From the Republican River Water Conservation District (Deb Daniel) via The Burlington Record:
Over 60 people attended the meeting of the South Fork Republican Restoration Coalition (SFRRC) on Monday evening, Feb. 10 at the Old Town Museum meeting room, in Burlington.
Dave Hornung, Kit Carson County Commissioner, opened the meeting, welcoming everyone and thanking them for attending the meeting.
Hornung listed the members of the SFRRC: Three Rivers Alliance, Kit Carson County, Yuma County, The Nature Conservancy, the Republican River Water Conservation District (RRWCD) and the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife.
He introduced members of each organization including MaryLou Smith, facilitator, formerly from CSU.
Hornung made it very clear that the meeting was not to discuss refilling Bonny.
He read the list of objectives the SFRRC compiled in the stream management grant for this phase of the project.
He emphasized that the focus of the meeting is to describe the best option to restore streamflow to the South Fork Republican River.
Rod Lenz, president of the RRWCD, gave a brief history of the SFRRC and talked about how much cooperation there has been with all the entities involved in this project.
Robin Wiley, Yuma County Commissioner commented on how much cooperation the SFRRC has received from the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), Senator Cory Gardner’s office and The Nature Conservancy (TNC).
He especially thanked the TNC for all their work on the project and for supplying the $120,000 cash match for our grant CWCB application.
“We simply would not be as far along with this project if it were not for The Nature Conservancy being a big part of our project and we appreciate them partnering with us,” Wiley added.
Frank McGee, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), Area Wildlife Manager explained the CPW’s support of this project and how well the BOR has worked with the SFRRC.
He also mentioned the new area management agreement between BOR and CPW and how important it is to this project.
William Burnidge, from The Nature Conservancy, gave a presentation explaining the research and analysis that went into the options the SFRRC considered.
Burnidge stated that the option that the SFRRC has chosen is the most cost effective and leaves the ability for additional actions to be taken in the future, while restoring streamflow to the river and bringing back recreation to the area now.
Those in attendance had several questions including how to manage the silt and cat tails, concerns about EPA and restoring the facilities at Bonny, questions about funding, etc. were answered by SFRRC members.
Smith pointed out how cohesive this project has been. She explained that projects that have this much cooperation from all parties including state and federal legislators, federal agencies, CSU and all of our local entities that are in SFRRC — are usually very successful.
She commended everyone for their efforts and encouraged the public to continue to be involved and informed in this project. With everyone pulling in the same direction, she was certain we will be able to reach our goal.
The public was very receptive to the project and expressed how much they appreciated the efforts of the SFRRC. Anyone wishing to review the presentation can find it on the RRWCD website: http://republicanriver.com.
If you have questions or concerns about the project contact any SFRRC member or the RRWCD office at 970-332-3552.