Lately we’ve been talking a lot about instream flows and what they mean for our environment. In January High Country Conservation Advocates was able to support several instream flow appropriations in our area. HCCA submitted a letter of support for instream flow appropriations on Schaefer, Alkali, and Hubbard Creeks. These appropriations would protect native Colorado cutthroat populations and sensitive species like blueheaded suckers and leopard frogs. They would help to maintain healthy riparian areas lined with native willows, alder, and narrowleaf cottonwood. Our comments encouraged the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) to begin the process of appropriating flows on these reaches and supported the efforts of federal agencies making these recommendations.

While supporting the CWCB instream flow appropriation process, HCCA is also continuing to advocate for the inclusion of instream flow protections in the Gunnison Basin Implementation Plan (BIP) and in the Colorado Water Plan. HCCA is submitting comments on the BIP this month and will be hosting events with the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District at the Blackstock Bistro in Gunnison and in Crested Butte at the Old Rock Library. These events are designed to collect public comments in an informal setting. Join us to share your concerns and hopes for Colorado’s water future!