WRC Blog

Community Agriculture Alliance: Recent land purchase will positively impact Yampa Watershed health

Jan 22th, 2015  |  Written by Steamboat Today

Community Agriculture Alliance: Recent land purchase will positively impact Yampa Watershed health
Photo by Dennis Kuntz.

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.

At first glance, a recent land purchase in Routt County by Western Rivers Conservancy, the Bureau of Land Management and the USFS, at the confluence of the Yampa River and Sarvis Creek, has mainly recreational benefits.

The 45-acre property was an inholding and an edgeholding in the Routt National Forest. It also is adjacent to the Sarvis Creek Wilderness Area, BLM lands and the Sarvis Creek State Wildlife Area.

The parcel lies 3 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 as well as native mountain whitefish. It was previously closed to the public and now offers access for people to fish, hunt and hike."

Read full article here >
This story appeared in the January 22, 2015 edition of Steamboat Today