Fraser River Deal - Mountain Buzz
 



Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-07-2014   #1
GoBro
 
glenn's Avatar
 
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,493
Fraser River Deal

FYI. Just got this in my email...

Quote:
Celebrate A Major Victory for the Fraser River!

The Fraser River is an outstanding trout fishery that has been treasured by generations of Coloradoans and even drew President Eisenhower to the area to fish in an area known as his “Western White House”. Now it is poised to enjoy a renaissance and a future worthy of its storied past.

After years of persistence and hard work - negotiations, public outreach, research, community organizing, lobbying – TU has announced a major deal with Denver Water and Grand County that will bring a new spirit of collaboration – along with significant financial and water resources – to conserving and restoring the Fraser River watershed.

This is one to celebrate!

The Fraser, a key tributary of the Upper Colorado that flows from Berthoud Pass to Granby, has been hammered by years of diversions. Currently, Denver Water is taking about 60 percent of the natural flows of the Fraser, and their proposed project to expand diversions through the Moffat Tunnel would take another 15 percent of the river. That would put the Fraser and its trout fishery on life support, unless the river received additional protections and mitigation to offset the potential impacts.

For the past decade, TU has been working to secure just those kinds of protections. We identified three core issues for the river: avoiding excessively warm water temperatures that threaten trout and other coldwater species; ensuring adequate “flushing flows” to keep stream beds from becoming clogged by sediment; and including a long-term monitoring and adaptive management program to deal with future challenges that might not be foreseen based on limited information today. Over the years we had moments of promise and others where things looked bleak – but we never stopped pushing for the protections we knew the Fraser River needed. Now, we can celebrate an agreement that addresses all three challenges and helps secure a bright future for the Fraser.

The new agreement, called the Mitigation and Enhancement Coordination Plan, builds on other commitments Denver Water has previously made to address issues facing the Fraser. Under the agreement, Denver Water will provide additional instream flows during key summer months to help keep water temperatures from rising too high. They will use the flexibility built into their extensive water diversion system to help meet target peak flows to help flush sediment and maintain habitat. All of this will take part through a new collaboration called “Learning By Doing” that includes long-term monitoring, financial and water contributions from Denver Water, and cooperative management to adjust conservation and mitigation efforts over time to minimize impacts and maximize benefits for the Fraser River. Importantly, Denver has agreed to propose Learning By Doing as a condition of its federal permit for the Moffat Project – meaning that the commitment to this effort will be secure not only today, but for the future.

Through this Plan and the parallel agreements, the Fraser and Upper Colorado will have an impressive package of protections and enhancements to help secure their future:


Mitigation Measures:
· Measures to address stream temperature issues:
o Monitor stream temperatures and bypass up to 250 AF of water annually if stream temperatures reach state standards
o Bypass sufficient additional flows to reach defined minimum flows if stream temperature problem persists after the 250 AF have been bypassed
o Contribute $1 million to additional projects if temperature problems persist
· Measures to address sediment issues:
o Work to provide flushing flows as recommended in Grand County’s Stream Management Plan
o Operate and maintain sediment pond that catches highway traction sand
o Contribute $1 million to additional projects if sediment problems persist
· $750,000 for fish habitat restoration projects
· $72,500 for fish barrier and restoration of cutthroat habitat plus any additional measures required by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in its Biological Opinion

Enhancement Measures:
· Through Learning by Doing, implement an extensive monitoring program including stream temperature, sediment transport, benthic macroinvertebrates, and riparian areas and wetlands
· Use Denver Water’s system operation flexibility to address identified problems while maintaining water yield
· Provide in-kind contributions of people, equipment and material to benefit Learning by Doing
· $3.25 million for aquatic habitat improvement projects ($1.25 million available before the project is built)
· $2 million for water quality projects (available before the project is built)
· $1 million to pump water at Windy Gap to Granby for release for the benefit of the Colorado River below Granby and below Windy Gap Reservoir
· $2 million for stream improvement projects in the Colorado River
· $1 million for the Colorado River Wild and Scenic Stakeholder effort in the Colorado River
· 1000 AF of water each year released from Denver Water’s Fraser collection system for the benefit of Fraser basin streams
· 1000 AF of water each year released from Williams Fork reservoir (including up to 2,500 AF of carryover storage) for the benefit of the Colorado River below its confluence with Williams Fork

It has been a long road, and one that we haven’t travelled alone. Our conservation allies have been steadfast in their shared commitment to this watershed. Grand County has been a remarkable example of local government leadership in protecting the values of their home waters. Local landowners have contributed their time, expertise, resources, and political support – standing up for their local watershed and community. Denver Water, while we didn’t always see eye to eye, maintained an open door for dialogue and has stepped up to address its impacts in good faith. We deeply appreciate the contributions of all of our partners to this milestone victory for a treasured river.

