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City of Steamboat Springs NEWS

Posted on: May 4, 2017

Plan Aims To Improve Yampa River Health & Resiliency

The City of Steamboat Springs is leading the development of a Yampa River Health Assessment and Streamflow Management Plan to improve the health and resiliency of the Yampa River. 

The objectives of the project are to identify target flows needed to support river health and community needs and to implement strategies to meet the targets during times of drought and in the face of changing future climatic conditions and water use demands. 

“The Yampa is river worthy of our attention,” said Kelly Romero-Heaney, water resources manager for the City of Steamboat Springs. “A healthy river is a measure of a healthy community and serves as a valuable resource for aquatic, riparian and human life alike.” 

Yampa River Streamflow Management Plan_thumb.jpgThe plan will address the reach of the Yampa River from Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area to the City of Steamboat Springs Waste Water Treatment Facility but will engage users and benefit conditions upstream and downstream. 

The plan will be based on a comprehensive assessment of river health using best available data and the involvement of a variety of stakeholders and the community. It should be noted, this plan will examine river health and flows holistically and will not specifically address river user conflicts associated with tubing.

As part of the plan, the city has engaged with an Advisory Committee, comprised of key stakeholders, to guide the community engagement process, to provide technical expertise and to evaluate and prioritize implementation strategies that emphasize incentives and partnerships over regulations. The committee is expected to meet six times through April 2018. 

Public engagement is a critical component of the planning process and key to the success of the program. Two community workshops are expected to be held in November 2017 and February 2018 to gain input across diverse perspectives, interests and needs.  

The Streamflow Plan is funded through the contributions of several partners including the Colorado Water Conservation Board, which awarded a Watershed Restoration Grant to cover almost half of the project cost. Other funding partners include the Yampa/White/Green Basin Roundtable, City of Steamboat Springs, Routt County and Yampa Valley Fly Fishers. 

To stay up-to-date on meeting and presentation schedules, sign up to receive notifications and learn more about the project, visit steamboatsprings.net

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Contact:
Kelly Romero-Heaney, Water Resources Manager, 970-871-8205 or kheaney@steamboatsprings.net
Julie Baxter, Project Manager, Acclivity Associates, 303-335-6472 or jbaxter@acclivityassociates.com 
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