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South Platte (CO) Recreational Flow Study Released – please respond!

Posted: 11/09/2021
By: Hattie Johnson

In 1997, a collaborative group of conservation, recreation and consumptive water users initiated a conversation around how they could protect and enhance the outstandingly remarkable values – which include whitewater boating – that the Forest Service had identified on segments of the South Platte and N. Fork of the South Platte. What resulted was the South Platte Protection Plan and a request to the Forest Service to indefinitely postpone and suitability determination under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The plan identified a 17-person Enhancement Board (SPEB) and established a $1M endowment fund that the board could distribute as grants to projects with the goal of protecting and enhancing those defined values.


Earlier this year, AW received a grant to complete a flow preference and boatable days study on the segments within the study area to understand a baseline of recreational opportunity. Our investigation will look at whether those recreational opportunities have changed over time. The resulting data will be used by the SPEB to monitor the health of the recreational outstandingly remarkable value. Your feedback is necessary to complete this study. Please complete this survey and share with your paddling partners.


Your responses will define the range of flows at which paddlers of all crafts use these reaches of the South Platte. The survey gives you a chance to understand what flow conditions support paddling and allows us to better advocate for those flows. As many South Platte paddlers know, this river is used as a water delivery system for the populous front range communities and management of that system is highly variable. By having clear flow targets for recreation, we can better negotiate for flows that also align with environmental benefits and water management. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey!

American Whitewater

Hattie Johnson

Phone: 970-456-8533
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Associated Rivers

South Platte, North Fork CO
South Platte, North Fork CO
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