Funding Opportunities Late May

 Belly Boat Fisherman #2. Division of Wildlife. Michael Seraphin, Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Photo taken: 6/18/2000.

Belly Boat Fisherman #2. Division of Wildlife. Michael Seraphin, Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Photo taken: 6/18/2000.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WIFA Funding –  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of approximately $5.5 billion in credit that could finance over $11 billion in water infrastructure projects through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program. Prospective borrowers seeking WIFIA credit assistance must submit a letter of interest by the deadline. Due July 6, 2018. More information available HERE.

Department of Interior WaterSMART Grants: Water Marketing Strategy Grants – Through the WaterSMART Water Marketing Strategy Grants, reclamation provides cost-shared financial assistance to states, tribes, and local governments to develop water marketing strategies to establish or expand water markets or water marketing activities between willing participants, in compliance with state and Federal laws. This funding opportunity supports collaborative planning efforts to develop water markets that will proactively address water supply reliability and increase water management flexibility. Due July 17, 2018. More information available HERE.

EPA Wetland Program Development Grants—Application Close Date Varies by Region – Wetland Program Development Grants (WPDGs) provide eligible applicants an opportunity to conduct projects that promote the protection, management, and restoration of wetlands. States, tribes, local governments, inter-state associations, and inter-tribal consortia are eligible to apply for the Regional WPDG Request for Proposals. More information available HERE.

NOT-FOR-PROFIT ACID MINE DRAINAGE WATERSHED COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT PROGRAMS (WCAP) - Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining, Funding Opportunity S18AS00003, 2018. Funding is available to assist local 501(c)(3) status organizations and groups that undertake local acid mine drainage (AMD) reclamation projects to improve the water quality of AMD-affected streams. The priorities and technical focus for this announcement are to restore streams affected by AMD to a level that will support a diverse biological community and provide recreational opportunities for the public. WCAP is designed to be partnered with other funding sources to assist groups such as small watershed organizations to complete local AMD reclamation projects. Estimated total program funding is $1.5M, and about 25 awards are anticipated. The closing date for applications is August 31, 2018. http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=300194

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Water Quality Planning Design and Engineering Grants. These grants provide money to small communities to help cover costs associated with the State Revolving Fund pre-application requirements. Grants require a 20 percent match from the applicant. Planning grant applicants must complete the prequalification form and attend a pre-application meeting. Design and engineering grant applicants will be considered by project needs assessment submissions by approved disadvantaged communities. For more information CLICK HERE.

The Nature Conservancy is working to promote environmental education through the creation of Nature Works Everywhere gardens. The core principle behind the Gardens program is that gardens model conservation science on a relatable scale. The program empowers students and teachers to work together to create and implement their own solutions to environmental challenges in their communities. Grants of up to $2,000 will be awarded to support projects that implement green infrastructure to address local environmental challenges. These include access to healthy food, air quality, heat island effect, climate change, and storm water collection. Through the program, young people will work as social innovators to help their communities through project design and implementation. Link to Complete RFP.

Colorado's Water Plan Grant Opportunities: The purpose of the Water Plan Grant funding is to make progress on the critical actions identified in the Colorado’s Water Plan (CWP) and its Measurable Objectives. All applications will be assessed based on funds available for a particular CWP Measurable Objective category. The Board will select projects, programs and activities to fund from applications that have the best opportunity to make progress on the CWP’s Measurable Objectives or critical actions. The CWCB staff reserves the right to negotiate with successful applicants to modify the scope and budget of their project to better meet the CWP objectives in light of fund availability. CWCB staff will evaluate applications and recommend projects to the CWCB Board for final approval at its regularly scheduled Board meetings. Learn more HERE.

The National Water Quality Initiative will work in priority watersheds to help farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners improve water quality and aquatic habitats in impaired streams. Natural Resource Conservation Service will help producers implement conservation and management practices through a systems approach to control and trap nutrient and manure runoff. Qualified producers will receive assistance for installing conservation practices such as cover crops, filter strips and terraces. More Details HERE.

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), provided through the Natural Resource Conservation Service, is a voluntary conservation program that helps agricultural producers in a manner that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible goals. Through EQIP, agricultural producers receive financial and technical assistance to implement structural and management conservation practices that optimize environmental benefits on working agricultural land. EQIP applications are accepted on a continuous basis, however, NRCS establishes application "cut-off" or submission deadline dates for evaluation, ranking and approval of eligible applications. EQIP is open to all eligible agricultural producers and submitted applications may be considered or evaluated in multiple funding pool opportunities. To learn more CLICK HERE.

