The South Platte River Basin, which flows through Morgan County and Northeast Colorado, was at 90 percent of average this morning. Western Colorado river basin snowpacks, however, are well below average and the statewide average is 85 percent of normal, according to Mike Gillespie, snow survey supervisor for the Natural Resources Conservation Service…
The Upper Rio Grande Basin is at 96 percent of average, the San Miguel River, Dolores River, Animas River and San Juan River Basins at 94 percent, the Gunnison River Basin at 92 percent of average, the Arkansas River Basin at 91 percent of average, the Laramie River and North Platte River Basins at 78 percent, the Yampa River and White River Basin at 76 percent and the Upper Colorado River Basin at 79 percent, he said.
Southwest Land Alliance Executive Director Michael Whiting announced late last week that the SLA, the Conservation Fund and Great Outdoors Colorado completed the first of three conservation easements on the East Fork Ranch. Located on the upper reaches of East Fork of the San Juan River and just 2.25 miles south of the Wolf Creek ski area, the almost 2,800-acre ranch owned by the McCarthy family has been contracted for conservation easements. What this means is that the McCarthy family has agreed to preserve the natural integrity of the ranch, and the easement will permanently protect the land from commercial or residential development. “Places like East Fork (Ranch) are special places that almost no one wants to see developed, so in the back of our minds, we worry about them. But here in southwest Colorado, we believe strongly in private property rights. So, when a landowner voluntarily steps forward to preserve their land forever, we breathe a little sigh of relief,” said Nancy Cole, SLA Board Chair.
Closing on about 1,000 acres of the ranch, the easement is the first of a three-phase contract that will, over the next two years, eventually include the entire property.