Today September 6, 2012 is the last day to comment on the Chatfield Reallocation Study planned by the Federal Government. So in an unusual flurry of activity I am going to write a series of blog posts that tell how to comment and share my own comments to inspire others to submit their own concerns on this plan that could have long-term damage. I have written about this issue several times (http://www.alohafridays.net/2012/06/spreading-word.html, http://www.alohafridays.net/2012/06/let-your-voice-be-heard.html, http://www.alohafridays.net/2011/12/drought-ends-with-talk-of-flood.html, http://www.alohafridays.net/2011/08/taking-cause-to-facebook.html) dating back to August 6, 2012.
So how can you comment today? The folks that have created a wonderful web page on this topic have written a great piece that explains how to do it that I will paraphrase here (http://www.savechatfield.org/content/how-to-write-a-letter/).
First, where should your comments go. If you get them postmarked today you can mail them to the following address:
Col. Robert Ruch, Commander US Army Corps of Engineers,
Omaha District Re: Chatfield Reservoir Storage Reallocation
FR/DEIS 1616 Capitol Ave.
Omaha, NE 68102-4901
But the easiest way is to just email them to firstname.lastname@example.org so that is what I am going to do.
In your comments you should do five things:
- Identify yourself: “I am a frequent user of Chatfield State Park. My family (hikes, bikes, bird-watches, water-skis, canoes, camps, etc) there many times a year. I would like to submit the following comments on the Chatfield Reallocation FR/DEIS.”
- Take a position: For example, “I recommend that you NOT approve this project because the impacts to Chatfield State Park are so substantial. Less damaging alternatives to water supply exist.”
- Give your reasons: For example:
· Massive impacts: The resulting mud flats will destroy forest habitat and impact the recreation that depends on the current state of the reservoir.
· Some impacts can’t be mitigated, such as the loss of century-old cottonwoods and free-flowing stream segments on the South Platte River, Plum Creek and Deer Creek.
· Alternatives are not given serious consideration. Examples: aquifer storage and recharge, increased water conservation, gravel pit storage and/or expansion and use of existing water storage facilities in the vicinity of Chatfield such as Reuter-Hess reservoir or some combination of these.
· The preferred alternative (#3) is the MOST environmentally damaging alternative, whereas federal law – the Clean Water Act – specifies that only the LEAST damaging alternative is allowed. See Table 2-9 in Chapter 2 of the report.
· The full value of Chatfield for recreation and wildlife is not considered. Example: it has been designated an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. The DEIS however leaves out a number of bird species that occur there and contains several misstatements about bird species that breed there. A survey of breeding birds was done at inappropriate times of year and day.
· Tell what kinds of recreation you enjoy there and its value to you.
- Summarize: Example: Chatfield State Park is a unique recreational and habitat. We must find an alternative that meets water supply needs but preserves the Park’s integrity. The recommended alternative causes too much damge and I recommend you reject it.
- Thanks: Thank them for the opportunity to comment.
So use this nice formula to submit comments of your own. That is what I am going to do next and I will share those comments as I do. Also thanks again to the folks running the Save Chatfield website for giving us such straightforward advice on how to comment on this study.