Western Rivers Conservancy is heading to the river this Black Friday when we #OptOutside with REI and millions of others who've decided to skip the madness of the mall and hit the great outdoors. Our destination of choice, of course, is the sweet smelling, soul soothing river, where we'll hike, fish, birdwatch and maybe even do a little winter kayaking. We hope you'll do the same!
To help you decide where to go, here's an abbreviated Field Guide to WRC Rivers--places where we have acquired land to protect habitat and create and improve public river access for all! And if you like these rivers, support our efforts to do more on great rivers around the West.
See you on the river!
This Saturday more than 40 people gathered on the banks of the Yampa River to celebrate the successful conservation of the historic Hubbard Summer Camp, near the confluence of the Yampa River and Sarvis Creek. Representatives of Western Rivers Conservancy, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the Yampa River System Legacy Partnership, the Yampa Valley Flyfishers, and the Routt County Board of Commissioners were in attendance.
We were excited to see this recent article in Steamboat Today about how our recent efforts at Sarvis Creek will benefit the Yampa River watershed as a whole.
"The U.S. Forest Service has the privilege of managing public lands for multi-use, and a key indicator as to the overall condition of those lands is the health of the watersheds on National Forest. Watershed health has many public benefits, including importance for drinking water, agriculture and recreation, to name a few.
Management of public land and their associated watersheds is complex to begin with and can be made even more so when privately-owned inholdings within forest boundaries add another layer of complexity.
The USFS thinks that contiguous land ownership lends itself to consistent management, and so the agency’s lands program works to consolidate blocks of public lands whenever opportunities arise. Management becomes less complicated when land ownership is not fragmented, and thus implementing on-the-ground projects — which benefit overall watershed health — is easier and more efficient."
"Western Rivers Conservancy, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service have now completed conservation of a historic property at the confluence of the Yampa River and Sarvis Creek.
The project conserves outstanding fish and wildlife habitat and opens new public access to a prime stretch of trophy trout water and elk hunting grounds only 13 miles from Steamboat Springs.
The property, which WRC calls Hubbard’s Summer Place, lies three miles downstream from Stagecoach Reservoir on the banks of a classic tailwater fishery. According to local anglers, this stretch of the Yampa River is coveted for its large rainbow and brown trout and native mountain whitefish. Until now, Hubbard’s Summer Place was closed to the public."
"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."