Attached is a webinar and presentation provided by Peaks to People Water Fund as well as notes from a call with their ED and Chaffee County Leaders.
This is fund working to connect funding from water users and water related businesses to implementation of upstream forest treatments on public and private lands.
Our Group has been researching various watershed management funding collaborations around the region, to see what is being done and to try to decide what might be adapted for the Arkansas Valley.
We have held conference calls with the Rio Grande Water Fund, and Peaks to People. We also hope to speak with representatives from Forests to Faucets and the Coalition for the Upper South Platte. Participants in conference calls include Damon Lange (CSFS), Jim Pitts (USFS), Chelsey Nutter (UAWCD), Chaffee County Commissioners Greg Felt and Keith Baker, Rob White (AHRA), Cindy Williams, and Sue Greiner.
Attached are comprehensive notes from the conference calls with the Rio Grande Water Fund and Peaks to People. Also attached is a summary of the watershed collaborations we are researching.
Attached are a video and a summary of a conversation with Envision and USFS leaders and Laura McCarthy the leader of the Rio Grande Water Fund. The have had amazing success increasing the rate of forest health treatments by developing diverse funding sources, collaborative goals and collaborative work.
A summary of the Status of Rivers, Streams, Lakes and Reservoirs in Chaffee County. Includes all impaired waters of the State as listed in the Regulation 93 by the Water Quality Control Commission and the Water Quality Control Division. For each of the impaired segments an analysis of the historical and current water quality monitoring is presented.
Sue Benes completed extensive research on local ground water quality and quantity. Her takeaway points are below and a sheet of local contacts and water information is attached.
What is the subject or focus area of your data/research/information collection?
Ground Water Quality, sources of contamination, Public Health laws, labs that do testing, access to baseline data for Chaffee County to compare to and wishing for a map-like grid (in order to pick up worrisome trends and dangers in the future), overlapping ground water quality with all water quantity concerns, how both quantity and quality are influenced by growth and population density
What are the three key points you took away from the data/research/information collection? (Be concise and ready for a 30 second presentation)
The two big towns have Public Water supplies and people willing to educate and answer questions. They made their annual reports available immediately, as they are public knowledge. Salida uses a combination of surface and ground water for their supply while BV uses almost exclusively ground water. The people in the water treatment facilities have a very good grasp of current issues.
The Safe Drinking Act also requires testing annually of centralized systems serving 25 or more people for 60+ days a year and systems with 15 or more connections to homes or institutions where drinking water is required. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is tasked with enforcing these laws. We need to find a way to get those smaller reports to help learn about the health of more square miles of the county: camps, trailor parks, private subdivisions, etc. These should be public record as the testing and analysis of the results are done by the State, but those reports may only be available to the residents. For the time being, we may need to get our own neighborhood data or ask friends in theirs to help get this data.
Private wells: having spoken to well-drillers, Public Health officials, CSU’s soil testing and water testing team, this area is a touchy one. This is the wild, wild west after all. No one wants to pay for the testing, as is it not free like the mandated group studies. The population density is an issue, the proximity to septic systems, prevalence of agriculture, fear of litigation with neighbors and unwanted growth and development, conflicts of interest, et The Dark Ages? How do we get data? A small group of pre-schoolers had well kits given to them by a dental hygiene project called Cavity Free at Three. We need to get those data as a start. Education and enthusiasm about well testing might help.
Does the information you gathered SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACT or CHANGE the original challenge frame or area of focus for ideation?
YES NO (Circle one)
What insights, examples or models did you find that can be used to spark idea generation in this focus area? Please briefly describe:
There are a lot of overlaps in the government agencies tasks: quantity and quality of water, water rights, diversions, contaminates, health concerns for people, bugs, birds, fish, wildlife: they produce different data, collected for different purposes, and therefore are hard to make into a single story. But the people I interviewed at the local, county, state and federal levels obviously had the same motivations: doing a good job, knowing their “stuff”, caring about safety, wanting to keep Colorado beautiful, healthy, a desirable place for tourism, etc.
I’ve asked people at all levels to help us try to get information for our County and the Upper Arkansas River area in order to understand our current situation and to use as a comparison if anything were to change, so we would detect that change quickly enough to avert a disaster.
Water quantity and quality is a big deal!
A summary of lessons learned from this wildfire adjacent to the City of Durango, CO.
Included are causes of the fire, environmental / public health impacts and comments regarding how to best reduce the risk of future fires in the area.
This is the website for the Front Range Roundtable (Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program, CFLRP) that is working with the USFS on thinning projects along the Front Range communities.
This is the website for a Western Colorado Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP), with similar goals as the Front Range Roundtable.
submitted by Jim McGannon
This is a booklet for specific measures that fire mitigation foresters use to assist homeowners/landowners with creating defensible space on their property. The booklet was updated after the many 2012 wildfires in Colorado.
submitted by Jim McGannon
This report card represents a summary of the in-depth "State of the River Report" described here:
This holistic ecological assessment of the Poudre River was funded by the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department along with Fort Collins Utilities and Stormwater Departments.
The way Jen Shanahan, the project manager described it, "A river is the report card for the health of its watershed."
I think this could be a very effective natural resource assessment and monitoring framework for us to use moving forward. If we performed something similar for our stretch of the Arkansas River it would allow us to pick up any red flags in terms of impacts related to land use changes, forest health, recreation, industry, etc..