And we thank you – our members and supporters – for all that you have done throughout this effort to make this achievement possible. You’ve turned up at public meetings, submitted letters and comments to regulatory agencies, taken part in rallies to support the river, shared the Fraser the Trout video with friends and signed the petition of support for the river – all of these individual efforts and actions have added up to a powerful force for change and truly made a difference for the Fraser River.

I’m very proud of what “Team TU” has accomplished together —national staff, state council and grassroots all working together. Mely Whiting of TU’s Colorado Water Project has put blood, sweat and tears into this campaign for years, attending countless meetings, crunching mind-numbing technical data, and negotiating the shoals of the federal permitting process. Our Council staff and volunteer leaders like Sinjin Eberle have helped at every step with negotiations and public education. TU’s Colorado River Headwaters Chapter and its president, Kirk Klancke, spoke eloquently about the Fraser at every opportunity and spearheaded chapter-led restoration projects. (Kirk’s passionate advocacy was the subject of a recent National Geographic profile online.) At all levels, TU has been working together to protect the Fraser and Upper Colorado.

This agreement comes just over a year after a similar agreement was reached with the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District on its Windy Gap Firming Project – including extensive river protections and mitigation for the Upper Colorado River, including a shared vision for reconnecting the Colorado River through the current Windy Gap dam to restore fish passage, create improved habitat, and enhance water quality. Collectively, these agreements and the long-term cooperation envisioned under Learning by Doing give us a chance to truly protect and restore a priceless part of Colorado’s river heritage.

While this is a major turning point, our work in the Fraser basin and Upper Colorado is far from over. With both the Moffat and Windy Gap projects, we need to secure final federal permits that reflect the agreements reached with Denver and Northern. Your voice in urging the Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation to honor these agreements and lend their support and force of law to the effort will be vital. Beyond that, we will have the long-term work of collaborating with Denver, Northern, Grand County, local landowners, and community partners for ongoing monitoring, cooperative water management, leveraging of additional financial and volunteer resources, and completing projects to improve river health. These agreements provide the framework and opportunity for future success – and ensure TU has a place at the table moving forward – but it will take our continued committed efforts to truly achieve the full potential of these victories for Colorado’s rivers.

Your continued support and involvement with TU will make that possible, and I thank you for helping us to make a difference.

Sincerely,


David Nickum

CTU Executive Director

__________________
The sunshine walked beside her
glenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-07-2014   #2
 
Louisville, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 520
All in all great news! I bet the Fraser runs raftable flows this year.
catwoman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2014   #3
 
denver, Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 141
I can't tell if this is good or not. Are they still going to take more water from the Fraser, and just gave up some concessions?

I highly doubt they are going to fix past mistakes and just put more water in the river.
gretch6364 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-07-2014   #4
 
LongmontRafter's Avatar
 
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 179
I got this email as well...As much as some good will come of this, I have a problem with the following...

Quote:
$1 million to pump water at Windy Gap to Granby for release for the benefit of the Colorado River below Granby and below Windy Gap Reservoir
Why would you do this???...The Colorado river and the Fraser flows into Windy gap...only to be pumped back upstream to Granby...effectively de-watering the Fraser to put more water into the Colorado above Windy Gap...someone thought this was a good deal?

Someone explain this to me
__________________
ManGearPig Lives!
LongmontRafter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2014   #5
GoBro
 
glenn's Avatar
 
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,493
Quote:
Originally Posted by LongmontRafter View Post
I got this email as well...As much as some good will come of this, I have a problem with the following...



Why would you do this???...The Colorado river and the Fraser flows into Windy gap...only to be pumped back upstream to Granby...effectively de-watering the Fraser to put more water into the Colorado above Windy Gap...someone thought this was a good deal?

Someone explain this to me

Windy Gap is not a storage facility. They will allow more water to run in the Fraser while holding more back at Granby their storage facility. They will also pump additional water as needed from Windy Gap to Granby for storage rather than letting it spill as this deal has no impact on downstream colorado conditions. Rather than picking up the water at moffat they will grab it at Windy Gap. Given the water ends up in pipes anyways it's fairly win-win.
__________________
The sunshine walked beside her
glenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2014   #6
 
2kanzam's Avatar
 
Charleston, West Virginny
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 462
B....b...bu....but TU is the debbil! Their activities only benefit the feeshus and keep us from paddling our favorite runs by restricting stream access!!!

(the above is according to most buzzards on a recent thread apparently)
2kanzam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2014   #7
 
montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 414
I'll try not to be too pessimistic here; it sounds like TU has gotten as much as they can from DW and postponed the death of that river as a viable aquatic system, but...

