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Old 07-23-2010   #31
Ft Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 198
Yesterday evening about 10 supporters for the LaPorte River Improvement Project (new name) attended the meeting with the Larimer County Open Lands Program. Mandy did a great job presenting the project and addressing questions. This included presenting a stack of 106 letters of support to the panel.

In the end, the Open Lands Program agreed to go ahead and assign staff to review the management plan for Lions Park. This is the decision we needed, but it was not the smooth sailing we had anticipated. Here's my take on the major concerns:

1. The county is broke. There was an important discussion on whether it was appropriate to even assign County staff to examine/revise the park management plan to consider including the river modifications and activities. Estimated staff time to complete the review is on the order of 3 months (i.e., 3 mo FTE; the process will take much longer). This includes revising the plan, conducting public outreach and meetings, and responding to concerns.

2. There were a couple 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' discussions. On the one hand, we were specifically asked to demonstrate broad public support for the project. On the other hand, board members expressed concerns about overuse of the park.

3. A landowner downstream of the bridge (not adjacent to the proposed project area, as asserted by the landowners) is concerned about additional tresspass. They reported existing trespass problems with tubers, families swimming in the river, etc. - NOT kayakers, but they're concerned about additional use of the park and how this will affect trespass on their land.

4. Capacity of current facilities. See #2. The parking lot holds 20 cars and it occasionally fills, although not with the frequency reported at the meeting. I live out there and bike, walk, and drive by this park on a daily basis. The landowners reported the park was full yesterday afternoon, but this mid-week use was extremely unusual - there was a group sampling the river yesterday afternoon (i.e., these were not recreational users). The parking lot does fill sometimes on summer weekends.

5. Funding. There was a suggestion that 'the group proposing the park' raise the necessary funding first, then ask permission. Again, the County is broke, so we will need to raise funds for the entire project. Fortunately, there are several programs that we can apply to. The arguments here seemed a bit circular - we need permission to move into serious fund-raising, but it may be difficult to get permission without showing up with adequate funding. Some near-term tasks, like design, will likely require financial support.

Many thanks to ALL of you that submitted letters and offers to help. And especially those that participated in the meeting. The nearby landowner voiced legitimate concerns, and I'm not sure this would have gone through without your support.

We -- that's the royal 'we' -> it means Mandy so far -- will continue discussions with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, the Open Lands Program, land owners, and the plethora of others that need to be on board - Corps of Engineers, boating groups, all of you, etc., etc. Some of the rest of us will need to step up and help Mandy -- this is rapidly outgrowing the effort that one person can spearhead.

I don't know how much we'll be able to help the County or the DOW with the planning and evaluations they are required to conduct. These are the issues likely to be next on the table. If you have skills and expertise in hydrological modeling, fish habitat restoration/improvement, writing management plans, grant writing, or other associated tasks, please visit LaPorte Whitewater Park | Poudre Rock Report and write a letter and fill out the 'what I'm willing to help with' boxes. Some folks have made very generous offers to help with construction - thanks!! One consultant noted that about half the cost of these features is usually in materials - rocks and such. If you have contacts or ideas on materials, please forward them.

I know some of you are anxious to hear, so I'll post this now. Mandy's in Denver today and will perhaps add something this evening.

In closing, there are no committments yet and some genuine issues to be resolved. But we're still moving forward and there's a lot of enthusiasm and support for the project - some from quarters that you might not expect!

More later,

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Old 07-23-2010   #32
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 400
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I agree with everything John said, and I think it was accurate as to how it went. I think the committee is excited and scared but they said they were looking for ways to get the community involved and this is the perfect chance.

One interesting note was that the land owner mentioned above was sitting in front of me, they were steaming when the presentation first started, but they cooled off as it went. The committee realizes that there are _current_ issues with the park currently and something must be done. This project is a great opportunity to do so.

We ----NEED---- more fisherpeople's perspective and support of this project. The environmental impact/aspect of this project regarding the fishing and habitat is of the highest importance.

Overall, great start. Mandy, you're so well spoken and I really respect that. Impressive.