The Colorado Water Conservation Board would be an excellent source of funding for a project like this.
This is chapter 6.6 of the Colorado Water Plan. It lays out several goals of the water plan including maintaining and restoring watershed health, improving conditions of streams, lakes, wetlands and riparian areas, preserving in-stream flows for wildlife habitat, and natural lake levels, endangered species recovery programs, and stream management plans. The implementation of this section of the water plan includes significant funding from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) for stream management plans (including flows management) and stream restoration projects.
This is Chapter 6.4 of the Colorado Water Plan. It describes water transfer methods that provide and alternative to permanent buy and dry. These methods include Rotational Fallowing, Interrupted Supply Agreements, Municipal-Agricultural Water Use Sharing, Water Cooperatives, Water Banks, and Flex Markets. The Colorado Water Plan lays out a goal of sharing 50,000 acre feet and making these mechanisms user friendly and economical so that permanent dry-ups can be avoided.
The Wallow Fire near Alpine AZ provided opportunity to assess the effectiveness of fuel treatments on USFS and Private lands in a real event.
Fire fighter efforts, coupled with forest fuel reduction treatments, can save homes
Forest treatments can meet multiple goals
Homeowners who implemented "firewise" principals aided in protection of homes.
Attached a PPT file from Jim Pitts with some amazing photos!
Having lived in Iceland, I have followed with interest the explosive growth in tourism there in the past few years. Iceland, like Chaffee County, has much natural beauty as well as recreational opportunities. People have traditionally come to Iceland for a peaceful nature experience as well as for recreational opportunities. Iceland is struggling with how growth in tourism (a desirable economic boon and job creator) can affect the environment and quality of experience of visitors. In their words from the link below “the goal is to ensure that tourism in Iceland becomes exemplary and to firmly establish the country as an attractive and sustainable destination for tourists in harmony with the landscape and its people”.
I e-mailed the Department of Tourism in Iceland and received a detailed reply from Maria Reynisdottir, a specialist with the department. She included a link to the “Road Map for Tourism in Iceland”, published in October 2015. This study is a good template and much like our Envision project, and many of its goals would have relevance to our Envision project. It is interesting to see the process of this study. (You might also be encouraged to visit Iceland, which I highly recommend.)
Topics dealt with in the study include – importance of gathering data for decisions, nature conservation, tourism carrying capacity, increased tourism as an economic driver, management of access, parking and camping restrictions, sustainability indicators, and education of visitors for safety and good etiquette. It is clear that coming up with solutions and strategies is an ongoing and sometimes difficult process.
Submitted by William Helms, Healthy Landscapes and Recreation team member.
Here is the link:
stjornstodin.is CLICK on the British flag in the top left corner after the link comes up to download a pdf version in English.
The Salida Field Office of the Colorado State Forest Service has assessed 1,079 properties for wildfire risk — roughly 19% of homes in unincorporated areas of the county. Of those, 40% have high or very high risk and so far, only 13% are known to have been treated by landowners to mitigate risk.
As part of identifying what the community values during Phase I of the Envision Chaffee County initiative, the Envision Team conducted a survey designed to gather input from a representative sample of the County’s population. Community engagement in the Envision survey was excellent, with 1,203 total respondents – more than a quarter of whom asked to stay involved in the project.
The demographic summary of survey participants shows a strongly representative sampling of Chaffee County citizens. Coverage by zip code area, age bracket and work force participation is highly representative of County composition. Coverage of all income ranges is also high, but with somewhat of an under-representation of lower incomes and over-representation of higher income ranges. This potential bias was addressed by testing results for each survey question by income range and reporting any significant differences. A broad range of different lengths of county residency was also sampled, even though no county-wide data were available for comparison.
In summary, the Envision community survey is representative; it provides very clear and quantitative information about what the county’s residents value most and what concerns them as they consider the County’s growth. This report complements the Community Interview Report.
Published: November 6, 2017
As part of identifying what the community values during Phase I of the Envision Chaffee County initiative, the Envision Team conducted short interviews (five questions) with a broad range of local residents to discuss one-on-one their vision for Chaffee County’s future, and garner their feedback on the draft results statements created by the Envision Team during the group’s first meeting in early October. A total of 95 people were interviewed. This report complements the Community Survey Report.
Everyone who participated in the first Envision Team meeting was invited to interview community members. The result was a diverse set of conversations with people who participate in the Chaffee County community a variety of ways, including: Buena Vista and Salida school administrators and teachers; business owners; bankers; realtors; ranchers; public officials; pastors; outdoor enthusiasts; retirees; high school students; seasonal workers; parents; teachers; foresters; and more. Coverage by zip code area and age bracket was representative of Chaffee County’s composition.
Published: November 7, 2017
As part of Phase I of the Envision Chaffee County initiative, the community defined what is most valued in Chaffee County and then developed four vision statements describing the future citizens want to see. The community then defined measures to show how we are doing relative to these Community Visions. These measures are the basis of our report card. This report card is a first for our community – a data-centric “grading” that shows how we are progressing relative to the vision citizens have for the future. This report card shows some areas to celebrate, and many areas that require new approaches and planning, to create a future where the community’s vision becomes reality.
Published: January 15, 2018