Longmont, Colorado - The St. Vrain Creek watershed on Colorado's northern Front Range, is critical to maintaining the health, biodiversity, character, and economy of communities within the region. The creek is a stronghold for native fishes, receives Colorado River transmountain water, hosts the Lyons Outdoor Games - one of the country’s largest outdoor industry events, and has its headwaters in Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks Wilderness, and its confluence in the county with the largest agricultural economy in Colorado. The watershed has a diverse array of stakeholders that use and derive value from the waters including agricultural users, domestic water providers, conservationists, and recreational users.
With few exceptions, the St. Vrain Creek watershed has historically been managed without a collective vision to maximize the river’s use while also balancing its health. American Whitewater is one of a handful of stakeholders in the watershed leading a Stream Management Planning process, which is now underway. The Recreational Flow Survey being conducted by American Whitewater will help shape what the future of Saint Vrain Creek watershed looks like and establish clear priorities for ways to protect, restore, and enjoy St. Vrain Creek.
Please participate in the Survey today.
Colorado’s State Water Plan (CWP) sets a measurable objective to cover 80 percent of the locally prioritized lists of rivers with stream management plans. CWP used the South Platte Basin Implementation Plan (BIP) to help inform this measurable objective. The South Platte BIP studied a reach of St. Vrain Creek for environmental and recreational opportunities and concluded adequate streamflows may at times be present to achieve environmental and recreational outcomes. However, the BIP further concluded that opportunities for flow improvements may be available, but additional data and studies on flow and its relationships to form and function, aquatic and riparian ecosystems, and recreation are needed.
As part of a comprehensive Stream Management Plan for the St Vrain Creek Watershed, American Whitewater is collecting and compiling data on recreational uses, and identifying projects and strategies to improve stream health, recreation, and environmental conditions in the region. You can help with this extensive effort. Please participate in the Recreational Flow survey.