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AW Grows it's Dolores River Campaign (CO)

Posted: 01/03/2010
By: Nathan Fey

Over the past 2 years, American Whitewater has received several requests for assistance from our affiliate clubs, volunteers, and partner organizations in the Dolores River basin. Given the current staffing and success of our stewardship program, we are now in a position to meet this need.  We have developed a strategy to empower key volunteers with the tools, resources, and leadership needed to build collaborative partnerships and engage in existing efforts to address multiple aspects of river health, including minimum flows for environmental and recreational needs, and reservoir spill utilization.

Engaging key volunteers in meetings and negotiations is a critical part of our strategy in 2010, and a successful project will result in over 8 new volunteers actively working to represent recreation interests in collaborative processes; a local AW affiliate network in the Dolores basin to serve as an information clearing-house within the recreational community, and contract staff working directly with AW Stewardship staff to coordinate research activities and serve on technical work-groups and committees.





Specifically, funding will be used to meet the following goals and objectives for our Dolores River Project:

1. Conduct and distribute a comprehensive assessment of the in-stream flows necessary to support the full range of recreational opportunities and sustain a vibrant recreation economy.      

2. Develop recreational flow targets that improve and restore the timing, magnitude, and duration of flows critical to fish habitat and riparian health.       

3. Develop and implement cooperative strategies to improve McPhee reservoir operations to better meet non-consumptive needs while providing certainty for water project yield and flexibility for water users.

Through multiple collaborative processes, we will:

a. advance the justification of recreational flows using industry standard methodologies.

b. refine McPhee Reservoir spill guidelines to assure spills meet recreational needs.

c. achieve consensus on flow targets among critical stakeholders in the Dolores basin.


Additional information on the Dolores River Project may be found


Associated Projects

Dolores River (CO)

American Whitewater is working to conserve and restore a dynamic, healthy Dolores River by leveraging recreational water needs to enhance and support in-stream flows.

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!