The Dam Truth


If you drove through Poudre Canyon last April and swore you saw a bare bottom in your peripheral, you weren’t that far off—it was 10 bare bottoms. Naked activists stood in the Poudre River bearing signs as part of a demonstration organized by the Save the Poudre Coalition to protest a dam and reservoir proposal that will be decided upon by the U.S Army Corp of Engineers in 2009. The proposed dam would divert about 35 percent of the water out of the Poudre River as it flows through Fort Collins, storing it in the proposed Glade Reservoir. Glade would supply communities east and south of Fort Collins with water. The project, officially named the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP), is the largest engineering project to be proposed along Colorado’s Front Range in a quarter century. The upper portions of the Poudre are protected by the national Wild and Scenic River designation, but NISP would dam the section of the river below the mouth of Poudre Canyon, know as the lower Poudre. Opponents of NISP, including the city of Fort Collins and environmentalists, claim the project would drain the Poudre to a trickle, endangering not only plant and animal species, but also the recreational, aesthetic, economic and cultural livelihood of the public land corridor that runs along the river through Fort Collins. “The Poudre is already stretched by the many demands we place upon it and is often dry during parts of the year,” says Becky Long of the Colorado Environmental Coalition. “Any large new development on the river is going to have substantial impacts on all users.”

If you missed the Save the Poudre’s Coalition’s cheeky demonstration last spring, you can satisfy your peeping Tom tendencies here:

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