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Old 07-23-2010   #33
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
As far as getting fishing perspective and support would it be worthwhile to put up fliers or something of the sort at JAX and fly shops around town? The Buzz is great for getting boaters support but there is going to be very little outreach to fishers.
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Old 07-27-2010   #34
Ft Fun, Colorado
Paddling Since: 0001
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 207
ill get a fisherman's perspective and he is a wildlife biologist....he wrote a letter for this last meeting...he will learn to kayak if we can get these play waves....Robert is a good dude
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Old 07-27-2010   #35
Loveland, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 118
A possible source for stone.In 1995ish there was a big rock slide in the Big Thompson canyon. CDOT piled all of the rock in the pullouts and it sat there for a few years. When I worked for the Park Service we needed stone for a trail project. We contacted CDOT and asked about the stone sitting on the side of the road. They told us that we could have it if we could move it-of course this was not a problem as the NPS has lots of huge trailers and front end loaders etc. I know there was a recent rock slide-I haven't been up the canyon all year so I don't know what they did with the stone. If it is still there it might be worth contacting them to see if they will donate it or just let you have it-they might have other nearby sources as well. This was huge blocks at the time. If there is similar material it might work really well for a whitewater park.
Also on the link to the WWPP from the PRR site there does not appear to be any email addresses or contact for Mandy K or John G so I posted here. Thanks for the effort on this project.
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Old 07-28-2010   #36
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 400
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Just posted at FishExplorer.com: Colorado Fishing Lakes and Rivers

I've heard from a few that this would be a good place to get the people that fish on board.

Colorado Fishing Forum on Fish Explorer - LaPorte River Improvement Project. We need your help!


We may want to change the title on the Poudre Rock Report site to LaPorte River Improvement Project. As it's currently whitewater park....

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Old 07-29-2010   #37
Steamboat, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 458
Originally Posted by jeffy View Post

We may want to change the title on the Poudre Rock Report site to LaPorte River Improvement Project. As it's currently whitewater park....


You make a good point. I went and updated the page title accordingly.

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Old 07-29-2010   #38
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 121
Hey all: late in posting this, but it was sent July 20th by Colorado Whitewater:

Larimer County Open Lands Program

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing on behalf of the Colorado Whitewater Association to endorse the proposed whitewater park and fishing habitat at Lyons Park in LaPorte, Colorado.

Whitewater parks in cities and towns throughout the state have been shown to have a substantial positive economic impact on the communities in which they are located. A study done in 2000 of the economic impact of the Golden Whitewater Park found an annual economic benefit to the community of between 1.36 and 2.03 million dollars1. Since that time the Golden Whitewater Park has grown in popularity, and is not only a haven for whitewater enthusiasts but also fishermen and the community in general. The cities of Glenwood Springs, Vail, Steamboat Springs and Lyons all have whitewater parks that attract whitewater enthusiasts from around the country.

Throughout the spring and early summer, hundreds of members of our association visit the Poudre each weekend. The proposed whitewater park would provide our group with a great venue for instruction and club events. River features that enhance whitewater opportunities at lower river flows will also encourage our members to visit the Poudre later in the season rather than driving longer distances to western slope rivers.

The Colorado Whitewater Association strongly endorses the proposed LaPorte whitewater park, and we sincerely hope that Larimer County and the Colorado Department of Wildlife will support this project.

Very truly yours,
Colorado Whitewater

Mark Robbins
Conservation Director

1The Study can be found online at: American Whitewater - -SecurityGadget-explain
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Old 07-29-2010   #39
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 400
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Originally Posted by frenchy View Post

You make a good point. I went and updated the page title accordingly.

Thanks Brian,

Mandy, some of the people on FishExplorer.com have indicated they would need to see more details. Would it be possible to post your updated presentation to the site? It seems the current images are outdated and probably need to be changed....

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Old 08-08-2010   #40
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 168
I would imagine that if Glade Reservoir goes through there would be significantly reduced flow through this area. Has anyone thought about if these two projects could work together?

I oppose Glade Reservoir, but a ton of people with a lot of money support it.

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