The Colorado Water Conservation Board Water Supply Reserve Account (WSRA) Program provides grants and loans to assist Colorado water users in addressing their critical water supply issues and interests. The funds help eligible entities complete water activities, which may include competitive grants for: Technical assistance regarding permitting, feasibility studies and environmental compliance; Studies or analysis of structural, nonstructural consumptive and nonconsumptive water needs, projects or activities; and structural and nonstructural water projects or activities. For more information click HERE.

Colorado Water Conservation Board Water Efficiency Grant Program. The Water Efficiency Grant Program provides financial assistance to communities, water providers, and eligible agencies for water conservation-related activities and projects. Eligible entities, as well as state and local governments and agencies, can receive funding to develop water conservation and drought plans, implement water conservation goals outlined in a water conservation plan and educate the public about water conservation.
Types of Water Efficiency Grants available - Click on programs below for more information about each and how to apply:

Tamarisk Coalition has a list of riparian restoration funding opportunities maintained by the Tamarisk Coalition.  For list click  restoration funding opportunities.

Trainings and Workshops Late May

 The North Fork of the South Platte River near Bailey, Colo. Division of Wildlife. David Hannigan. Photo taken: 3/8/2009.

The North Fork of the South Platte River near Bailey, Colo. Division of Wildlife. David Hannigan. Photo taken: 3/8/2009.

WATER EDUCATION COLORADO'S WATER FLUENCY PROGRAM: A professional development course for non-water professionals. Learn the language of water and develop tools for navigating water management and policy issues so you can lead with confidence. Water is critical for every aspect of community vibrancy, from industry to commerce to agriculture, tourism, health, and the environment—but it isn't always clear how policy and management decisions around water trickle down to affect other sectors or vice versa. This comprehensive program will help you make those connections. In-person classroom days; water-focused site visits; and online discussions and homework between classroom days. The scheduled program dates are: 

  • May 22 and 23 in Pueblo
  • June 22 in Colorado Springs
  • July 20 in Fountain

The topics will include:

  • Colorado's water resources (the role of water in society, the economic value of water, ties to public policy, emerging issues)
  • Legal and institutional frameworks (water law and administration, project planning and approval, interbasin projects and agreements)
  • Water resource management (watershed health, environmental protection, water quality, natural disasters)
  • Colorado water for the future (assessing supply and meeting demand, ecosystem values, conservation and land use, alignment of resources and policies)

The class will be capped at 35 people to ensure a quality experience. Find out more HERE, and register HERE.

MAY 22nd-23rd, 2018: Functional Assessment of Colorado Wetlands Training CourseCDOT is sponsoring two 2-day training courses on the Functional Assessment of Colorado Wetlands method. The Denver course is full, but the May 22-23 course in Glenwood Springs still has several spots left. Please contact Becky Pierce, CDOT Wetland Program Manager, for more details and/or to register.

JUNE 5th-6th, 2018: Forests to Faucets Teachers Workshop; A two-day workshop for teachers who want to learn watershed science and the model lessons using the My Water Comes from the San Juan Mountains teacher guide, children's book, and kit. See full details on the workshop in the flier HERE, and read more about the book mentioned above HERE.

JUNE 5th-8th, 2018: The Stream Functions Pyramid Workshop is coming to Fort Collins! This course is for individuals involved in stream assessment and restoration/mitigation projects and provides a framework for assessing stream functions. Participants will learn that stream functions follow a hierarchical structure, which has been organized by the following categories: hydrology, hydraulics, geomorphology, physicochemical and biology. The course starts with lectures and exercises on stream functions following the Pyramid Framework and then moves into applications. Participants will work with function-based parameters, measurement methods, and associated performance standards. Find more information HERE.

