"Public access to one of the most productive trout fishing stretches along the Yampa River south of Steamboat Springs was enhanced this week with the acquisition by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service of 45 acres of private property in upper Pleasant Valley known as the Hubbard Summer Place.
The $1.25 million purchase helped to realize an 18-year-old goal of the local Yampa River System Legacy Project Partnership. The conservation organization Western Rivers Conservancy, based in Portland, Oregon, facilitated the acquisition by making an intermediate purchase of the private land in order to secure it until the federal agencies could go through their own approval process.
The BLM contributed $1 million to this week’s transaction, and the USFS contributed $250,000."
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?