In 2007, the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its report on the eligibility of rivers in the Upper Colorado River basin for Wild and Scenic River designation. In response to potential federal protection for Colorado's headwater rivers, and the impact Wild and Scenic River management might have on the ability of the State to develop new water projects, various state agencies, local governments, and water providers came together in a collaborative effort to propose a local alternative to Wild and Scenic River management for the Colorado River. American Whitewater joined the negotiations in late 2007, and is currently working with stakeholders and consulting agencies in good faith to develop a Management Plan Alternative that would protect the “Outstandingly Remarkable Values” of Segments 4 through 7 of the Colorado River, as identified in the 2007 Eligibility Report.
The Stakeholder Group's intention is to develop a collaborative plan that balances the following: permanent protection of the ORVs; certainty for stakeholders; water project yield; and flexibility for land owners, management agencies, and water users. The group released the conceptual framework for the development of a Management Plan that will be proposed to the BLM as an alternative in their Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for their revised Management Plans for the Kremmling and Glenwood Springs Field Offices.
The geographic scope of the Management Plan Alternative will encompass the Upper Colorado River from the top of Gore Canyon, Colorado extending downstream to a point one mile east of No Name Creek in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The Management Plan will cover B LM lands within 1/4 mile of the river, and may also cover land owned by or within jurisdiction of state, local and private interests within the river corridor.
The Conceptual Fremawork focuses primarliy on the flow-based ORVs of recreational floatboating and recreational fishing, as identified in the BLM's 2007 Eligibility Report. Flow protection is one of the strongest features of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, but more importantly, it is the aspect that state and local entities are most able to influence.
American Whitewater's focus as a stakeholder in the alternative planning process is to ensure that the type and quality of the whitewater opportunities of the Upper Colorado River are analized, and to leverage recreational flow requirements to protect fish, wildlife habitat, and the outdoor recreation industry. We are representing private boaters and commercial outfitters in the negotiation process, and are among the only stakeholders advocating for dynamic flows that sustain sediment transport, fish spawning cues, riparian health, and world class whitewater experiences. American Whitewater and the Stakeholders Group is working to gather additional information to satisfy NEPA requirements, and to complete the detailed final Management Plan Alternative for inclusion into the the BLM's Final EIS and Record of Decision.
Upper Colorado River Stakeholders Group: Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, Colorado River Water Conservation District, Northern Colorado water Conservancy District, Middle Park Water Conservancy District, Grand County, Eagle County, Summit County, Colorado Springs Utilities, Denver Water, Blue Valley Ranch, Trout Unlimited, The Wilderness Society, American Whitewater.
In consultation with: Colorado Water Conservation Board, Colorado Division of Wildlife, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Colorado - In an effort to protect what little water is left in the Upper Colorado River, Grand County has filed for two Recreational In-Channel Diversion water rights in district court. These rights are associated with two whitewater parks on the Colorado River. American Whitewater has worked with Grand County over the past three years to develop tools to protect river health, and provide a range of boating opportunities. These rights are part of a suite of protective measures we hope to unveil later in 2011.
Due to the current weather predictions, the US Army Corps of Engineers has cancelled the public meeting scheduled for Summit County (December 8). The meeting will be rescheduled for January 2010. Stay tuned for meeting anouncement.
The US Army Corps of Engineers has added a public hearing on the Moffat Collection Project. Date: December 8, 2009 Location: Keystone Conference Center (0633 Tennis Club Road, Keystone, CO, 80435) Time: Open House 4:00 pm; Public Hearing begins at 6:00 pm
To meet their projected future water needs, Denver Water proposes to develop 18,000 acre-feet per year of new water from the Upper Colorado River basin. Denver Water's prefered project, currently being evaluated by the Army Coprs of Engineers (ACOE), includes raising Gross Reservoir on South Boulder Creek in Boulder County to store an additional 72,000 acre-feet of water from the Fraser River and Upper Colorado basin.
AW is evaluating how severely the project will impact paddling opportunities in the Upper Colorado and Boulder Creek drainages.
For more info, attend one of three public hearings announced by the ACOE.
Since 2007, American Whitewater has negotiated with various state agencies and urban water providers intent on developing new management criteria for the headwaters of the Colorado River, that threaten to allow water providers to nearly dry-up the river without protecting instream flows necessary for fish, wildlife, and outdoor enthusiasts. For two years, American Whitewater has been the lone recreation voice in these negotiations, and we have had measurable success protecting the Colorado River.
The contacts below include staff and volunteers working on this project. Make sure you are logged in if you wish to join the group.
|Nathan Fey||Longmont CO||Details...|
Recreational Water Rights Sought for the Upper Colorado River
January 31, 2011
Save The Colorado Campaign Awards AW (CO)
September 14, 2010
Pack It Out! Day on Upper Colorado River
August 3, 2010
Management Plan submitted for Upper Colorado River (CO)
March 8, 2011
Paddlers Identify Recreational Water Needs in Colorado
July 24, 2007
Colorado River up for Wild and Scenic Designation
April 27, 2007
Flow Survey for Upper Colorado River Basin
October 22, 2007
AW helps develop Upper Colorado River Management Plan
August 20, 2008
Gore Race 2009 - Get on It!
August 12, 2009
Upper Colorado River - Project Update
August 27, 2009
Public Hearing added for Denver Water's Moffat Collection Project
November 24, 2009
Hearing canceled for Moffat Collection Project
December 8, 2009
BLM Releases Draft RMP/EIS for Upper Colorado River- CO
October 11, 2011
Upper Colorado River Receives Legal Flow Protection
December 6, 2011
Action Alert - Support Fall Boating on the Upper Colorado River!
February 28, 2012
COLORADO RIVER NEAR KREMMLING, CO (AW#4139)
1040 cfs 00h47m
COLORADO RIVER NEAR KREMMLING, CO (AW#4139)
5.64 ft 00h47m