Your Watershed / Riparian Land Conservation / Riverfront Property

Riverfront Property

Living along the river brings with it an unparalleled lifestyle and experience. From being lulled to sleep by moving water, fly fishing from the back yard, or watching dippers work riffles, rivers provide those who live near them with an incredible experience, and an important responsibility. Roaring Fork Conservancy has prepared this webpage to help you protect our rivers.

The area along the river, known as the riparian zone, is critical to wildlife and important to water quality. Plants in the riparian zone take advantage of ample water, which in turn provides habitat for hundreds of species of wildlife. Although 85% of wildlife in Colorado need riparian habitat, only 1% of the land in Colorado is riparian. This means that without riparian habitat most wildlife species fail to find food, shelter, or breeding areas.

The benefits of maintaining healthy riparian habitat are many:

  • Food & Cover for Birds - birds use riparian zones as migratory rest stops, breeding grounds, and feeding 
  • Shade for Trout - trout have difficulty breathing, spawning and feeding in warm water
  • Flood Water Absorption - riparian soils absorb flood waters and release them slowly
  • Pollution Filtering - riparian plants trap sediment and filter pollutants
  • Bank Stabilization - riparian plants are two to three times more effective than rock and boulder banks at stabilizing rivers banks, especially during floods 
  • Water Savings - planting riparian species means little to no irrigation use, saving homeowners money and water 
  • All the Things You Love About Rivers - scenery, wildlife, water quality, fish habitat, beauty! 

Interested in a FREE riparian assessment?
Call Heather Lewin, Watershed Action Director, at (970) 927-1290.


Riverfront Property

Owners of Riverfront Property

Things You Can Do:

  1. Maintain and encourage native vegetation growth.
  2. Plant additional native vegetation.
  3. Contact an expert to learn more.

Citizens Guide to Riverfront Property

County Setback Ordinances

Each county in the Roaring Fork Watershed has different riparian setback ordinances. Each town and city also has specific riparian setback ordinances. For more information on each of these, click here. Contact each municipality individually for the most updated land use code. 

Pitkin County - No development 100 feet from perennial and intermittent streams or streambeds, 25 feet from isolated wetland and riparian areas (adopted 2006)
Garfield County - No development within 30 feet of the high water mark
Eagle County– No development within 75 feet of high water mark or 100 year flood-plain (whichever is greater) (adopted 2006)
Gunnison County – voluntary use of buffer strip

Contact Us

Roaring Fork Conservancy
PO Box 3349
Basalt, CO 81621
(970) 927-1290
info@roaringfork.org

PHYSICAL ADDRESS:
200 Basalt Center Circle, Suite 120, Basalt, CO 81621

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