JUNE 20th - 21st, 2018: Colorado Section - Society for Range Management Summer Workshop. This workshop will take place on the Jordan Angus Ranch 7 miles east of Briggsdale on June 20 and at Pawnee Buttes Seed Inc. in Greeley on June 21. Jordan Angus Ranch received the 2017 Colorado Section SRM Excellence in Rangeland Conservation award. During the morning of June 20 there will be a workshop for high school agriculture teachers on the Jordan Angus Ranch to learn about range management concepts; discuss how to incorporate these concepts into teaching curricula; and receive basic instruction on FFA rangeland judging and plant ID as a Career Development Exercise. This event  is being organized by Emmett Jordan and will conclude with a sponsored lunch on the ranch. The Colorado Section of the Society for Range Management and Jordan Angus Ranch, together with the West Greeley  Conservation District and Pawnee Buttes Seed Inc., are pleased to provide this training opportunity. For additional information contact the summer  workshop  planning committee: Dan Nosal at 303-218-2632 daniel.nosal@co.usda.gov. For more details click HERE

The Center for Watershed Protection presents Watershed and Stormwater Webcast Series:

  • Retrofitting the Urban Environment: What’s New?- June 20, 2018, 1-2:30 PM EST
  • Stormwater and Green Infrastructure for Combined Sewer Systems- September 12, 2018, 1-2:30 PM EST
  • Innovations in Stream Restoration Design and Construction- October 10, 2018, 1-2:30 PM ES
  • It Ain’t Easy Getting Green: Incentivizing Watershed Programs- November 14, 2018, 1-2:30 PM EST

Find pricing information and registration HERE.

JULY 9th-12th and 16th-19th, 2018: Mountain Studies Institute (MSI) accepts high school students rising to 11 or 12th grades, or recent high school graduates (with occasional exceptions for younger students). Students from San Miguel, Ouray, Dolores, San Juan, La Plata, Archuleta, and Montezuma counties are invited to apply. Join the San Juans' most immersive and engaging mountain science program!  During the two week, rigorous field course program, students explore topics and careers in the sciences and natural resources by day, and camp and explore in the evenings. During the program, interns gain hands-on experience contributing to real-world environmental science projects. Students work side-by-side with a small group of other interns from across the San Juan Mountains. The program is led by mentors from MSI and more than 20 local science professionals.  Students interact with natural resource managers and researchers in the field to learn about ecology, geology, hydrology, wildlife, and forestry. They will dive into topics such as air and water quality, climate change, mine reclamation, fen restoration, and forest health. Find more information HERE!

Job Announcements Late May

 North Lake Fly Fisherman. North Lake SWA is also known as Monument Lake. Division of Wildlife. Michael Seraphin, Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Photo taken: 10/2/2012.

North Lake Fly Fisherman. North Lake SWA is also known as Monument Lake. Division of Wildlife. Michael Seraphin, Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Photo taken: 10/2/2012.

South Suburban Parks and Recreation is seeking a part time (somewhat sporadic but set-in-advance schedule) summer interpreter to help increase their capacity for leading new nature programs in the City of Sheridan as part of a GOCO Inspire Initiative Grant. Spanish language skills, interpretation or education certification, or a personality to foster connections within the community will make a candidate stand out, and the minimum qualifications can be found on this linkApplications due May 22nd, 2018.

The Four Mile Fire Protection District in Boulder, CO is hiring a full-time Firefighter / Maintenance Coordinator. Interested candidates should visit HERE for the full job posting and application. Application Deadline: June 8, 2018 (by 1700 MST).

The Middle Colorado Watershed Council is seeking a part- to full-time Executive Director who can grow their organization to better meet the needs of their communities. The non-profit, based out of Rifle, CO, consists of a broad partnership of interested individuals and entities living and working in the watershed to provide leadership in watershed planning, management, and stewardship. The ideal individual is one who is: Passionate about water and watershed health; Driven by a desire to serve diverse rural communities; Experienced with fundraising and comfortable with associated development activities; High achieving, with a desire to support an outstanding staff and caring Board. A life-long learner who enjoys research, communications, and life in the Colorado River basin. If this sounds like a career that will inspire you, please check out the full job announcement HERE. Applications are due June 11.

TEENS, Inc. seeks Summer Youth Corps Crew Supervisors based in Denver to be a part of their TeamWorks program: Work alongside youth employees (crew members) with a positive attitude and strong work ethic. Duties vary. Examples include pulling noxious weeds, flood relief projects, trail building, restoration work, and light construction. Responsible for site maintenance, and overall safety of the group. Facilitate an inquiry based work experience for youth participants. Create a positive working relationship with their partners, and ensure projects are being completed to meet their expectations. Know and uphold TEENS, Inc. policies in the field. Position available until filled, so apply ASAP! Look up more information HERE. Please email a resume, references and cover letter, or any questions to ariel@teensinc.org.   

