Friends of the Yampa: Colorado’s Water Plan will keep the Yampa mighty
The Yampa River is one of Northwest Colorado’s most prized natural features. It serves as a recreational, agricultural and economic resource for thousands of people each year, and a boon to numerous local businesses that line the Yampa River from its headwaters in the Flat Top Mountains to its confluence with the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument.
But this river holds value to so many outside our community as well, because of its unique primitivity. It is considered the last major wild river in the seven-state Colorado River basin due to its natural hydrograph, and one of the few remaining in all of the West.
For more than 30 years, Friends of the Yampa and others have worked fiercely to defend this jewel of the Western Slope but with Colorado’s mushrooming population, the Yampa is on red alert.
However, the Colorado Water Conservation Board established a plan late last year that outlines how the state can conserve our water supply and sustainably manage our rivers. With this road map in place, we are confident we can avoid the need for any large dams or diversions being built that would endanger the flow, wildlife and riparian habitats of our rivers including the mighty Yampa.
While so many other rivers have been dammed and diverted, the Yampa has remained “mighty” in part due to the actions of people in this town and in Northwest Colorado. We’ve made calls to our legislators, signed petitions and created awareness of how incredibly important it is to keep the Yampa River wild.
If we want the Yampa to endure, we have to change how we manage and value our rivers. As the population swells and demand for food and water increases, we must again take action and urge our leaders to implement this plan. To find out more about Colorado’s Water Plan, please visit colorado.gov/cowaterplan and visit FriendsoftheYampa.com to learn more about our organization.
Friends of the Yampa Board of Directors
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