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Public Lands

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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

What is Causing Algae Blooms in the Animas River?

DURANGO—Since 2003, the Animas Nutrients Working Group has been sampling the waters of the Animas River Basin to help understand where high concentrations of nutrients may be entering the river. Motivated by ropey blooms of green algae that started appearing in the river during the summer of 2002, this unique group of governmental agencies, tribes, cities and watershed groups from Colorado and New Mexico, is attempting to understand and mitigate the source of the problem.

The algae blooms started south of Durango below several wastewater treatment plants, then later extended several miles north of town indicating other potential sources of pollution. Algae is an indicator of excess nutrients and potentially bacteria in the stream. Algae blooms can strip oxygen from the river which is detrimental to fish and bug health, as well as a nuisance for recreation.

Initial monitoring results have found excess nutrients in some sections of river. The group hopes that after 2005 they should have a much better idea about where these nutrients are coming from.

Using a blend of Colorado and New Mexico sampling protocols, 20 sites are sampled annually during low-water looking at total nitrogen, total phosphorous and algae (periphyton), among other parameters. The samples start a few miles below Silverton, and stretch down to the San Juan River in New Mexico. In 2005, 10 of the 20 sites will be sampled monthly for most of the same parameters.

This fall, members of the Working Group will be trying to increase the number of stakeholders participating in river monitoring, and are hoping to start development of a watershed plan for the Animas Basin.

For more information contact Chuck Wanner at the San Juan Citizens Alliance. Phone: 970-259-3583 E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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