Eagle River Watershed Council seeks a Projects and Events Coordinator to manage the logistics, budget and timeline for Eagle River Watershed Council’s events and restoration projects. Their projects and events help them to meet their mission to advocate for the health and conservation of the Upper Colorado and Eagle River basins through research, education and projects. The Projects & Events Coordinator will be the lead in recruiting and engaging volunteers; vet/plan/implement projects and events; and acquire project funding; will build an understanding of the other work of ERWC so that they may speak with authority on, and expand the community’s awareness of, their work. See the full job description HERE.

The City of Fort Collins is excited to announce a Senior Environmental Planner position within the Natural Areas Department. This position will be housed within the Planning and Special Projects work group and will help in the formation and leadership of a human dimensions focal area within Natural Areas. If interested, please go to the City of Fort Collins website HERE

Conferences and Events Late May

 Bighorn sheep are released into Gore Canyon west of Kremmling in mid-January 2009. Division of Wildlife. Richard Seeley. Photo taken: 1/15/2009.

Bighorn sheep are released into Gore Canyon west of Kremmling in mid-January 2009. Division of Wildlife. Richard Seeley. Photo taken: 1/15/2009.

MAY 17th, 2018: Join Manabi Salsa Band and an incredible dance crowd at Avogadro's Number in Fort Collins to help grow the Southern Rockies Seed Network. Enjoy great food, local beer, and soulful salsa sounds while helping improve the diversity and resilience of natural habitats in  the Southern Rockies. Through the strategic engagement of public and private partners, volunteer activities, and pooling resources in the region, they are forging long-term solutions that provide lasting impacts for plants and wildlife from the peaks to the prairies, and all the spaces in between that we call home. Please bring a check or cash for the paddle raiser and opportunity drawing tickets, and help them reach their goal of raising $10,000 for the night. 100% of proceeds will sustain their minimal staffing, support volunteer events, keep their lights on, and expand their ability to develop quality native plants. Read more HERE.

May 17th, 2018: Water, Wildfire and Wellness- Field notes from the ashes of recent Western megafires. In recent years, every Western state has experienced an increase in the average number of large wildfires each year. Anthropogenic climate change is estimated to be responsible for about half of all areas burned by wildfire in recent decades. What are the emerging impacts of wildfires like these on community health? How can we as leaders better prepare for and mitigate these impacts? Find out how to join this webinar by clicking this link.

MAY 17th, 2018: Ruedi Reservoir Tour: Storing West Slope Water. Curious to know more about Ruedi Reservoir and its significance in the Roaring Fork Watershed? This is your chance! Join Mark Fuller from Ruedi Water and Power Authority to learn about transbasin water diversions and how Ruedi Reservoir operates, by visiting the reservoir. We’ll also gain a unique perspective of the dam and its construction from the Rocky Fork area. Learn more and register HERE.

STATE OF THE RIVER MEETINGS are public meetings held across the Colorado Western Slope to educate and inform on water issues. Experts discuss the amount of water expected to flow into the local reservoirs from snow melt and forecast how conditions may affect the rise and fall of reservoir levels and the amounts and timing of water to be released to the rivers over the upcoming season. 

Next State of the River Meetings: 

May 21 – State of the Gunnison River Basin, 6:00 refreshments & social time, 6:30 program, Holiday Inn, 1391 S. Townsend, Montrose, CO

May 31 – State of the Roaring Fork River Basin, place & time to be determined 

Click HERE to access more information on the State of the River Meetings listed above.

MAY 24th or 25th, 2018: Join WEco, Poudre Heritage Alliance, and the Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed to explore the Poudre River. Colorado's waterways provide ecosystem benefits, habitat for fish and wildlife, and water for recreation, agriculture, industry and personal use. Register here for the May 24 date, or click here to register for the May 25 tour.

MAY 29th-JUNE 1st, 2018: The Society of Wetland Scientists 2018 Annual Meeting will be held at the Hilton Denver City Center in Denver, Colorado. This unique meeting is themed “Wetland Science: Integrating Research, Practice, and Policy – An Exchange of Expertise.” Reserve your spot to network and build professional connections with the highest level of wetland professionals at the 2018 Annual Meeting. Click HERE for more information.

