Dolores River

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. A DRD - Steering Committee meets as necessary. The DRD and affiliated groups serve 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. At this Web site, 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:

Two focus areas are taking center stage:

1) Working to establish a National Conservation Area (NCA) as an alternative to Wild and Scenic River, and to protect ecological and other values:

In 2008, the Dolores River Dialogue formed the “Lower Dolores Plan Working Group” (refer to buttons on the left). This group identified a proposed National Conservation Area (NCA) as a preferred alternative to the river being suitable for Wild and Scenic River status. It further appointed a “Legislative Subcommittee” to work out the details. This group meets regularly, and is working on the legislative details. Several drafts of this bill have been relesed. The proposed NCA would take Congressional action and would serve the purpose to remove Wild and Scenic River suitability status and it would protect important recreational, ecological and other value including water rights and the MacPhee Project. Contact: Chairwoman of the Legislative Subcommittee: or the DRD and Lower Dolores Plan Working Group facilitator, Marsha Porter-Norton, (759-3110).

2) Linking with the Native Fish Monitoring and Recommendation Team (formerly called the Implementation Team), a group working on the native fisheries within available water supplies:

The Native Fish Monitoring and Recommendation Team 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 science contractors hired through an effort known as “A Way Forward.” In the fall of 2012, the IT released an Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation for Native Fish. Another version of this plan was released in summer of 2014. 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 management of the native fish within available water supplies. The key players are: counties, MVIC, DWCD, boaters, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Bureau of Reclamation, San Juan Citizens Alliance, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and Trout Unlimited.

DRD Foundation Documents

Learn more by accessing DRD Documents here>>