Dolores River

What's New

Go to the buttons on the left under “319 Watershed Study” to find the FINAL DRD Nonpoint Source Pollution Watershed Plan and three important appendices

Dolores River Dialogue Goals 2014

Email to stakeholders about the work being done on the proposed National Conservation Area (NCA), an ongoing project

Recent article in the Cortez Journal on the release of the Dolores River Nonpoint Source Pollution Watershed Plan (June 2013)

Dolores River Nonpoint Source Pollution Watershed Plan

Read what the DRD is up to in 2013!! 

A Brief Overview of the Dolores River Dialogue

The Dolores River Dialogue (DRD) is a coalition of diverse interests, whose purpose is to explore management opportunities, build support for and take action to improve the ecological conditions downstream of McPhee Reservoir while honoring water rights, protecting agricultural and municipal water supplies, and the continued enjoyment of rafting and fishing. There are two full Dolores River Dialogue meetings a year, generally in the spring and fall. A DRD - Steering Committee meets monthly (or as necessary), and the DRD Science and Hydrology Committees meet when needed to review documents or complete projects. 
At this Web site on the left, you can access reports, meeting minutes, notices and handouts, schedules, and more. If you have any questions about where to find something, please contact the DRD facilitator, Marsha Porter-Norton at:

As of 2013, the current DRD and related group’s activities include:

    • Publishing a “319 Watershed Study” by July of 2013 – a non-point source pollution assessment and management plan for the Dolores River Watershed. Please refer to the link at the left for more information. Any actions suggested in the plan are entirely voluntary and the process to develop the plan is a community-based, stakeholder process. 
    • Serving as an ongoing forum to bring together various community members, conservation groups, water managers, recreationists, other interest groups, and federal, state and local governments and agencies to explore issues, develop common understandings and complete projects – towards the goal of defining and acting upon “do-able” actions that address the purpose statement.
    • Working towards this goal, the DRD is in regular communication with the “Implementation Team.” The Implementation Team (IT) was formed in July 2011 to study and potentially pursue nine opportunities to improve the status of native fish identified in the report issued by the A Way Forward science contractors. In the fall of 2012, the IT released an Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation for Native Fish, an executive summary and a brochure. Another version  of this plan is expected to be released in 2013  based on feedback and concerns heard from some stakeholders. These documents can be found under “Implementation Team” to the left and then under “Reports.”    Participating entities involved in the formulation and implementation of the plan retain their institutional authorities and responsibilities while working to develop strategies that align the various interests of the agencies, boards and constituencies that have a stake in the Implementation Plan.
    • Continuing to convene the Lower Dolores Plan Working Group (please find more at the buttons on the left) as the group works on its selected alternative to the river being suitable for Wild and Scenic River status. The alternative being explored is a National Conservation Area or “NCA.” A Legislative Subcommittee is meeting monthly to work out the parameters of the proposed National Conservation Area (NCA).
    • Linking with other groups working in the Lower Dolores Area to communicate, coordinate and share resources and information (e.g., the Tamarisk Coalition, Tres Rios Field Office of the BLM, and the Dolores Public Lands (USFS, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, etc.).
    • Producing and disseminating relevant documents and other educational publications for use by DRD members, the DRD-Steering Committee and other DRD committees, partners, and the community-at-large.
    • The DRD includes members of the following organizations and meetings are open to the public with time on the agenda for comments:

      • American Whitewater
      • Bureau of Reclamation
      • Tres Rios Field Office (BLM) 
      • Colorado Division of Water Resources
      • Colorado Division of Natural Resources 
      • Colorado Parks and Wildlife 
      • Colorado Water Conservation Board
      • Dolores County
      • Dolores Public Lands (USFS) 
      • Dolores River Coalition (*) 
      • Dolores Water Conservancy District 
      • Federal Army Corps of Engineers
      • Lower Dolores Boating Advocates
      • Montezuma County
      • Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company
      • San Juan Basin Farm Bureau
      • San Juan Citizens Alliance
      • San Miguel County
      • Southwestern Colorado Livestock Association 
      • The Nature Conservancy
      • Trout Unlimited
      • US Fish and Wildlife Service
      • Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and 
      • Public at Large

Note: You can download the recent DRD Organizational Chart here:

DRD Organizational Chart (PDF, Prints on legal sized paper)

DRD Foundation Documents

Learn more by accessing DRD Documents here>>


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