From The Pagosa Springs Sun (Clayton Chaney):
During a work session held by the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) on Dec. 7, the board heard from Al Pfister with the Upper San Juan Watershed Enhancement Program (WEP) in regard to a matching fund request for the south Yamaguchi Park project.
The WEP is requesting $10,000 in matching funds. The funds would come from the county’s Conserva- tion Trust Fund (CTF), which can only be used for outdoor recreation purposes.
The total cost of the project is estimated at just over $664,000, with more than $500,000 coming from the grant.
The WEP needs a 25 percent cash match, or just over $166,000 to be awarded the grant.
Pfister explained the WEP is a stakeholder group that was formed to develop a stream management plan for the upper San Juan River basin…
He explained the WEP is working under the Colorado Water Plan and the Southwest Basin Roundtable Implementation Plan (SWBIP), “which sets the framework for how water issues are going to be addressed throughout the state.”
He mentioned that, currently, the SWBIP is being revised and should be coming out for public comment in January 2022.
As part of that plan, the WEP is applying for a matching grant from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), Pfister noted…
He explained that the project objectives are to enhance the recreational experience for both anglers and river enthusiasts, improve pub- lic access to recreational features, improve fish habitat quality and pro- mote sediment movement through this section of the San Juan River.
“Everybody in the county is going to see some benefit from it, even if they don’t get in the river,” Commissioner Alvin Schaaf said.
During a work session held by the BoCC on Dec. 14, County Attorney/ Interim Administrator Todd Weaver indicated that the county does have sufficient funds in its CTF to commit $10,000 to the WEP out of the 2021 budget.
He noted the BoCC will likely vote on the matter at its next regular meeting scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 21at 398 Lewis St., in the commissioners’ room.