Community and Learning
SMP/IWMP leaders and practitioners from around the State continue to collaborate to share their knowledge and build support systems for each other as they work through their planning processes. Below you will find links to recorded peer-calls and presentations/notes from peer-learning workshops. All upcoming peer-learning events are also listed, along with registration information.
Environmental Flows Cohort Opportunity
Is your coalition interested in setting or meeting environmental flow recommendations on your river?
Would working alongside your peers in a cohort be helpful?
River Network, Western Resource Advocates, and Colorado Water Trust are establishing an environmental flows cohort!
Applications will open in early 2024
River Network and Strategic by Nature shared considerations for stakeholder and community engagement processes focused on watershed planning. Through a guided presentation, small group discussions, and examples shared by SMP lead James Dilzell, Executive Director of Eagle River Watershed Council, participants explored and defined what equity, diversity, and inclusion mean for stakeholder and community engagement within the context of stream management planning.
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Trout Unlimited, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Saint Vrain and Left Hand Water Conservancy District (SVLHWCD), and the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) presented information about current federal funding opportunities that can support implementation of Stream Management Plans and Integrated Watershed Management Plans. Trout Unlimited and SVLHWCD shared their experiences navigating NRCS grant funding programs and CWCB will provide information on their new capacity building grants.
Ask a Practitioner
Hannah Holm, Director of the Hutchins Water Center at Colorado Mesa University, and Seth Mason, Principal Hydrologist at Lotic Hydrological, discuss their approaches and experience with managing the vast amounts of data that typically result from a river health assessment. They cover two aspects of data within the SMP process:
Holly Loff, Eagle River Watershed Council and Laurie Rink, Middle Colorado Watershed Council discuss their customized approaches to understanding their community’s preferences on river flows, uses, and access. More information on the American Whitewater flow preference survey and other approaches for understanding river-based recreation can be found here.
During this workshop, participants learned about the environmental flows process, how it relates to Stream Management Plans, and how to measure flow. Participants explored the barriers and opportunities to environmental flows and learned about American Whitewater’s flow measurement tool. This workshop was formatted as a “teaser” for the 2024 environmental flows cohort hosted by River Network, Western Resource Advocates, and Colorado Water Trust. This workshop was held as a pre-pre conference workshop at 2023 Sustaining Colorado Watersheds Conference in Avon, CO.
8/2/2023 – 8/4/2023
Wet meadows tour: Yampa River Collaborative is visiting Gunnison to learn about wet meadows restoration work being led by Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District. The goal of these site visits is to generate ideas for how to implement similar projects in the Yampa River Basin.
Gunnison SMP/IWMP Field Trip: Participants explored the Gunnison Integrated Water Management Plan and tested out tools and approaches used in the planning process. Training was provided on assessing two indicators of river health (floodplain connectivity and aquatic biota), including wet meadows asssessment training and macroinvertebrate sampling. Participants participated in implementation site visits to learn about watershed system optimization.