MAY 31st, 2018: Join Roaring Fork Audubon and Roaring Fork Conservancy for a brisk morning of birding at the Maroon Creek Wetlands. A ranger from City of Aspen Parks & Open Space will explain how this constructed wetland benefits people and wildlife, by being a temporary home to dozens of migratory birds during the early summer. Find more details HERE

MAY 31st, 2018: Friends of the Yampa presents, Yampa Water Festival. Come hear speakers explaining the importance of the Yampa River, participate in river activities, and enjoy engaging with the greater community in this fun event! Find more information HERE

JUNE 5th or 6th, 2018: Join the Barr Milton Watershed Association, WEco, Metro Wastewater Reclamation District and the Colorado Stormwater Council for a fun day learning about the history of the Sand Creek Waterway and efforts to restore it. Register here for the June 5 date, or click here to register for the June 6 date. 

JUNE 5th or 6th, 2018: 2018 Denver Urban Water Cycle Tour. This roughly 9-mile route will begin at Bluff Lake Nature Center. We'll then travel along Sand Creek, head downhill and west, diverting a short distance up Westerly creek before continuing along Sand Creek to Metro Wastewater.  Register today - space is limited. Both the June 5 (morning) and June 6 (afternoon) bike tours are exactly the same. To see the tour agenda and find where to register, click here.

JUNE 7th-8th, 2018: GWC Summer Water Conference, "What Lies Beneath? Reasons to Care About Groundwater in the Southwest." at the University of Colorado School of Law. Read details HERE.

JUNE 11th-12th, 2018: Join Water Education Colorado for their two-day RIO GRANDE BASIN TOUR! Tour topics will include the Rio Grande Basin Implementation Plan progress and priorities, forest health, reservoir rehabilitation and timed releases, remote telemetry, compact compliance, ag practices, well rules and regulations, and much much more. Learn more and register HERE.

JUNE 12th, 2018: Lunch 'n Learn: Regional Model Landscape and Irrigation Ordinance. What is a Regional Model Landscape and Irrigation Ordinance? Why do we need one? How can it benefit you? Linda and Rick will discuss the steps taken through a partnership with South Metro Water Supply Authority as they determined the need and created the ordinance. They’ll cover the key requirements and why they make sense for any municipality to adopt. As well as other great tips and tools for attendees. Learn more and register HERE

JUNE 14th, 2018: Lunch 'n Learn: Open Source Resources. Open Water Foundation is leading the effort to collaboratively develop, enhance, and maintain open source water resource software tools, to the benefit of government, universities, consultants, nonprofits, and the public. Join us for a brown bag Lunch 'n Learn with Steve Malers to learn about innovative ways to use technology to solve complex water issues and empower users with software tools for data analysis and visualization.Learn more and register HERE.

JUNE 14th, 2018: Join the RMSAWWA Conservation Committee for their next meeting in Summit County. There will be a tour of Dillon reservoir prior to the meeting. Discussion topics to include connecting planning and water use demand, new development rules and regulations, and tap fees to incentivize water efficiency. Read more and register HERE.

JUNE 20th - 21st, 2018: Pawnee Butte Seed Company 2018 Grass Tour. Working with the Colorado Section - Society of Range Management, West Greeley Conservation District, and Jordan Angus, together they have a great tour planned for you. Starting Wednesday afternoon: enjoy a tour of Emmett Jordan's Ranch in Briggsdale. Jordan received the 2017 Colorado Section SRM Excellence in Rangeland Conservation award. Following the tour there will be a BBQ at the beautiful West Greeley Conservation Districts Houston Gardens. Thursday join them for a day all about water. Visit different locations in Northern Colorado and see the different ways water is used in Weld County and its different forms. If you would like to join in please email becca@pawneebuttesseed.com to register!  

AUGUST 6th, 2018: Reclaimed Water - Regulation 84 Hearing Hosted by Colorado Water Quality Control Division. A public hearing is being held to review proposed regulatory changes to Reclaimed Water Control Regulation 84. For more details about other WQCC Rule-making Proceeding, click HERE.

