Event with agriculture commissioner to follow Yampa River Water Tour | SteamboatToday.com

Event with agriculture commissioner to follow Yampa River Water Tour

— Residents are invited to reflect on the high water of spring 2011 on Wednesday before visiting with Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture John Salazar.

The Community Agriculture Alliance is accepting reservations through Monday for the Yampa River Water Tour, which is from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. The cost is $10 for Community Agriculture Alliance members and $20 for nonmembers.

After the tour, Salazar will visit with residents about current issues facing Colorado's agriculture community during a free event at 6 p.m. in Olympian Hall.

Community Agriculture Alliance's Michele Meyer said the water tour will focus on impacts on agriculture, environment and recreation.

"We tried to include speakers who can address those certain issues," Meyer said.

Experts who will attend the bus tour include a representative from the Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District, Kent Vertrees with Friends of the Yampa and Ren Martyn with Finger Rock Preserve Wetland Mitigation Bank.

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The tour will address areas that were affected by the high water in the spring such as the confluence of the Yampa and Elk rivers west of Steamboat.

The tour also will include a stop at the Carpenter Ranch for a walking tour guided by Geoff Blakeslee, Yampa River project director for The Nature Conservancy.

Meyer said 55 spots are available for the tour and 20 people have signed up.

The event was planned to coincide with Salazar's visit.

"Our thought was that it would be an opportunity to bring some education before he is here that evening," Meyer said.

The Routt County CattleWomen are hosting the Salazar event.

A CattleWomen news release encourages "ranchers, farmers, adults, children and everyone with an interest in Colorado agriculture" to attend.

The evening begins with a social meet and greet followed by Salazar, a sixth-generation farmer and rancher and three-term U.S. congressman who represented Colorado's 3rd Congressional District.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed Salazar to his Cabinet as Colorado's commissioner of agriculture in 2011.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

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