Feds move ahead with Chatfield water project, comment period open now
Written byBRUCE FINLEY, Denver Post
Federal water engineers today will release their plan to nearly double the amount of water stored in Chatfield Reservoir, which would inundate 10 percent of Colorado's premier state park but ensure steadier flows in the South Platte River.
A massive draft environmental impact statement sets out the engineers' proposals for mitigating impact and opens a public comment period.
The proposed mitigation is designed to compensate for the loss of a cottonwood-studded shoreline and stretches of free-flowing river within Chatfield State Park. Other work would offset lost habitat for the Preble's meadow jumping mouse, a federally-protected endangered species, and replace park facilities, including a boating marina.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project would flood about 587 acres of 5,400-acre Chatfield State Park, with water levels rising by up to 12 feet. More than 1.6 million people visit the park each year, spending about $9.5 million.VIEW ORIGINAL ARTICLE