New Belgium pours money into saving the Poudre

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The Cache la Poudre River runs through downtown Fort Collins and right past the parking lot of the New Belgium Brewing Company -- and the company plans to keep it that way.

Last month, New Belgium gave a $40,000 grant to the Waterkeeper Alliance -- a worldwide network of 192 organizations, founded by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. -- that's earmarked for the Save the Poudre Coalition's new Poudre Waterkeeper project.

The proposed Glade Reservoir project would divert water from the river, says Gary Wockner of Save the Poudre, and that's not the only threat.The Northern Integrated Supply Project and several other dam developments could dry the Poudre's banks as well -- and the folks at New Belgium wouldn't be the only ones affected.

The projects would drain the wetlands, Wockner explains, damage cottonwoods (a tree that's common around the Poudre), and hurt industries and tourism in Fort Collins. If the Poudre goes dry, nearby land will lose its value to housing developers, and the eight-mile trail along the river will lose much of its appeal.

"We are extremely happy New Belgium is supporting our effort, says Wockner." For more on the Poudre project, as well as other healthy rivers initiatives around the state, go to www.savethepoudre.org.

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