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Colorado Rivers Update: “Defend Your Backyard. Defend the Nature Around You.”

Hello Friends of Colorado’s Rivers!

Last week me and my dog, Joe, drove down to Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood, Colorado, to visit with a group of neighbors who are locked in a years-long battle against a massive reservoir-expansion project.

A college-newspaper journalist, from Colorado College, joined us in this visit and wrote a piece about it titled, “Proposed Reservoir Expansion Would Destroy Treasured Bear Creek Lake Park.”

Read the story from Colorado College on their website here.

The effort to protect the Bear Creek Lake Park is a classic and often-repeated battle across Colorado and the West where the federal, state, or local governments want to build or enlarge massive reservoirs/dams/pipelines that would wipe out local wildlife habitat and/or private property. The spirted resistance of the neighbors has inspired us to get involved, and over time we hope to make a difference in defending this piece of Wild Nature in the ever-metastasizing urban growth complex devouring wild places across the West.

In this case at Bear Creek Lake Park, the riparian areas and their wildlife habitat that would be flooded are home to dozens of species and migrating birds that need a place to exist in their own right, but also bring immense joy and appreciation from surrounding Nature lovers of the human species. In fact, even at 2,600 acres, Bear Creek Lake Park is so filled with visitors on nice days in the summer that the Park sometimes overcrowds and closes by 10am.

I’ve taken a hard stance protecting these wild places, creeks, and rivers in the ever-growing metroplex here in Colorado. Fighting massive dams and pipelines on the Cache la Poudre River around Fort Collins, and a huge dam outside of Boulder, have been much of my life’s work over the last two decades.

What’s interesting is that these fights are sometimes unjustly portrayed in the media as “NIMBY” (Not In My Backyard) where local people are ‘standing in the way progress’ instead of portrayed as people protecting the Wild Nature that is near and dear to them.

Of course, I see it differently, and a few years ago I wrote a column titled, “NIMBYs are Earth Warriors“, and have continued to work to protect Creeks, Rivers, and Wild Nature wherever it exists.

Conversely, our fight to protect and restore the Cache la Poudre River in Larimer County, CO — which convened similar urban and rural people to fight a massive water pipeline — resulted in the New York Times recently portraying us in a negative light as NIMBYs. Respectfully, I disagree with the New York Times.

Nature is worth defending anywhere and everywhere. The most beautiful creek or river, and the best creek or river to defend, is the one nearest to your backyard.

I told the Colorado College reporter that these neighbors should “Defend Your Backyard, and Defend the Nature Around You.”

You can visit “Save Bear Creek Lake Park’s” website here — they are wonderful and heroic people in my book.

Thank you for your support — it keeps us working hard.

You can donate online by clicking here.

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