Thursday, September 6, 2012

Last Day

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 (,,, 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 (

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
1616 Capitol Ave.

Omaha, NE 68102-4901
But the easiest way is to just email them to

 so that is what I am going to do.
In your comments you should do five things:
  1. 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.”
  2. 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.”
  3. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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