SMP Nuts and Bolts

Implement Priority Actions

Implement Actions Graphic

Implementing priority actions may require continued dialogue among key stakeholders, especially for large projects or ongoing management actions. Implementation plans developed in the previous step should be revisited, completed or revised to provide a clearer understanding of the action’s scope and scale.

Tips for Success

Take a (quick) breather

The planning process can be long and exhausting for everyone involved. Take the time to acknowledge all stakeholders’ contributions and celebrate the milestone of having a completed plan!

Have a champion for the plan

Accountability for the stream management plan is critical for success. Be realistic about the capacity of the lead entity and make sure they have adequate resources, funding, and authority to take on this task and manage the plan’s implementation. SMP-related responsibilities should be realistic and integrated into the entity’s long-term work plan, with an identified individual assuming responsibility for SMP tasks and follow through. For a plan to translate into action, someone needs to hold people accountable.

Ensure adequate funds

Project proponents will need to secure funding for capital investments or ongoing programs. There may be a need to build institutional capacity to sustain long-term efforts. Ongoing monitoring should be planned for and funded as part of this step as well.

Thoughtfully engage stakeholders

Acknowledge with stakeholders that their roles will likely change during implementation as compared to planning. Have conversations early in the implementation phase to determine their interests and roles, level of engagement, and expectations for reporting back progress. It may not make sense for the stakeholder group to stay together as it did during the planning process. If that’s the case, make sure there is acknowledgement of the contributions to date and clarity surrounding the structure moving forward.


  1. Basin Roundtables are an excellent place to start in terms of funding SMP projects.
  2. The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) administers the State’s Water Plan Grants. Discuss projects with CWCB staff and apply as early as possible for these programs, even if plans are still under development, to ensure that action items can start shortly after planning is completed.
  3. Colorado Watershed Assembly hosts a website with updated funding opportunities relevant to SMPs.
  4. RiversEdge West, a Colorado-based nonprofit, hosts a database which keeps up-to-date information on funding opportunities from state, federal and private sources that may be relevant to SMPs.
Colorado SMP Library