The Colorado Division of Wildlife commissioners will open a 60 day comment period for the Moffat Collection System Project and Windy Gap Firming Project Thursday

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Here’s the release from the Colorado Division of Wildlife (Theo Stein):

The Colorado Wildlife Commission will initiate a formal review of plans to mitigate impacts to fish and wildlife resources that would be created by two major transmountain water development projects at its April 7 workshop at the Fairfield Center in Meeker.

The 60-day review of mitigation plans to be presented by Denver Water and the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District is required by statute.

Denver Water is proposing to firm up the yield from its existing water rights on the West Slope, primarily by enlarging Boulder’s Gross Reservoir and diverting additional water from the Fraser and Williams Fork rivers. Northern is proposing to firm up the yield from its existing water rights in the Upper Colorado River by diverting additional water to the proposed new Chimney Hollow Reservoir west of Longmont.

Under state statute, the Commission’s authority is limited to a review of plans to mitigate impacts from proposed projects. Restoring the river to a past condition is beyond the scope of the project approval process and Wildlife Commission authority.

However, Denver and Northern are voluntarily proposing steps to address impacts of existing water development projects to fish and wildlife resources on both sides of the Continental Divide. Both the mitigation and enhancement plans will be presented to the Commission at the meeting.

In other business, the Commission will consider draft regulations to amend the existing prohibition on dogs at Lon Hagler and Lone Tree Reservoir state wildlife areas near Loveland.

Under the proposed change, dogs must be on a leash less than six feet long, unless they are on a boat in which case a leash is not required. Additionally, dogs would be prohibited from portions of both properties during certain times of the year except as an aid to hunting. The current dog ban would be maintained around the Lon Hagler annex pond and adjacent land to protect wildlife habitat.

The Wildlife Commission meets monthly and travels to communities around the state to facilitate public participation in its processes. During the rest of 2011, the Commission is scheduled meet in Salida in May, Grand Junction in June and in locations to be determined from July through December.

The complete agenda for the April Wildlife Commission workshop, as well as a discussion of proposed regulation changes for Lon Hagler and Lone Tree state wildlife areas, can be found on the Wildlife Commission web page at: http://wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeCommission/Archives/2011/April72011.htm.

More information on Denver Water’s Moffat Collection System proposal and Northern’s Windy Gap Firming Project may be found here: http://wildlife.state.co.us/LandWater/Water/MoffatWindyGapMitigationProjects/.

Members of the public who are unable to attend Commission meetings or workshops can listen to the proceedings through a link on the DOW’s website. This opportunity is provided to keep constituents better informed about the development of regulations by the Commission and how they and DOW staff are resolving issues facing Colorado’s wildlife.

To access the live audio feed during the meeting, click on the “listen to live audio” link at the bottom of the Commission webpage at: http://wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeCommission/

The Colorado Wildlife Commission is an 11-member board appointed by the governor. The Wildlife Commission sets Division of Wildlife regulations and policies for hunting, fishing, watchable wildlife, nongame, threatened and endangered species. The Commission also oversees Division of Wildlife land purchases and property regulations.

From The Denver Post (Scott Willoughby):

The Colorado Wildlife Commission will initiate a formal review of plans to mitigate impacts to fish and wildlife resources that would be created by two major trans-mountain water-development projects at its Thursday workshop at the Fairfield Center in Meeker.

Denver Water is proposing to firm up the yield from its existing water rights on the Western Slope, primarily by enlarging Boulder’s Gross Reservoir and diverting additional water from the Fraser and Williams Fork rivers. Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District is proposing to firm up the yield from its existing water rights in the Upper Colorado River by diverting additional water to the proposed Chimney Hollow Reservoir west of Longmont.

The 60-day review of mitigation plans to be presented by Denver Water and Northern is required by statute. A voluntary enhancement plan designed to address impacts of existing water-development projects also will be presented.

More Moffat Collection System Project coverage here and here. More Windy Gap Firming Project coverage here and here.

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