UCRWG Updates

Non-Profit Status

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Our UCRWG Team is communicating with the IRS office in Cincinnati regarding our non-profit status (see attached).  Gives us a good chance to summarize our progress and status – we really have come a long way and feel comfortable in our watershed position, and more sustainable future!  Official non-profit status under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS tax code would qualify UCRWG for many grants, large and small, and simplify our business reporting.  Big shout out to IRS Jason Krotine for calling us to clarify our requirements.  Keep your fingers crossed for a speedy IRS resolution!


UCRWG Answering IRS Qs submitted 13June18

Next Community Conversation May 24th

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Community Conversation may 24th

You’re Invited!

The Upper Colorado River Watershed Group is announcing our release of the Upper Colorado River Watershed Resiliency Plan. Created by Grand Environmental, this living document is used to guide UCRWG, watershed stakeholders, and the general public in the state of the watershed. It includes the scope of work for the Upper Colorado River Watershed Group and issue statements from public scoping and UCRWG technical team’s research. Join us This THURSDAY, May 24th, at 6pm at Granby Library to learn more about UCRWG and this new living document.

Smith Creek Willow Planting

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Looking Forward to a Fun Weekend!

We are almost ready for our first volunteer event helping the Interact Club of Middle Park High School with their inaugural Adopt-A-Waterway volunteer day at Smith Creek near Granby, Colorado. Many high school students will be in the volunteer group adding willows to the banks of Smith Creek on Saturday, May 19th.

Full Photo Gallery from Willow Planting event.

Grand Lake Rotary presents check to Interact of Middle Park High School for Willow Planting Volunteer Event.

Willow Planting Volunteer Day, May 19th @ Smith Creek

Led by Junior, Katelyn Cimino, the Interact Club adopted Smith Creek from the Town of Granby earlier this year. This is the inaugural Adopt-a-Waterway program in Grand County and their first event held for the adoption of this waterway.  The Adopt-A-Stream Program was started in Grand County by the Upper Colorado River Watershed Group (UCRWG) in early 2018.

This community effort went beyond the UCRWG/ Interact partnership and included a donation from the Rotary Club of Grand Lake, supplies from Country Ace Hardware, and event day food from Mad Munchies.  Many of the volunteers for this event will be fellow students from Middle Park High School.

If you would like more information about UCRWG, please contact us.

Grand Lake Rotary presents check to Interact of Middle Park High School for Willow Planting Volunteer Event.
smith creek volunteers prep day

Community Conversations

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The Upper Colorado River Watershed Group

is working under a two-year US Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART grant awarded to Shadowcliff Mountain Lodge with a technical team led by Grand Environmental Services.  Early efforts focused on public outreach, forming a Board of Directors, shaping vision/mission statements and non-profit business documents, and considering project concepts.


Our UCRWG team led a series of open-house style “community conversations” in Granby, Grand Lake, Fraser, and Kremmling between October 2016 and February 2017.  Guided by sustainability facilitator Hillary Mizia, our approach was to get folks talking about our communities in a watershed setting – neighborly, no politics.  The 100+ participants included ranchers, business owners, water-system operators, wildfire professionals, real estate agents, Rotarians, and a remarkable number of high school students.  We collected and sorted through meeting notes (documented on oversized post-it notes) which revealed three primary themes of community interest:  1) Community, 2) Education, and 3) Quality of Life.

Additional scoping included Rotary Clubs, schools, and a broad spectrum of organizations as well as local, state, and federal agencies.



The wide range of comments gave considerable insight into watershed concerns, causes, and effects as well as a clear message:  the Watershed Group should not be political or regulatory, and we should not “re-invent any wheels.”  Instead, we should focus on helping community-based projects, and there are many, by educating, connecting, and communicating with a watershed perspective.

With our second year of WaterSMART funding and a better sense of watershed opportunities to improve drought, wildfire, and flood resilience, our newly formed Board of Directors shaped guidelines October-November 2017:

UCRWG Vision and Mission

UCRWG Vision: A resilient, sustainable Upper Colorado River watershed; Mission: Connecting communities in Grand County’s Colorado River headwaters through science, education, and outreach.

We are a non-political, non-regulatory group organized to: develop and facilitate implementation of a community based watershed resiliency plan; cultivate existing community and environmental resources; promote educational opportunities; remain inclusive, transparent, and visible.

The first quarter of 2018

The UCRWG Board has directed the technical team to:

  1. Continue development of the UCRWG Watershed Resiliency Plan
  2. Expand community outreach including educational opportunities and recognition of a common watershed language
  3. Develop a workplan to build a user-friendly, open source GIS “dashboard” to help our communities communicate make decisions based upon a technically defensible baseline
  4. Support local efforts including a Middle Park High School (Rotary) Interact Club effort to Adopt-A-Waterway and plant willows on the Town’s Granby Trails property, also organizing a “Citizen Science” collaboration with the Columbine Lake Country Club HOA.