Before and after — what a difference two years can make! In March 2012, representatives from both the Colorado Water Trust and the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program viewed and discussed the sizable Josh Ames Diversion Dam while plotting its future deconstruction.

The Colorado Water Trust worked with structural engineer Tara Schutter of Tessara Water, LLC to plan the structure’s removal, one important project that nested into and complemented a river restoration project planned by the City of Fort Collins’ Natural Areas Program. The restoration work reconnected the Cache la Poudre River with part of its floodplain by lowering the steep and unnatural banks that were constraining the river and by creating five acres of wetlands along the river.

Two years later, after successfully removing the diversion dam and regrading the banks, the Cache la Poudre River flows freely past the point where the Josh Ames Diversion Dam once stood.