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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

Watermarks--Letter from the Editor

Leadership Rio Grande Style

This July, in preparation for this ‘Basin Focus’ issue of Headwaters, I attended the Rio Grande Water Conservation District meeting in Alamosa. Around the state, at board meetings like these, so many of our immediate water policies are hatched—whether at the annual meeting of the local ditch board, or the bi-monthly three-day meetings of the Colorado Water Conservation Board.

I had been forewarned that these meetings in Alamosa were unique because (according to my source) ‘everyone gets to speak.’ Picturing the meeting scenario where comments from the public are relegated to the bitter end and fated to compete with growling stomachs and the tempting prospect of the rest of our lives—my expectations were low.

But the San Luis Valley writes its own script. A repeat cast of characters works together on wetlands committees, land trusts, conservation district boards—even the 4-H fair. They are neighbors, rivals and friends, and at each meeting where they show up, sit and listen, they show their commitment and pride in this place.

And to my suspended disbelief, everyone at the Rio Grande Conservation District board meeting does get to speak. Each with their own spot on the agenda, gently guided by the Board President Ray Wright, one after the other they all stood and apprised everyone else of their state of the world. A minimum of oratories. These were briefings, not volleys. It was intimate environment, no microphones, computer screens or intimidation. Above all, there was a feeling of mutual interest.

As the basin roundtables which are part of the ‘Water for the 21st Century Act’ begin their first round of meetings, initial commentary has been both hopeful and cynical. Will these meetings bring progress that has managed to evade other efforts? The quality of leadership and participation will be so important.

In each Basin Focus issue, the Foundation hopes to share with other Coloradans and interested readers a glimpse of some unique part of this state. The Rio Grande Basin may seldom make news, but it does have successes to share.

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