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.
Creative Fish Projects - Middle Colorado River
- developing regional best management practices for reclamation of gravel pits (to minimize favorable habitat for invasive fish);
- creating an app that will help anglers to identify and report the location of invasive fish to Colorado Parks and Wildlife;
- landowner outreach for fishery management best practices;
- installing fish screens to minimize entrainment of fish; and
- prioritizing watershed-scale structural modifications for fish passage through partnerships with private landowners, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Trout Unlimited.
Stay up to date or be in touch with staff to discuss these projects via Middle Colorado Watershed Council’s website.
Sustainable Funding Solution - Yampa River Fund
Reservoir Pool Optimization – Upper Colorado River
Conejos River Winter Flow Program
The program, further described by this Water Desk article, restores stream flows by incentivizing the re-timing irrigation water releases from upstream reservoirs, funded by businesses seeking to offset their water impacts. In water year 2021, the program added 1,855 acre feet of water to the Conejos River, which was delivered out of four on-channel reservoirs in the Upper Rio Grande and Conejos Rivers. Further information on this project was described in this article by Trout Unlimited.
Project Cut Sheets
The Middle Colorado Watershed Council used a common format to outline each of their recommended IWMP projects. Referred to as “Cut Sheets,” these summaries helped the coalition to ensure that common information was available for each of their projects including descriptions, project sponsors, opportunities, challenges, schedule, cost estimates, and evaluation criteria. Additionally, each cut sheet directly links the project to the IWMP objectives that the project addresses. Viewing projects in this fashion can provide a manageable format for stakeholders to view and track projects as they progress. Examples of two draft cut sheets are provided here or view their full IWMP here.