River Protection Group


Community celebration with US Senator Michael Bennet and US Congressman Scott Tipton in 12/14 of the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act (photo: San Juan Citizens Alliance)

River Protection Workgroups’ Reports

Animas River
Hermosa Creek

Vallecito Creek / Pine River
Piedra River
San Juan – East and West Forks (upper San Juan)

About the River Protection Workgroup

The River Protection Workgroup (RPW) is a community-driven project that covers five river and stream segments. The project brings diverse stakeholders together in a collaborative process to determine values needing protection – ecological, economic and social;   to recommend the types of tools necessary, either existing or newly-developed, to protect the values; and to make recommendations and take action in the context of striking a balance between the protection of natural values and water development.

About the RPW’s History

The San Juan Public Lands Center (USFS and BLM) is required, in its public lands planning process, to evaluate rivers in their area for “eligibility” and “suitability” for the federal Wild and Scenic River designation. They released their draft Plan in 2007. In 2006, a Government to Government Roundtable met and discussed these issues. It became apparent that a collaborative, community-driven process was needed to engage the broader public in identifying values – economic, ecological, and social – for select river/stream segments and to determine if agreement can be found on the appropriate level(s) of protection. The San Juan Citizens Alliance approached the Southwestern Water Conservation District and they agreed to launch the project by forming a Steering Committee as the first step. The RPW Steering Committee entities and members are listed on the right.

Five local facilitated workgroups were convened on these streams/river segments including: Hermosa Creek; the Animas River above Baker’s Bridge; Vallecito Creek/Pine; San Juan – East and West Forks; and the Piedra River. In this phase, 144 different groups and entities were involved. There were 93 workgroup meetings held and an average of 25 to 30 participants attended each one. A total of 96 Steering Committee meetings took place during this time. Detailed “Information Sheets” were created for each workgroup and at the buttons on the left you can find workgroup final reports, maps, meeting notes, handouts, consensus workgroup Values Statements, and much more.


River Protection Workgroup