Last year, Western Rivers Conservancy set out to protect an outstanding reach of the upper Yampa River and open access to some of the finest trophy trout water in Colorado. We are thrilled to announce, “We did it!” WRC successfully conveyed a historic, 45-acre property at the confluence of the Yampa River and Sarvis Creek to the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. The agencies will now manage the lands for the sake of fish and wildlife conservation and for low-impact public access.
For over two decades, Western Rivers Conservancy has been working to protect the great rivers of the West by acquiring outstanding riverlands and placing them in the hands of long-term conservation stewards. WRC has established the highest standards and practices in the industry and serves as a model for land trusts across the West.
"As controversial legislation to remove dams in the Klamath Basin awaits congressional approval, the right to manage one of the river’s main tributaries and its most important salmon stream will soon be restored to the Yurok Tribe.
This month, some 6,479 acres along the middle reach of Blue Creek will be transferred out of Green Diamond Resource Company’s ownership as part of a plan to buy the entire 47,000-acre watershed and return it to Native American stewardship. Once the deal goes through, the Yurok Tribe will manage about 30,500 acres around Blue Creek, all acquired since 2011 through a partnership with Portland-based non-profit Western Rivers Conservancy.
Using a complex financing scheme, the conservancy will receive and hold the latest parcels for a seven-year period before selling to the Yurok Tribe, which takes over land management from the outset."
Why do we protect rivers? There are many persuasive reasons why we should protect them, but why we do protect rivers can be more complicated, even mysterious. In the U.S., rivers feed us by irrigating millions of acres of farmland. They store our drinking water. Their dams provide much of our electric power. They carry boats that carry our freight. Yet we sometimes declare part or all of a river off-limits to alteration, obstruction, diversion, or motorized use. Why?
Last week, the Public Lands Foundation presented Western Rivers Conservancy with a 2014 Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation for our work along Oregon’s Sandy River. We feel very honored to receive this award and equally proud to have worked in partnership with the BLM to conserve over 17 river miles along the Sandy River and its key tributaries.