Archuleta County Board of County Comissioners grants river enhancement funds The #Pagosa Springs Sun #SanJuanRiver

Yamaguchi South Planning Project site layout via the City of Pagosa Springs.

From The Pagosa Springs Sun (Clayton Chaney):

On Dec. 21, 2021, the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) committed $10,000 through a letter of commitment to be used as part of the cash match for the Town of Pagosa Springs and the Upper San Juan Watershed Enhancement Partnership’s ( WEP) grant application for the south Yamaguchi Park project.

The funds will be taken from the county’s Conservation Trust Fund, which can only be used for outdoor recreation purposes.

The grant being applied for will be dispersed by the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) next March.

WEP representative Al Pfister first approached the BoCC in regard to the matching fund request on Dec. 7, 2021.

Pfister previously explained that the total cost of the project is 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. Six other entities have been asked to com-mit funds including the Town of Pagosa Springs, San Juan Water Conservancy District, Trout Unlimited, Friends of the Upper San Juan, The Nature Conservancy and Weminuche Audubon.

County Attorney Todd Weaver noted that “it’s a community col- laborative effort.”

The letter of commitment sent to the CWCB reads, “This project is part of the Upper San Juan Basin Integrated Water Management Plan and would create various new and/or improved river access points and channel features for the San Juan River, thereby enhancing recreation options at various river flows, reducing access conflicts, create diverse aquatic habitat to support fisheries, and develop a more resilient river facing changing hydrology and temperatures in the future.”

Commissioner Warren Brown mentioned he felt it was a “worthwhile” project to support, noting it will likely have a positive impact on tourism in the community.

Commissioner Ronnie Maez mentioned the project will be a “huge improvement.”

Commissioner Alvin Schaaf noted it will serve as a benefit “to all of the community.”

The letter of commitment of funds was approved unanimously.

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