Thornton files lawsuit against Larimer County

Keep the Poudre River Flowing





  1. Larimer County filed their response on June 3, 2019. We are pleased they are sticking to their guns so far. Read below.
  2. No Pipe Dream Corp HAS FILED a motion to intervene in Thornton’s lawsuit. Read below. Read about Thornton's attempts to block us.
  3. To keep our lawyer involved, we need funds! Please consider giving. The total cost of intervention and his continued involvement is $20,000. These are funds NPD needs to raise NOW to allow our lawyer to respond to Thornton and make sure our lawyer's at the table. Click to Donate.

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Recent Actions & Events


Recent Actions 


June 10, 2019

No Pipe Dream files its motion to intervene in Thornton’s lawsuit to overturn Larimer County’s denial of the Thornton Water Project. This gives our lawyer a seat at the table. He will remind Larimer County and Thornton of the citizens' overwhelming desires for a different route (with preference for the Poudre River Alternative). Our legal counsel will make every effort to avoid an out-of-court settlement that would disregard the interest of the No Pipe Dream Corporation and Larimer County citizens. 

June 5, 2019

No Pipe Dream holds its first official meeting as a non-profit corporation.   Becoming a non-profit shields our members from legal consequences concerning pipelines through their properties and neighborhoods. Board members from several affected neighborhoods were elected. To remain a  member, you must make a donation of at least $10 annually. 

June 3, 2019

Larimer County files response to lawsuit. Read their response.  We are pleased they are sticking to their guns so far. They say: The Board of County Commissioners’ determination that Thornton did not satisfy each of the twelve review criteria is supported by competent evidence when the record is reviewed as a whole. Way to go, Commissioners! 

April 11, 2019

Thornton files a lawsuit against Larimer County over the denial of their latest 1041 application for the County Road 56 route.  The County Commissioners are preparing their response.

March 18, 2019 

The County Commissioners released their statement on why they rejected Thornton's application. Read it here:

Official Statement from Larimer County Commissioners on Thornton Proposal released.

February 11

Commissioners vote down Thornton pipeline 3-0

Commissioner Donnelly named the significant impact on private property owners as a part of his decision to deny. Commissioner Kafalas focused on several Land Use violations, but ultimately called for a more synergistic plan, stating Thornton did not present all reasonable alternatives. Commissioner Johnson gave voice to the 300 citizens who came to 7 hearings over the year, and 1000s of emails, stating it was much more than a NIMBY reaction. 


Click Here to watch the entire hearing live.  

Related Happenings

Mayor Wade Troxell Speaks Out for River Route, May 2019

The City of Fort Collins Mayor would like to see the Poudre River used as a conveyance by Thornton.

The Poudre Heritage Alliance, upcoming river events: 

June 20 - Pedaling the Poudre

July 13 - East Memorial Open Streets (Greeley)

July 26 - Poudre RiverFest

July 30 - Poudre Pub Talk @ Old Colorado Brewing (Wellington)

September 20 - Pedaling the Poudre w/ Water Education Colorado

September 21 - Pedaling the Poudre w/ Water Education Colorado


Check out Save the Poudre's video on Thornton's Pipeline. Director Gary Wockner, PhD, give a great explanation.


The working group completed their meetings and Thornton submitted a new application with an alternate route favoring Option C --the northern route along Cty Rd 56, which was denied Feb. 11, 2019.

The working group was prevented from reaching a consensus, but the Poudre Alternative was the favored route by a long stretch.


No Pipe Dream still wants the river route and we are continuing to advocate for that. Our lawyer presented during public testimony on Jan. 28 and made a difference in the vote. No pipeline is ideal for all LC citizens! 


The areas along Douglas Road and County Rd 56 are rich and diverse in their people, nature and wildlife. Click below to see the area in Larimer County that's most impacted by Thornton's proposed pipeline. FYI, it takes a few seconds to load but it's worth it!

Watch County Road Life Video

why the poudre alternative works -- Words from our lawyer


Could cost less or comparable

"Thornton evaluated a Poudre River Alternative during its initial scoping process and found that the alternative would save the City up to $150 million in pipeline construction costs by avoiding approximately 26 miles of pipeline."

River point of withdrawal can be changed


"Thornton argues that Colorado water law prohibits the Board from adopting the Poudre River Alternative. More specifically, Thornton argues that the Board may not adopt the Poudre River Alternative because it would:

· require an unlawful change in the point of withdrawal of its water shares from the Poudre River; and,

· unlawfully diminish water quality when compared to Thornton’s desired point of withdrawal;

· unlawfully diminish water quantity as the water flows down the River.


Thornton’s arguments do not have factual and/or legal support. Instead, both the facts and Colorado water law would allow Thornton to implement the Poudre River Alternative.

Thornton can legally convey its water shares down the Poudre River and can withdraw that water “at any point desired. Since the Poudre River Alternative is conceptually authorized by Colorado water law, it is both reasonable and legally available to Thornton."

County Commissioners have the legal power

"Colorado law authorizes this Board to regulate the Thornton Water Project, including requiring an alternate point of withdrawal from the Poudre River. "

Thornton does not have a right to a certain water quality

"Thornton argues that it has a legal right to water quality at the LCC head gate and or at WSSC #4. Thornton has no legal right to the water quality at either of these locations. First, Thornton did not purchase all of its water shares at the location of the LCC head gate or WSSC#4. It purchased most of its water shares with degraded water quality from farms measurably downstream along the LCC. Second, Colorado water law does not guarantee a degree of water quality when purchasing water shares. .... 

Thornton is at most entitled only the degree of water quality delivered to the farms it purchased."

Thornton's water shares would likely not be further diminished if left in Poudre

"Thornton has not proven that any water loss resulting from the Poudre River Alternative would be unreasonable when compared to the water loss historically experienced when its water shares flowed in the canal to farms in eastern Larimer and Weld Counties."

Using the Poudre would provide real benefits to Larimer County

" Thornton has proposed a set of benefits to Larimer County if its Supplement #3 is approved (County Road 56 route). However, many of the proposed “benefits” are actions Thornton already planned to implement. In the December 2018 hearing, the Board noted that the benefits package proposed by Thornton was woefully inadequate."

"Ideally, the Board would prefer to issue a 1041 permit that complies with all Land Use Code requirements, minimizes adverse impacts to the County, and confers meaningful and enforceable benefits to the County. Unfortunately, Thornton has failed to present such a 1041 application and may leave the Board with no other option but to deny the 1041 permit application."



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No Pipe Dream Needs Funds! 

Can you Help?

We use your money wisely; won’t you consider giving to continue our efforts? Our lawyer will be involved in providing direction to working group members and writing a rebuttal in the future, if needed. 

WE NEED FUNDS to keep our lawyer involved in our next steps. Please give what you can!!

 Where Your Dollars Go

81% Lawyer fees
13% hired experts (hydrologists)
4% yard signs
2% admin  


 Use our GoFundMe account to donate to help pay our legal fees to keep the pipeline out of northern Fort Collins and  to continue pushing for a river route instead. 


Any river is really the summation of the whole valley. To think of it as nothing but water is to ignore the greater part.   


(Hal Borland, This Hill, This Valley)