You may be wondering the latest is on the proposal for a whitewater park in LaPorte for paddlers and fisher people. Well, for now, it is probably fair to say it's stuck in a hole (see Laporte Play Park – 10/11/2010 Update | Poudre Rock Report
for the full story).
The main reasons given by the County to put it on hold for now are:
1. Larimer County is broke (both staff time and money) and a bit demoralized about what can be done (my interpretation),
2. the Colorado Division of Wildlife has not supported the idea,
3. one adjacent landowner is not enthusiastic,
4. there is concern about the possible impact of the proposed Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP; including Glade Reservoir), and
5. they seem to believe that getting FEMA approval would be very expensive (they estimate $150,000).
I don’t believe any of these issues NEED to be stoppers. With a “can do” mindset, we could generate solutions to each of them that would be acceptable to all parties involved.
What can we do?
- Try not to get too disheartened.
- Form a recognizable group whose mission is to get whitewater play features on the Poudre River. At almost every meeting with public agencies, I am asked if there is a group spearheading this action – I try to explain that, with the exception of the Poudre Paddlers and the Colorado WhiteWater Association, kayakers are relatively solitary folks who paddle with a few friends at a time. I think this weakens our case. I think it would be of value to form a group dedicated to whitewater recreation on the Poudre River (its voice might be strengthened if it had members who were not only kayakers, but also canoeists, fishermen and women, etc. It might be called something like Poudre River Players – ideas welcome!!) And I will be out of the country for a block of time, so I will be out of action for a while.
- Figure out a way to help the CDOW transfer the Lions Park land ownership to Larimer County if both parties are willing.
- Use modeling to present a credible flow regime if NISP is constructed and the Greeley pipeline becomes a functioning reality.
- I think it would be of great value if we could formulate a design. It is very easy for people to reject an idea when we are talking in generalities. The County representative I spoke with was concerned that something designed for the current flow regime might not work in the presence of NISP – I was trying to explain that features designed for the current range of 0-4000 cfs or so would likely be optimized for lowish flows anyway. If we could get suitably skilled volunteers to survey the site, model the flows and generate an approximate design, this would help us all negotiate on the same page.
Sorry I don’t have better news. Don't give up. If we'd had it in place this year, we'd have been playing there in October!!!!!