Save Chatfield State Park

Latest Developments

The Columbine Courier is running a poll on whether Chatfield Reservoir should be expanded  – that is, are you for or against the Reallocation?

After voting, call your local elected officials (mayor, city council, etc.) and share your opinion with them. If they are Democrats, you can mention that the State Party Platform included a position statement opposing the Chatfield Reallocation.

The Chatfield Reallocation Project was approved approved on June 4, 2014. Information about the decision is available at

On April 12 the Colorado Democratic Party adopted a platform containing the following resolution:

WHEREAS, Chatfield Reservoir and State Park were built with taxpayer money for flood control and recreation, and is an economic resource for the Denver metro area, hosting approximately 1.6 million visitors annually; and
WHEREAS, the Chatfield Enlargement Project as proposed is a poor use of tax dollars as it will extensively damage all public and environmental resources of Chatfield State Park, inundating river and forest that is habitat for 375 species of birds and
other natural creatures, while other less damaging alternatives are available to project sponsors;
BE IT RESOLVED that the Chatfield Reallocation/Enlargement Project should not be implemented or supported, and that no state money shall be used to subsidize water interests that participate in and support this ill-­‐conceived, extremely damaging, and speculative project.

Meanwhile, House Bill 1333, which has passed the Colorado House and Senate with a provision that would authorize the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) to allocate $87,769,000 of its annual budget for loans to six Chatfield water providers so they can “purchase storage space in the Chatfield reallocation project.”

We’d like to thank Senator Andy Kerr (303-866-4859 or
for offering an amendment to delete the language on Chatfield and Senators Linda Newell (303-866-4846 or, Matt Jones (303-866-5291 or and Jessie Ulibarri (303-866-4857 or for supporting Senator Kerr’s amendment.

Coming Soon…

The Army Corps of Engineers plans to issue a Record of Decision in April 2014. More information is available at

Short Video


Watch this short video for a quick overview of the Chatfield Reservoir Reallocation Project.

(Video courtesy of Havens Productions, LLC)


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.

Click here for things you can do.

Proposed Changes

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 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.

A parking lot full of cars

A full parking lot near Kingfisher Bridge on a Saturday in June 2012. The Chatfield Reallocation Project would inundate this area.