Chatfield Reallocation Project: Many are eyeing the project warily

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From the Littleton Independent (Jennifer Smith):

“The political support seems overwhelmingly in favor of the project as one small step to ease the projected shortfall in water for the metro region,” reads a staff report to the South Suburban Parks and Recreation District board. “However, it does not seem as though South Platte Park or South Suburban recreation users or park patrons are guaranteed any mitigation or specific benefits from this plan as written.”[…]

Members of the local Audubon Society said during an Aug. 2 meeting they are planning to sue should the Corps’ preferred alternative go forward. One significant problem, they say, is a little amphibian called the northern leopard frog, which is one step below being endangered.

Joe Farah is a Chatfield volunteer who has been studying reptiles and amphibians at Chatfield for a decade. He says he gave his work to the Corps, but it’s not reflected in the proposal – which never mentions the frog. Farah said the project would have a devastating impact on its habitat.

The Corps’ study notes it won’t negatively affect the threatened Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, which also lives at the lake and caused quite a stir a few years ago when it was threatened by development in Douglas County…

“This is potentially disastrous,” Farah said. “I fail to see how this project will do anything positive for anything but humans.”[…]

Audubon has launched a website, www.savechatfield.org, and is planning tours of the affected areas in Chatfield the weekend of Aug. 18-19.

More Chatfield Reservoir coverage here.

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