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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

Keeping it Clean as Development Looms

In the Citizen's Guide to Colorado Water Quality Protection (CFWE, 2004), author Paul Frohardt of the Water Quality Control Commission identified pressures from population and development as the primary threats to water quality protection in this state. In this winter edition of Headwaters, we reflect on the local, corporate and governmental responses to those pressures.

Development can threaten water quality in the booming metropolitan areas with its miles of asphalt, construction sites and wastewater treatment plants; it is also a concern in the cold mountain meadows of the Gunnison Valley or the generous high country reservoirs of the Fraser and Granby areas. Development is a concern in the erosive Mancos shales and hillsides of numerous Western Colorado counties looking at triple-digit increases in oil and gas production.

Correspondingly, clean water initiatives are expanding around the state. Cleaning up stormwater runoff from urban areas has become a state- and nation-wide priority. A new crop of stormwater watchdogs around Colorado are now employed to check on construction sites, look for illegal discharges, and generally ensure our streams are not hit with volatile slugs of polluted water every time it rains or the snow melts.

Local monitoring groups, concerned and knowledgeable about nearby rivers, influence how we monitor their health. It requires an enormous input of time and energy on a local level—boosted by technical expertise and sometimes funding—from state and federal agencies.

Entering into the mix is the boom and bust specter of oil and gas development. In 2005, almost 1,500 oil and gas drilling permits were issued in Garfield County alone. That's close to double the number of permits (756) issued in 2004.

With poor quality water as the primary waste stream of oil and gas production, concerned citizens, water suppliers and government agencies alike are awakening to a series of unknowns about the potential benefits or horror stories associated with this water-oil-chemical mixture coming to the surface for the first time.

We hope you enjoy this issue, learn a little something new, and take pleasure in what this winter season has to offer.

Karla Brown

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