SEPTEMBER 10th-12th2018:  2018 Colorado Open Space Alliance (COSA) conference. Do you have open space, natural resource management, or conservation expertise that you’d like to share?  They are seeking presentations for the conference, which is themed “Ripple by Ripple, Water is the Driving Force in Nature.”  Read more about this HERE.

OCTOBER 9th - 11th, 2018: SAVE THE DATE - 13th Annual Sustaining Colorado Watersheds Conference. The Color of Water: Exploring the Spectrum, Westin Riverfront Resort, Avon, CO. Don't miss the premier watershed conference in Colorado. Expanding cooperation and collaboration throughout Colorado in natural resource conservation, protection and enhancement by informing participants about new issues and innovative projects and through invaluable networking. Stay tuned at SCW Conference 2018.

OCTOBER 24th-25th, 2018: 29th Annual South Platte Forum at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, CO. The conference will feature an exciting lineup of speakers and topics, and a great opportunity to network. This year the South Platte Forum is accepting speaker applications! If you have a topic that you would like to present at the conference, please submit an application for the Committee to review by May 1st, 2018. Find the list of speakers and their bios HERE, and all general and pertinent information and links HERE

NOVEMBER 7th-8th, 2018: 8th Annual Upper Colorado River Basin Water Forum will be held at CMU University Center in Grand Junction, CO. For more, click HERECALL FOR ABSTRACTS will expire June 30th. Click HERE for details for abstracts 

Announcements Late May

 A Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout. Division of Wildlife. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Photo taken: 3/29/2004.

A Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout. Division of Wildlife. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Photo taken: 3/29/2004.


 On May 2, 2018, in response to persistent and prolonged drought in portions of Colorado, the Governor activated the Colorado Drought Mitigation and Response Plan for the agricultural sector in the following counties:  Montezuma, La Plata, Archuleta, Conejos, Costilla, Las Animas, Baca, Prowers, Bent, Otero, Huerfano, Alamosa, Rio Grande, Mineral, Hinsdale, San Juan, Dolores, San Miguel, Ouray, Montrose, Saguache, Custer, Pueblo, Crowley, Kiowa, Cheyenne, Lincoln, El Paso, Elbert, Gunnison, Mesa, Delta, Garfield, Rio Blanco.  All of these counties are experiencing severe, extreme or exceptional drought as classified by the US Drought Monitor, and many have already received some level of drought designation from USDA. If present trends continue, other regions and sectors of the state's economy may also be affected. We will continue to monitor conditions in those areas.   As a result of this activation the following actions will be taken:  1) The Drought Task Force will be activated under chairmanship of directors from the Departments of Natural Resources, Local Affairs, and Agriculture. The first meeting of the Task Force was held on May 7th.  2) The Agricultural Impact Task Forces (ITF) will be formally activated.  The Ag ITF chairpersons have scheduled a call for the 16th of May. All other ITFs should be on notice should conditions deteriorate.  3) All agencies will assign: (1) A senior level manager who can commit the resources of the department to act as a drought coordinator and (2) Task Force chairpersons and participants as indicated in the Colorado Drought Mitigation and Response Plan.  4) Lead agencies will be prepared to take action for drought response and to mitigate drought impacts as appropriate.  Should you have specific questions about the activation please contact Taryn Finnessey, Sr. Climate Change Specialist at  taryn.finnessey@state.co.us  or 303-868-5302.

On May 2, 2018, in response to persistent and prolonged drought in portions of Colorado, the Governor activated the Colorado Drought Mitigation and Response Plan for the agricultural sector in the following counties:

Montezuma, La Plata, Archuleta, Conejos, Costilla, Las Animas, Baca, Prowers, Bent, Otero, Huerfano, Alamosa, Rio Grande, Mineral, Hinsdale, San Juan, Dolores, San Miguel, Ouray, Montrose, Saguache, Custer, Pueblo, Crowley, Kiowa, Cheyenne, Lincoln, El Paso, Elbert, Gunnison, Mesa, Delta, Garfield, Rio Blanco.

All of these counties are experiencing severe, extreme or exceptional drought as classified by the US Drought Monitor, and many have already received some level of drought designation from USDA. If present trends continue, other regions and sectors of the state's economy may also be affected. We will continue to monitor conditions in those areas. 

As a result of this activation the following actions will be taken:

1) The Drought Task Force will be activated under chairmanship of directors from the Departments of Natural Resources, Local Affairs, and Agriculture. The first meeting of the Task Force was held on May 7th.

