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How do the Conservation Districts affect me? (Part 1 of 3)

The White River and Douglas Creek Conservation Districts’ (Districts) stated mission is, “To provide guidance and technical assistance to encourage and promote the wise use of all the natural resources within the District by private landowners and government land management agencies.”  But how does this affect me?

One way is by trying to determine what is causing the excess algae in the river that is impacting the water quality, environment, irrigators, towns, fishermen, etc.  When the community came together in 2017 to try to figure out what was causing the excessive algae bloom, the Districts accepted the responsibility from the County to coordinate, facilitate, and administer a scientific study to determine the cause.  The Districts worked with a local technical advisory committee of 13 entity representatives to develop a scope of work and then the Districts contracted with the US Geological Service (USGS) to conduct the study. The USGS study will be finalized in 2021. 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Trout Unlimited have collected benthic macroinvertebrates (bug data) over the past several years.  Through partnerships, the Districts provided an opportunity to expedite analysis of this data so the information can be used in the final USGS analysis and report on the White River.  

If the results of the study determine there are needed changes to local land management practices to reduce algae growth, the Districts will work with and encourage landowners and water users to implement scientifically sound practices.  The Districts are not an enforcement agency.

The Districts are also coordinating a local community-based initiative, known as the White River Integrated Water Initiative, to identify actions promoting a healthy river.  More information on this effort and how to get involved will be in next week’s Conservation Corner.

See for more information on these conservation activities.

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