Group to prepare plan for Yampa River

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— The same consultants studying the flow of water into the Grand Canyon have been contracted to complete a management plan for the Yampa River in Steamboat Springs.

City of Steamboat Springs Open Spaces Supervisor Mike Neumann said a firm called EDAW has been awarded the $40,000 contract to prepare the plan.

It will be used to guide future decisions about recreation along a 4.5-mile stretch of the river within the city limits.

Ultimately, the new plan is intended to guide the city in future decisions about managing recreation on its stretch of the river.

The subject came to the forefront in the late 1990s as the number of people enjoying commercial inner tubing trips down the river grew dramatically.

Members of a local fly fishing group persuaded the city to regulate the growing activity and place limits on the number of tubers who could take commercial trips each summer day.

At the same time, the number of anglers hoping to hook up with a fish in the town section of the river has also risen dramatically, increasing pressure on the resource.

EDAW is completing a study of water releases from Glen Canyon Dam into the Colorado River at the entrance to the Grand Canyon, Neumann said.

"We felt that was directly relevant service," Neumann said.

The firm, with offices in Denver and Fort Collins, is also a subcontractor on the current revision of the Steamboat Springs Area Community Plan.

EDAW will be asked to review the results of a 2001 study sampling residents' recreational experiences on the river. The survey drew 1,350 responses.

The consultants will also be asked to continue the process of gathering public opinion and to host public forums on the issues.

The city is soliciting applications from residents interested in working on an advisory committee that will contribute to the document. Applications are available at the Parks and Recreation office.

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