Garfield County Revising Land Use Code Regarding River and Wetlands Protection Public Meeting on Tuesday June 11th at 10am
In response to Proposed Changes to Article 7 of the Garfield County Unified Land Use Resolution, RFC has submitted two letters to the Board of County Commissioners. Our initial comments discuss the importance of retaining Protection of Wetlands and Waterbodies (7-203) and Water Quality (7-204) provisions. Our second letter contains suggested revisions to the county code for best management practices and protection of our water resources.
The next meeting to review and enter public comments is June 11th at 10am at the Garfield County Administrative building in Glenwood Springs. Please join us in urging elected officials to maintain local protection of our lakes, rivers and streams. RFC Public Comment Letter | RFC Recomended Revisions
Why Watershed Groups Matter in Colorado Video Released Only 19% of registered voters in Colorado know they live in a watershed, yet everyone in the world lives in a watershed! Colorado State University recently released a video about the importance of watershed groups to protecing rivers and engaging citizens along the Colorado River corridor. Roaring Fork Conservancy is featured throughout the video. View video now.
2012 Voters' Guide to Water Issues Released Every two years, Roaring Fork Conservancy asks local candidates to respond to questions about water issues. This year we asked 32 candidates how they plan to protect our rivers as an elected official. Read their responses and vote responsibly! Read the 2012 Voters' Guide to Water Issues.Crystal River named one of America's Most Endangered Rivers
In a press conference May 15th, national river organization American Rivers, announced that the Crystal River has been named one of America's Most Endangered Rivers. Roaring Fork Conservancy welcomes the national attention to the Crystal River which has flow, sediment and human impact issues throughout its 363 square mile watershed.
America’s Most Endangered Rivers is an annual call to action, spotlighting rivers facing significant threats, and emphasizing solutions for the rivers and their communities. The Crystal River provides essential habitat for fish and wildlife, beautiful vistas and recreation for visitors, and is one of the few remaining free-flowing streams in Colorado. However, new hydropower dams, reservoirs, and water diversions threaten to destroy the river’s unique values. Supporters of the designation, including the Crystal River Environmental Protection Association, Pitkin County, and Roaring Fork Conservancy, propose eliminating plans for dams and increased diversions on the Crystal and pursual of a federal Wild & Scenic designation to future protect the Crystal River. Even before the designation, Roaring Fork Conservancy was working on plans to restore Coal Basin, a major tributary, and to address low flow issues on the lower Crystal. Crystal River Facts. More information on America's Most Endangered Rivers.
Roaring Fork Conservancy working with local water users to respond to drought conditions Roaring Fork Conservancy has partnered with the Colorado Water Trust (CWT) to bring a new, pilot water leasing program to the Roaring Fork Valley in response to the drought conditions expected this year. The program will be undertaken in conjunction with the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) under the State’s short-term water right loan statute, which allows a water right owner to loan water to the CWCB for instream flows for up to 120 days. Instream flow water rights provide legal, nonconsumptive, in-channel water for the benefit of the environment. CWT will facilitate and pay for the leases under the State statute. More information on the Requests for Water 2013 program.
Roaring Fork Watershed Plan Complete! The Roaring Fork Watershed Plan has been finalized! The Watershed Plan consists of a number of sections including an introduction and overview, recommendations for urgent actions, recommendations applicable to water quality, water quantity and regional water management, and a discussion of implementation. The matrices, which arrange the recommendations in a sortable format, divide the recommendations into several categories which allow for examining the recommendations from a number of perspectives such as location, key entities and recommendation type (study, project or regulation). Although the Watershed Plan is intended to be an ever-evolving and flexible document we do hope to update it periodically as information, prioritizes and planning changes. For more on the watershed plan visit www.roaringfork.org/watershedplan.
Roaring Fork Conservancy River Center Wins Architectural Award Roaring Fork Conservancy’s future River Center won a prestigious Merit Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Colorado West chapter. Project architect Harry Teague accepted the Merit Award in the Unbuilt category on behalf of the organization last Friday.
In presenting the award, the jury touted the project’s “transition from the larger scale of the [future] adjacent built environment to the scale of the river” as a tremendous asset. Other strengths sited included the building’s sensitivity to the surrounding environment and the use of exterior building materials to tell the story of the River Center site. The award underscores the attention the design team has given to the building site, surroundings and functional uses as it sits on the edge of downtown Basalt. More on River Center.
Watershed-wide Macroinvertebrate Study Underway This fall, Roaring Fork Conservancy partnered with the State of Colorado Water Quality Control Division to conduct macroinvertebrate sampling in the Roaring Fork Valley. Scientists and volunteers collected samples in the field between September 26 and October 3 at 17 sites throughout the Roaring Fork Watershed. Macroinvertebrates, or aquatic insects, serve as important indicators of stream health. In late January we received data from the lab and will begin to assess the health of stream segments we sampled. "At first glance the data shows good species diversity and, initially, most sections being fairly healthy," explains water quality coordinator Chad Rudow. "We'll know more details after more analysis in the coming weeks." This study is another way Roaring Fork Conservancy is working proactively to assess stream health and determine how to best protect our rivers. Watch Video of Sampling. Macroinvertebrate Study in the News: Macroinvertebrate Study samples health of local rivers (start at 2:00) - Aspen Public Radio 10/5/11 Jeepers Creepers: Roaring Fork Conservancy studying bugs to gauge river's health - Aspen Daily News 10/6/11 Roaring Fork Conservancy's macroinvertebrate study - Radio Free Aspen 100.5FM 10/31/11
Wild and Scenic Rivers Educational Forum Roaring Fork Conservancy, Pitkin County, American Rivers, and the Crystal Valley Environmental Protection Association hosted a public educational forum to explore the process of a Wild and Scenic River designation for the Crystal River in November 2012. The forum panel included Kay Hopkins from the White River National Forest, Chuck Wanner, former Ft. Collins city councilman who was integral in the designation the Cache la Poudre as Wild & Scenic, Mike Moody from the Native Fish Society in Oregon who has participated in the Wild and Scenic process on the Molalla River in Oregon, and David Moryc, Senior Director of River Protection at American Rivers. The public was encouraged to participate to learn more about the process of designation, ask questions, and be part of the community to evaluate the effectiveness and appropriateness of this possible designation for the Crystal River. Summary of the Forum Water in the West Radio Series KDNK Community Radio and Aspen Public Radio teamed up to bring listeners an in-depth series looking at the threats to the region's water. Reporters from the two stations examined how population growth, climate change, the loss of agricultural land, developments and the energy industry all put strains on Colorado's limited resource. The demands on water that impact states like Arizona and California are moving upstream and are just decades away in Colorado. The series ran December 13 through 20 and are available below. Also check the Aspen Public Radio Blog for additional stories and recordings. The series is edited by former NPR Western bureau chief Alisa Barba and underwritten by the Colorado River District. Part 1| Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 Jon Waterman Interview | Ken Neubecker Interview| Justice Gregory Hobbs Interview
Flowing Uphill: Watersheds, Transmountain Diversions and the Future of Water in Colorado Ken Neubecker, former president of Colorado Trout Unlimited and director of the Western Rivers Institute, has partnered with Roaring Fork Conservancy to deliver his Flowing Uphil presentation to local governments, civici organizations, and the public throughout the fall and winter. For a complete list of upcoming dates, click on the Events Calendar to the right. View the powerpoint presentation: Flowing Uphill. For more on transmountain diversions visit www.roaringfork.org/diversions.