Environmental groups meet in Hayden | SteamboatToday.com

Environmental groups meet in Hayden

Nick Foster

Thanks to a networking meeting Thursday, environmental officials from groups in Northwest Colorado should have a better awareness and understanding of colleague agencies that could help their individual efforts.

The Colorado Association of Conservation Districts hosted the collaborative meeting Wednesday at Hayden Town Hall to bring together representatives of several environmentally focused groups in the North Platte, White and Yampa rivers watersheds. The agencies included the Routt County Conservation District, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, the Colorado State Land Board, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the Natural Resource Conservation Services, the Colorado State Forest Service, the U.S. Forest Service, Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District and others.

The meeting was one of 10 being held across the state, one for each watershed, said Colorado Association of Conservation Districts Executive Director Callie Hendrickson.

“So many agencies are unaware of what conservation districts can do,” Hendrickson said. “We’re one of the best-kept secrets there are.”

The mission of the CACD is to promote conservation and proper use of natural resources in Colorado. To do this, it tries to link other like-minded agencies with information, funding sources and partnership development meetings, such as the one Thursday.

“The idea is to create more collaboration to better achieve our goals and objectives,” said Routt County Conservation District President Mike Hogue.

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Through the meeting, Hogue learned of a possible funding source for one of his conservation district’s projects.

A representative from each group took turns describing the duties of his or her particular agency and their current issues and projects.

Hogue said the Routt County Conservation District was seeking funding for a project to identify headgates along the Yampa River and the acreages they serve. A person in attendance mentioned that grants for such projects are available through the Colorado River Water Conservation District.

“I saw some ears perk up about several things that were brought up,” Hendrickson said.

“The information shared might not sink in today, but in the future, these people might be discussing certain issues and remember what was brought up at this meeting,” said Kathy Bower, president of the North Platte, White, Yampa Watershed Association.

Attendees also shared information about pine beetle and grasshopper infestations and their mitigation, noxious weed control, water conservation and water quality, among an array of environmental issues and concerns.

For more information, call the North Platte, White, Yampa Watershed Association at 878-4786.