I admittedly don't have time to thoroughly read the report right now, but what I took away from it was this:

1) They are going to take more water out of the river and simultaneously increase base flows and increase flushing flows. How does this work?

2) Denver water has to try really hard to meet the flushing around 40% of the time, and relase up to 4 cfs, but not more than 250 af per year if the river gets too hot. If they have let all of their 250 af go already, they must reduce some diversions on tributary creeks. If it is determined the these measure don't work in 20 years, DW must throw some money at the river.

3) DW has to throw some money at CPW to push some rocks around for fish habitat.

4) DW has to throw some money at CPW to restore a cutthroat stream somewhere else.

I applaud TU for their campaign and the results they have achieved, but Denver is still taking 75% of the river. Now they just have to spend lots of money to keep all the fish from dying.

This still means less water for every other inch of the Colorado River System downstream of the Fraiser. That's less water for the Upper Colorado, less water for the Grand Valley, less water in Westwater, less water in Cataract, and less water in the Grand Canyon.

Meanwhile, Colorado has overused its allocation of the Colorado River for the last seven years.

What is the point in taking more water out of a river system that is entirely used up? Transbasin diversions are just taking water away from other people.
mikepart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2014   #8
GoBro
 
glenn's Avatar
 
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,493
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2kanzam View Post
B....b...bu....but TU is the debbil! Their activities only benefit the feeshus and keep us from paddling our favorite runs by restricting stream access!!!

(the above is according to most buzzards on a recent thread apparently)
In CO many of TU's projects negatively impact paddlers. I've found the opposite is true in MT. I think the particulars of the local law, needs and user bases in CO just makes for a bad mix. Those with long standing issues in CO are justified even if sometimes TU's efforts come into alignment with paddlers interests.
__________________
The sunshine walked beside her
glenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2014   #9
GoBro
 
glenn's Avatar
 
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,493
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepart View Post
I'll try not to be too pessimistic here; it sounds like TU has gotten as much as they can from DW and postponed the death of that river as a viable aquatic system, but...

I admittedly don't have time to thoroughly read the report right now, but what I took away from it was this:

1) They are going to take more water out of the river and simultaneously increase base flows and increase flushing flows. How does this work?

2) Denver water has to try really hard to meet the flushing around 40% of the time, and relase up to 4 cfs, but not more than 250 af per year if the river gets too hot. If they have let all of their 250 af go already, they must reduce some diversions on tributary creeks. If it is determined the these measure don't work in 20 years, DW must throw some money at the river.

3) DW has to throw some money at CPW to push some rocks around for fish habitat.

4) DW has to throw some money at CPW to restore a cutthroat stream somewhere else.

I applaud TU for their campaign and the results they have achieved, but Denver is still taking 75% of the river. Now they just have to spend lots of money to keep all the fish from dying.

This still means less water for every other inch of the Colorado River System downstream of the Frasier. That's less water for the Upper Colorado, less water for the Grand Valley, less water in Westwater, less water in Cataract, and less water in the Grand Canyon.

Meanwhile, Colorado has overused its allocation of the Colorado River for the last seven years.

What is the point in taking more water out of a river system that is entirely used up? Transbasin diversions are just taking water away from other people.
There are two ways to move the Fraser river water. The first is through the Moffat tunnel and the second is through the Windy Gap diversion scheme. They will continue to take water at Moffat as possible but in order to meet the newly established temperature and flush needs they will move some of the water downstream at Windy Gap. While the stream will have far less water than it would historically, it will have more water than if they pulled everything through Moffat. The same amount of water is pulled it's just a matter of where it's pulled. The deal does not impact downstream flows.
__________________
The sunshine walked beside her
glenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2014   #10
 
LongmontRafter's Avatar
 
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 179
Quote:
Windy Gap is not a storage facility. They will allow more water to run in the Fraser while holding more back at Granby their storage facility. They will also pump additional water as needed from Windy Gap to Granby for storage rather than letting it spill as this deal has no impact on downstream colorado conditions. Rather than picking up the water at moffat they will grab it at Windy Gap. Given the water ends up in pipes anyways it's fairly win-win.
Thanks for the explanation...This made me take a harder look at how water moves around the state
__________________
ManGearPig Lives!
LongmontRafter is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fraser River Valley getting screwed for another year foreverhard Whitewater Kayaking 42 06-05-2013 10:07 PM
Fraser river Sunday h20craker Kayaking | Trip Planner 0 07-16-2011 12:04 PM
Fraser river access rafterbrooks River Access & Safety Alerts! 17 05-27-2011 08:56 AM
New Strainer in Fraser River gofast505 River Access & Safety Alerts! 0 06-13-2010 11:25 AM
Fraser: 2 River-wide strainers by Thumper holmes River Access & Safety Alerts! 4 04-05-2006 11:04 AM

» Classified Ads
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:12 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.