Poudre River Forum: One River, Many Voices

Students on Poudre River

The Cache la Poudre River, which flows from the mountains west of Fort Collins to plains east of Greeley, is at the heart of countless activities: from irrigating crops and lawns to providing drinking water to hosting numerous recreational sports. Many people with connections to the Poudre will be gathering later this month for the second annual Poudre River Forum. This year’s forum, “One River, Many Voices”, will be held 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Jan 31, at the Ranch Events Complex’s South Hall, 5280 Arena Circle Dr. in Loveland.

Challenges, differences and coordination

The forum provides an opportunity to come together to discuss challenges, bridge differences, and work to coordinate efforts surrounding the river. This year’s topics include: growth and how to grow in a water smart way; stories of river cooperation in other communities; and the buying and selling of water in the Poudre Basin. The day will conclude with a variety of food and drink as well as music by the Poudre River Irregulars. Lunch will also be provided.

Sponsored by The Poudre Runs Through It Study/Action Work Group, the forum serves as a follow-up to a similar event held in 2014 that brought together almost 300 people from agricultural, municipal, business, recreational and environmental backgrounds to discuss the importance of the Poudre River and ways to make it the best example of a healthy working river. Similar to the 2014 forum, this year’s event will be facilitated by the Colorado Water Institute at Colorado State University.

Depending, loving the river

“The Poudre River Forum is our best shot once a year to bring together a wide diversity of folks who depend on and love the river—from all the communities through which it flows,” said Reagan Waskom, director of the Colorado Water Institute. “We will be addressing questions like ‘how can we meet the agricultural and urban demands on the river and still meet goals for improving the Poudre’s health?’ The Forum brings together water rights owners and river health advocates to work together on these issues instead of fighting over them.”

Registration is $30 or $50 and is open until Jan. 26. Students 18 and under can register for free. A limited number of scholarships are also available.