Sunday, December 11, 2011

Drought Ends with Talk of Flood

Where did the Fall go?  With nearly three months between posts, my Blog went into a drought.  The reason for the lack of new material is covered in the tag line “seeking balance in the adventure of life” and in looking for balance my blog was dropped for longer than I planned.  Not for a lack of material (which I hope to make up for this month), but more for a lack of time.  So with the never-ending plea to catch up and keep up, it is time for the next entry.

It seems only appropriate to end the drought with a discussion on the possible flooding of Chatfield, a cause I took up in August (  As well as growing awareness through a Facebook page, I have spread the word via a survey and an article in the local community newsletter.  That last avenue is what I am going to largely reprint below with updates on this issue to follow in later posts.

One of the great features of living in the Trailmark housing community is the proximity to Chatfield State Park and all that it offers.  But Chatfield could change considerably if a suggested plan goes through.  Currently a study ( is being conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to flood Chatfield to increase water storage capacity.  The main benefactors of this plan would be residential and agricultural users downstream who have ever increasing water demands.  The side effect is that Chatfield’s cottonwood shores would become mud flats affecting wildlife habitats and recreation areas alike.

As shown in the map that goes with this article, many parts of the park would be flooded including the north and south boat ramps, the balloon port, the swim beach, many of the shore side ground picnic areas and the gravel ponds would cease to exist as a stand-alone boat free area.  In fact most of the road that circles the reservoir would end up under water.  Despite the fact that Chatfield experiences over 1.5 million visit days annually, the primary stakeholders represented in the study are all down stream and up stream water users with only a few environmental groups (e.g. the Sierra Club) addressing the environmental issues.  The extensive numbers of people who use Chatfield annually for recreation do not have a voice.  An illustration of the bias is that the study sites newsroom only includes two dated articles from 2004 and 2009 while failing to include a more recent and more critical article (

In casual discussions with fellow Trailmark residents, it became clear that not many folks were aware of this study and the possible impacts to our neighbor across the street.  So towards that end this article was written, an on-line petition was just started to get the attention of the study group and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (, and a Facebook page was established to share information as it became available (Like the page  So please sign the petition, monitor the Facebook page, and then join me in making your voice heard when an opportunity presents itself to help Save Chatfield.

Chatfield Flooding Plans 

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