2) The Agricultural Impact Task Forces (ITF) will be formally activated.  The Ag ITF chairpersons have scheduled a call for the 16th of May. All other ITFs should be on notice should conditions deteriorate.

3) All agencies will assign: (1) A senior level manager who can commit the resources of the department to act as a drought coordinator and (2) Task Force chairpersons and participants as indicated in the Colorado Drought Mitigation and Response Plan.

4) Lead agencies will be prepared to take action for drought response and to mitigate drought impacts as appropriate.

Should you have specific questions about the activation please contact Taryn Finnessey, Sr. Climate Change Specialist at taryn.finnessey@state.co.us or 303-868-5302.


Now Accepting Applications for Assistance Supporting Community-Led Conservation and Recreation Projects. Have an idea for a park, trail, or conservation project in your community? The National Park Service works with local leaders to build partnerships, develop plans, and expand community support for outdoor recreation and conservation projects. Can they help your community? Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) staff can work with you to organize and carry out a planning process that engages partners and the broader community in crafting a well-defined project vision, goals, and actionable strategies for getting things done on the ground. Their assistance is free, but they require a strong commitment from the project partners to lead the effort. They do not provide grants or direct financial support. Applications are due by June 30, 2018 for assistance beginning the following fiscal year (October 1 through September 30). Please review the application process and guidelines on their website. Additional information on the services they provide and how to apply is covered in this recorded webinar.  

Pros and cons: Understanding the trade-offs of alternative water supplies. More water utilities than ever are looking at diversifying their water supply portfolios using “alternative supply strategies,” such as onsite reuse, wastewater reuse, seawater/brackish groundwater desalination, and conservation to meet future demands. But what is there to better understand and hopefully anticipate before implementing a given approach? We need your input! The Water Research Foundation is conducting a study to help utilities identify the trade-offs (benefits and risks) of incorporating alternative water supplies into their water supply portfolios for greater reliability. Please take this brief, confidential survey by June 17.

Keeping A Unique Water Tradition Alive In Southern Colorado’s Acequias. For many people, spring is a time for deep cleaning, a time to take stock of and prepare for the year ahead. That’s also the case on farms in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, where farmers spend their weekends banding together to clean out the irrigation ditches that bring snowmelt to their fields. The clean up, known as the limpieza, is part of an irrigation tradition unique to this region for centuries. If you irrigate here, Quintana says, you or one of your family members is expected to be here shoveling out muck, removing trash and tree limbs. The limpieza is an annual obligation. Read the whole story HERE

Introducing The Colorado Footprint, a monthly column that follows stories about Colorado’s environment and the solutions-based projects, people, and ideas bettering the Centennial State. OutThere Colorado is driven by our deep respect for our environment, and our passionate commitment to sustainable tourism and conservation. We believe in the right for everyone – from all backgrounds and cultures – to enjoy our natural world, and we believe that we must all do so responsibly. This column aims to highlight those engaged in the vital work of protecting and preserving Colorado’s environment. Follow this LINK to read more.

On Air: Connecting the Drops: The inextricable link among forests, fires, and water. Wildfires are a reality for those living in the West, but the impact on the landscape lingers long after the smoke is gone. In Colorado, our public lands serve as source watersheds for the vast majority of the state—80 percent of Coloradans drink water that flows out of national forest land alone. Forest, fire and water are now inextricably linked. Listen to the story on Connecting the Drops, a statewide series on water.  Listen HERE

MEETING NOTICE: Colorado Water Quality Forum 10-year water quality roadmap Workgroup involvement opportunity. The mission of the workgroup is to achieve solutions to Colorado water quality issues through communication and understanding, balancing use, and protection of the resource.

Water Quality Members and Participants: The 10-year water quality roadmap is their plan to develop or revise water quality standards from 2017 to 2027. They'll hold quarterly workgroup meetings to discuss progress and encourage participation. Learn more about all the topics involved on the roadmap webpage, ROAD WEBPAGE.

  • Meeting 1: Completed
  • Meeting two: Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018 (1-4 p.m.)
  • Meeting three: Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018 (1-4 p.m.)
  • Meeting four: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019 (1-4 p.m.)

Anyone can participate! If you would like to receive future emails about the workgroup, use this online sign-up form to join the mailing list so they can stay in touch.