Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Spring flooding ... the Yampa Valley and the river that formed it continues to be a free-flowing force supporting agriculture, recreation, business and an intact ecosystem.
This summer is staged to present some very scary scenarios. Granted, my river business will be impacted greater than most, but the ripple effect will touch us all. Considerable resources have been dedicated to what many surveys revealed to be our most precious entity, the Yampa River. The Nature Conservancy, Community Agricultural Alliance, Friends of the Yampa, city of Steamboat Springs, state of Colorado, federal agencies, Trout Unlimited, Yampa Valley Fly Fishers, Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, Golf/Trout Foundation, Great Outdoors Colorado, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and thousands of private individuals have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars as well as blood, sweat and tears to preserve and enhance the Yampa River.
Outfitters, retailers and property managers depend on the vitality of the Yampa River. Visitors depend on the Yampa River to enhance their experience. Together, we can do something about the potential drying up of the Yampa River.
I respectfully request that the Steamboat Springs City Council direct staff to assume a leadership role in determining available resources for maintaining flows in the Yampa River. City staff is the most logical entity to take this on.
There are many allies, including myself, for funding the purchase of non-consumptive water rights. The Colorado Water Trust suggests leasing existing agricultural water rights for non-consumptive use. That deadline is May 11. The Trust has many other strategies to keep water in the river — for example, working with municipal and industrial water providers as they are in Winter Park.
Let’s work together to keep water in the river. I’m very willing to put my money where my mouth is. We all have a lot to lose if the conditions of 2002 return.
Peter Van De Carr
President, Backdoor Sports