Drew Peternell, director of Trout Unlimited’s Colorado Water Project, said that he has several concerns with the mitigation plan and the proposed “enhancement plan.”
“The heavy focus on what they call enhancements — they are fine and good — but they really address past problems,” he said. “What does this mean about these new projects?”
Peternell said he also worries that the plan lacks teeth and clear thresholds for enforcement. For example, Trout Unlimited would like assurances that Denver Water will stop withdrawing water from the upper Colorado River if stream temperatures get too high, endangering fish. And they’re also concerned that spring “flushing flows” — which are ecologically important to the river — won’t be preserved.
“We need more guarantees,” Peternell said. “Is this a guidance document or is it actually binding?”