It's unfortunate to see the total lack of trust and confidence the people of Colorado Springs have in their city government. Seems that's rampant in our country these days. The council (and our polotical leaders in general) should really take a long hard look in the mirror... Deserved or not, there is clearly an issue that needs attention. But I digress...
As for Spring Utilities (CSU) and the South Slope, it is my opinion that they are proceeding cautiously with good reason. This area is delicate and provides critical habitat for many species of wildlife and aquatic animals. While my organization has had a representative on the WAG and we generally support opening this area we do so with the knowledge that CSU, CDOW and U.S Forest Service are professionals. We citizens pay them to make good decisions based on sound science and quantative data, not emotion or in reaction to every outragouse claim or comment. Its been my experience over many years working with some of these folks that if you give the professionals a chance they usually do the right thing for the resource. Sometimes that means that there are places that it's okay NOT to allow people, fisherman, hikers, bikers, motorcyclelyst and climbers included. And, as with most of Colorado, including the north Slope of Pikes Peak which is also CSU property, it means opening up lands for recreation. Balance people, we have to have balance.
At the end of the we may not all agree with the final outcome, and we should always exercise our right to speak out about our concerns. But, we should do it firmly, politely and with the facts on our side. I have to agree with Mr. Herpin, comments like some in this fourm don't bring value to what is already a tough discussion. Read the proposal as Ms. Quintero suggest and join the process to influence it... Screaming from the sidelines without facts on your side rarely results in the change you want.
President, Cheyenne Mountian Chapter, Trout Unlimited
Re: “After the storm”
The best thing that could happen to the fountain creek watershed is the demise of the Storm Water Enterprise (SWE). Projects like the one on Hwy 24 between 21st and 8th strees are a perfect example of the environmental destruction wrought on our watersheds by this entity. Depriving them of the funding to continue the implementation expensive (3.2 million dollars) and and out of date engineering techniques (1950 style channel straightening and armoring) is the first bright spot for the fountain creek watershed in years. Now, maybe, just maybe, we can focus on real restoration of the watershed instead of continued channelization of the creek, turning in onto nothing more than a glorified drainage ditch. As the president of an organization (Cheyenne Mountain Trout Unlimited) that tried mightly to partner with SWE on best manage practices in our watershed I say good bye SWE and good riddence... As a warning to the public, I say watch your wallets. The newly formed Fountain Creek Watershed and Flood Control District has the authority to propose new taxes on you to manage some of these kinds of projects. Thats not all bad because there is a lot of work that needs to be done to restore our creeks and streams. We should support them but also hold them accountable to deliver real restoration in our watershed, not of the kind that SWE is practicing on fountain creek between 21st and 8th street. In the end it's cheaper, more effective and better for the environment to work with mother nature instead of trying to over come her...
President, Cheyenne Mountain Chapter, Trout Unlimited
I thought I'd post the Actual TU Press Release on this Because it contains iunformation on how to contact CMCTU and the Development Partners with concerns about the positions each side has taken in this issue. Public interest and input helps drive change.
LOCAL TROUT UNLIMITED CHAPTER WITHDRAWS SUPPORT FOR GOLD HILL MESA PROJECT
Chapter Identifies Major Problems with Flood Control and Mine Tailings Stabilization on Fountain Creek
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, -January 27, 2009- Board of Directors for the local Cheyenne Mountain Chapter Trout Unlimited have voted to withdraw support and oppose a proposed flood control and mine tailings stabilization project on Fountain Creek below Gold Hill Mesa.
Cheyenne Mountain Chapter Trout Unlimited has partnered with the City of Colorado Springs, Storm Water Enterprise, Colorado Department of Transportation, Gold Hill Mesa Partners, LLC and other stakeholders and subcontractors on the Gold Hill Mesa Project. Through consultations, Cheyenne Mountain Chapter Trout Unlimited provided stream stabilization and restoration recommendations which they have successfully implemented during their Trees for Trout projects in the South Platte River drainage and Pikes Peak Region.
The goal of our participation in this partnership was to provide the design team with the proper techniques and methods to successfully restore a heavily damaged ecosystem and create a viable habitat and fishery on Fountain Creek, said President, Jack Hunter, Unfortunately, the major stakeholders, including the City of Colorado Springs, Storm Water Enterprise, have chosen not to implement these proven conservation and restoration methods.
The current budget for the Gold Hill Mesa Project is over $3.5 million dollars, and largely funded through public money. Cheyenne Mountain Chapter Trout Unlimited firmly believes these public dollars should be used to restore a functioning natural stream in the true spirit of Trout Unlimiteds national, state and locally stated mission, which is to: conserve, protect, and restore cold-water fisheries.
Through their opposition the Board of Directors and Cheyenne Mountain Chapter Trout Unlimited members have noted the current project planned does not meet widely recognized standards necessary to meet the definition of stream restoration, and will actually do more harm than good to the existing biology and ecology of Fountain Creek.
The Board of Directors unanimously agreed; the flood control project has little to no restoration or conservation benefits for Fountain Creek or the community.
Cheyenne Mountain Chapter Trout Unlimited urges the public to contact the City of Colorado Springs, Storm Water Enterprise, the Colorado Department of Transportation and Gold Hill Mesa Partners, LLC and express their desire to have effective and sustainable restoration of this valuable resource and the responsible use of taxpayer dollars. Stakeholders can be contact at the following:
City Of Colorado Springs, Storm Water Enterprise
Colorado Department of Transportation Environmental Group
Gold Hill Mesa Partners, LLC.
Please visit our website at www.cmctu.org for more information and tips on how you can help protect Fountain Creek.
Founded in 1959, Trout Unlimited is the nations oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization, boasting over 140,000 members from coast to coast. The Cheyenne Mountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited, organized in 1986, strives to conserve, protect, and restore cold-water fisheries resources and their watersheds in the Pikes Peak Region and throughout the state of Colorado. Visit www.cmctu.org to learn more about membership, volunteer opportunities and cold water conservation.
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