent need to develop additional water resources and management strategies. The DEIS does not address the need to augment parks and preserve natural areas for an increased population. Without adequate parks and natural areas, the quality of life in this more crowded metropolitan area would be greatly diminished. There are other options. We should not enhance our water supplies by sacrificing a portion of one of our busiest parks.
For more information please explore the links on this page. You can reach other pages on SaveChatfield.org through the links below the photo at the top of this page. The column at the right contains links to other sites and information from external sources.