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Records of Friends of the Poudre

 Collection
Identifier: WFOP

Scope and Contents

The Records of Friends of the Poudre consists of documents dated 1965 to 2003, with the bulk falling from 1980 to 1986. Materials represent the efforts of two environmental organizations, Friends of the Poudre and Preserve Our Poudre, and their interactions with other constituencies with a stake in Cache la Poudre River development. Chuck Wanner, a president of POP and FOP's first executive director, created or collected the reports, manuals, newsletters, brochures, correspondence, newsclippings, maps, photographs, slides, and t-shirts that comprise the collection. The majority of the materials document POP's efforts to obtain Wild and Scenic River designation for the Cache la Poudre River in the early 1980s. Wanner served on several water project feasibility studies' advisory boards, and those files are present in Subseries 1.1. FOP files comprise only a small part of the collection and relate to water quality and the Poudre Basin stakeholder's group. POP and FOP accumulated materials concerning grassroots recruiting and political strategy for environmental groups, which can be found in Series 2.

Dates

  • 1965-2003
  • Majority of material found within 1980-1986

Creator

Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.

History

Friends of the Poudre, like its predecessor Preserve Our Poudre, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the Cache la Poudre River and prevention of large dam projects in Poudre Canyon. Preserve Our Poudre (1980-1986) generated local support for designating the upper portion of the Poudre a Wild and Scenic River. Friends of the Poudre formed in 1986 to oppose the Grey Mountain Reservoir project and enhance the Poudre River's recreational, historic, and educational values.

Preserve Our Poudre (POP) began in the 1970s--a local example of a national grassroots movement that embraced environmental preservation and outdoor recreation. The group wanted to prevent the development of large dams and reservoirs on the Cache la Poudre River and to promote the river's health and recreational assets. POP incorporated as a non-profit in 1980 and made its primary objective gathering support to designate the upper reaches of the Poudre River a Wild and Scenic River. POP argued that damming the Poudre's main stem was environmentally unsound and would destroy many of the recreational opportunities that drew people to the area, such as trout fishing and whitewater rafting; a free-flowing river protected by Wild and Scenic status was economically important to Fort Collins and Northern Colorado.

POP's members, led by presidents Karen Waddell, Tom McKenna, and Charles (Chuck) Wanner, focused their energies on lobbying state and national lawmakers through letter-writing campaigns, hosting local educational and fundraising events such as Poudre Week and Poudre Freedom Ride, and testifying at public meetings and congressional hearings. POP coordinated with other environmental organizations, such as the Sierra Club and Colorado Open Space Council and negotiated with the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District while drafting Wild and Scenic legislation. On October 30, 1986, the U.S. Congress passed H.R. 4350, amending the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to include 75 miles of the Poudre River flowing through Poudre Canyon. Its main goal accomplished, POP dissolved soon after.

The same year, Gary Kimsey and other residents of Poudre Canyon formed Friends of the Poudre (FOP). FOP drew some membership from the defunct POP and made its primary objective preventing the construction of Grey Mountain Reservoir in the lower Poudre Canyon. The group decided that they would push for a park at the proposed reservoir site, knowing that citizens would be less inclined to support a reservoir that would destroy a popular recreation area. Under Kimsey's initial leadership as president and Chuck Wanner's later work as executive director, FOP realized both objectives. In 2004, Gateway Mountain Park (Gateway Natural Area) opened at the confluence of the North Fork and main stem of the Poudre River after an 18-year fundraising campaign spearheaded by FOP.

FOP coordinated with other interest groups to gain community support and add further legal protections for the Poudre River. They initiated a basin-wide stakeholder group. Beginning in 1987, the group organized an annual Poudre River Festival at popular locations in Poudre Canyon. In 2001, they took over sponsorship for the annual RiverFest from the Poudre River Trust. FOP supported designation of the Cache la Poudre-North Park Scenic and Historic Byway. In the 1990s, FOP advocated congressional approval of the Cache la Poudre National Heritage Area, a 45-mile section of the lower Poudre. FOP also joined the Save the Poudre coalition, which opposes the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) and Glade Reservoir.

Today, FOP continues to protest large water projects on the Cache la Poudre River while promoting recreational opportunities and riparian health. FOP members assist with monitoring the river's instream flows and water quality levels through programs like River Watch of Colorado, and FOP hosts educational events and funds projects focused on the Poudre's history.

Extent

4.5 linear feet (3 record cartons)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Friends of the Poudre, like its predecessor Preserve Our Poudre, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the Cache la Poudre River and prevention of large dam projects in Poudre Canyon. Preserve Our Poudre (1980-1986) generated local support for designating the upper portion of the Poudre a Wild and Scenic River. Friends of the Poudre formed in 1986 to oppose the Grey Mountain Reservoir project and enhance the Poudre River's recreational, historic, and educational values. Materials include administrative files, reports, brochures, newsletters, correspondence, newsclippings, bumper stickers, and t-shirts related to ordinary operations, grassroots activism, and legislation.

Arrangement

Materials arrived in no particular order and were rearranged by subject and material type.

The collection consists of 3 series in 3 boxes:

Series 1: Organizational files, 1965-2003 and undated

Subseries 1.1: Preserve Our Poudre, 1965-1999 and undated

Subseries 1.2: Friends of the Poudre, 1989-2003 and undated

Series 2: Printed materials, 1974-2003 and undated

Series 3: Artifacts, undated

Acquisition

The Records of Friends of the Poudre was acquired in two separate donations. In 2011, William (Bill) Bertschy donated 3 boxes of Charles (Chuck) Wanner's collected papers to the Water Resources Archive. In 2015, Brian Werner donated another box of Wanner's materials.

Related Collections

The Fort Collins Local History Archive holds the Tom McKenna Collection, which includes Preserve Our Poudre bylaws and organizational materials. Related collections in the Water Resources Archive include the Records of the Poudre River Trust and Records of Save the Poudre. These grassroots organizations focus on recreational and environmental causes concerning the Cache la Poudre River, and both have coordinated with Friends of the Poudre for river-related projects.

Processing

Processing was completed in October 2015. The collection was organized into series. All materials were rehoused in acid-free folders and boxes. Paperclips, binder clips, and rubber bands were removed, and acidic documents were interleaved with acid-free paper. Correspondence was removed from envelopes and unfolded. Loose photographs, slides, and bumper stickers were placed in polyester sleeves. Duplicates beyond two copies were removed, as were two rubber mail stamps and published reports easily accessible elsewhere. Financial information was retained, but carbon copy receipts of individual t-shirt and bumper sticker sales and supporters' order forms unattached to correspondence were discarded. Clothing was housed so as to avoid damage from creasing.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Records of Friends of the Poudre
Status
Edited Full Draft
Author
Prepared by Clarissa J. Trapp
Date
Copyright 2016
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA
970-491-1844