Grand Sheriff’s Office investigating act of ‘eco-vandalism’ on Berthoud Pass
Someone trashed the city of Northglenn’s collection gates on the top of Berthoud Pass in Grand County earlier this month and caused damages estimated at $1 million, said a spokesman for the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.
On Thursday, he said the investigation into the vandalism that happened Aug. 2 is ongoing. Authorities have pictures of the damage, but there are no suspects or leads in the case.
Northglenn diverts water on top of Berthoud Pass and runs it to its customers along the Front Range.
Lt. Dan Mayer of the Grand County Sheriff’s Office said the act of vandalism was deliberate, and someone had to hike out to the gates to get to them. By breaking the collection gates, he said, the water was diverted back into the Fraser River.
Mayer stopped short of calling the incident “eco-terrorism” in his conversation with the Sky-Hi News, but he did say it could be considered a case of “eco-vandalism.”
The gates were repaired relatively quickly, Mayer added, but the sheriff’s office has the damages at roughly $1 million.
Water Fresh News, a product of Water Education Colorado, has reported there was about $100,000 worth of damage to the collection system and approximately $900,000 in lost water resources.
Water Fresh News also quoted Northglenn’s manager of water resources, who said that another act of vandalism dealing lesser damage to the site happened in March.
She added that officials believe both efforts could be linked to “political tension over transmountain diversions from the water-stressed upper Colorado River to the Front Range.”
She also told Water Fresh News that Northglenn is putting up cameras to better monitor the site.
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Recent accusations in Grand Lake were punctuated last week by the town manager alleging two elected public officials have acted to deprive Grand Lake of tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes.