Colorado Division of Wildlife: Moffat Collection System and Windy Gap Firming projects hearings recap

A picture named coloradotransmountaindiversionscu.jpg

From The Mountain Mail (Joe Stone):

Commission chairman Tim Glenn pointed out that authority of the commission is limited to review of mitigation plans to address impacts to fish and wildlife by the proposed projects.

Representatives from Grand County, Trout Unlimited, Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, Colorado River Landowners and Western Resource Advocates urged commissioners to seek more extensive measures than those proposed in mitigation plans. Specific issues during public testimony include higher water temperature, insufficient flushing flow, nutrient loading, effect of climate change, need for monitoring and adaptive management and adequacy of long-term financing…

Studies cited during testimony indicate mayfly species below Windy Gap Reservoir have been reduced from 17 species in 1983 to five species in 2010. Stonefly species have declined from 10 to four during the same time. Both insects are important food sources for trout.

Commissioners heard from the City of Broomfield and Platte River Power Authority who support mitigation proposals. They said reservoir projects would strengthen their operations…

Final recommendation from wildlife commissioners is due in June. After the wildlife commission adopts a final recommendation, the Colorado Water Conservation Board will have 60 days to affirm or modify it.

More coverage from the Associated Press via the Aurora Sentinel. From the article:

At a meeting Friday in Salida, Grand County was among those who told wildlife commissioners to better preserve stream flows so that river temperatures are cool enough for fish to thrive, and so that river systems can be flushed of sediment that can choke bugs that provide food for trout…

Both water suppliers have proposed steps such as not diverting water to their systems in the summer when stream flows drop below a certain level or when water temperatures get too high. Critics said diversions should be restricted whenever those thresholds are crossed, not just on certain dates.

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

Leave a Reply