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Management Plan submitted for Upper Colorado River (CO)

Posted: 03/08/2011
By: Nathan Fey

Colorado - The Upper Colorado River Wild and Scenic Stakeholder Group represents a diverse range of interests who have worked together since 2007 to develop an Upper Colorado River Wild and Scenic Management Plan to protect the outstandingly remarkable values (ORVs) identified in the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Eligibility Reports for Segments 4 through 7 of the Upper Colorado River.

The SG Plan is being proposed to BLM and the USFS as a potential Wild and Scenic Rivers management alternative for the resource management plan revision process. The Stakeholder Group’s intention for this collaborative Plan is to balance permanent protection of the ORVs, certainty for the stakeholders, water project yield, and flexibility for water users. A significant benefit of the SG Plan is that through the cooperative and voluntary efforts of interested water users, local governments, and other entities, the ORVs can be protected (and perhaps enhanced) in ways that coordinate with federal agency management.
The SG Plan will use identified Long-Term Protection Measures and voluntary Cooperative Measures of the Stakeholder Group to protect the ORVs. Examples of the protective measures include the appropriation of a Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) Instream Flow (ISF) water right, delivery of water to senior water demands downstream of Segments 4 through 7, and water deliveries to the 15-Mile Reach in the Grand Valley pursuant to the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program.
The SG Plan aims to protect all ORVs while focusing on recreational fishing (in Segments 4 through 6) and recreational floatboating (in Segments 4 through 7). The SG Plan uses two distinct tools – “ORV Indicators” (characterizing the range and quality of the ORVs) which will be used to gage whether the ORVs are being protected; and “Resource Guides” (reflecting ranges for factors such as flow, temperature and water quality) that will be used as a source of information among others to inform SG discussions under the Plan.

The SG Plan’s implementation procedures will provide a feedback loop to periodically confirm that the management measures under the SG Plan, in coordination with BLM’s and USFS’s other land management actions, are protective of all ORVs. The SG Plan contains mechanisms to address concerns related to impairment of or a significant risk of impairment to the ORVs.

The effective date of the SG Plan will commence upon issuance of records of decision by BLM and the USFS approving the Plan without material change as the Wild and Scenic Rivers management alternative for Segments 4 through 7 of the Upper Colorado River. A formal endorsement of the Plan by the Stakeholder Group shall be provided no later than April 30, 2011.

Full Text of the Upper Colorado River Management Plan can be found here.

Colorado Stewardship Director

Nathan Fey

1601 Longs Peak Ave.

Longmont, CO 80501

Phone: 303-859-8601
Full Profile

Associated Gauges

Disclaimer Data Sources
Gage Reading Last Updated
COLORADO RIVER NEAR DOTSERO, CO (AW#4149) 936 cfs 00h26m
COLORADO RIVER NEAR DOTSERO, CO (AW#4149) 2.32 ft 00h26m

Associated Rivers

Associated Projects

Upper Colorado River (CO)

American Whitewater is working with various stakeholders to develop a resource management plan for the BLM, as an alternative to "Wild and Scenic River" management.

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