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Public Lands

HW Winter2018 FINAL2cover

Colorado's public lands are faced with new challenges but water and land management depend on working together. Read about the relationship between water and land in Colorado and how Coloradans are converging to restore Colorado's public lands in the Spring 2018 issue of Headwaters magazine.

Browse articles and find a flipbook of the magazine here.

Connecting the Drops

connectingdropslogo4.1Bringing you the reporting you crave over the radio airways with extras and archives on our website. Visit the audio archives or listen to the latest story on the connection between Colorado's forests, watersheds, and forest fires:

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Water Education Colorado

Watermarks--Letter from the Editor

It may seem somewhat of a subtlety that most of our recreation in this arid state revolves around water—frozen, flowing or otherwise. Whether it be man-made entertainment like kayak parks and ski pistes, tests of skill between the angler and his catch, or quiet observation of the incredible journey of thousands of migrating birds, our water resources allow us an impressive quality of life that cannot always be tabulated on a spreadsheet.

River corridors are also natural centers of biodiversity whether on the plains or in the mountains, attracting people and wildlife alike. It makes up what the Colorado Riparian Association refers to as ‘the green line.’ Historically, it is where we have built our cities, factories and farms.

In our busy modern lives, it can be easy to forget the intricacies and unique rhythms of this natural world. But thanks to the foresight of President Theodore Roosevelt, his forester Gifford Pinchot, and others who first organized to advocate for the sustainable use of forests, soils and water, Coloradans now have a wonderful playground of public lands to enjoy.

Water dedicated to recreation is not a new concept in Colorado. The state has long recognized water rights for snowmaking, fish and wildlife culture, as well as releases from storage for boating and fishing flows. Since 1907, the U.S. Supreme Court has also upheld numerous implied federal reserved rights for a variety of national parks, monuments, and other federal reservations.

But as the state's water resources become spread ever more thinly between people and the environment, scrutiny of how this water is shared has become ever more intense—witness the recent debate over recreational in-channel diversions.

This issue of Headwaters has both a serious and playful side. I hope it serves to remind readers of all the wonderful resources Colorado has to offer, as well as the utmost seriousness with which we debate their future.

Karla Brown
Editor and Executive Director

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