This time of year, the theme of love is in the air. This Valentine’s Day, the Watershed Council wanted to give Eagle County locals the chance to write a love note to something often underappreciated–our rivers and streams! Hear from them on why they love our rivers:
To me, our rivers represent the connection we all have in Eagle County. The Eagle has its headwaters high in our mountains, and connects the Eagle River Valley to the mighty Colorado. The Colorado River is joined by the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan rivers in the western regions of the state–the water connects us all. We depend on the rivers not only to nourish our bodies but to feed our souls. The rivers are the fuel for our economy–whether the water is the liquid gold treasured by fishermen and women, or the frozen flakes that provide a mecca for snowriders both local and international. Agriculture still provides the bedrock of our County, and agricultural water rights keep streams flowing and water on our side of the divide. Eagle County is blessed to be home to the White River National Forest, wilderness areas, and open space — all are vital for fish and wildlife, and all depend on water. Water that flows down the Colorado nourishes people, animals, agriculture and landscapes all the way to Mexico. We must be ever-vigilant to be good stewards of this precious and limited natural resource. Water is life.
-Kathy Chandler-Henry, Eagle
Si alguien me pregunta porque son importantes los rios de Colorado? Mi respuesta seria porque son los que ayudan a Colorado ser hermoso y unico. Tambien lo que me gusta de ellos es que estan serca y accesibles. Para mi los rios son como una terapia donde me puedo apartar de todo y disfrutar de la naturaleza. Cuando camino serca de ellos me gusta escuchar el sonido que hace, cuando el agua que va corriendo golpea las rocas. Ni ablar de el hermoso paisaje que tenemos. Y el sonido lo puedo escuchar una y otra ves disfrutando la naturaleza y vivirla. Otra de las cosas porque me gustael rios es que la gente puede disfrutar del. Cuando miro que estan percando o en el canotaje pienso que esas personas lo disfutan tanto. Serca de donde yo vivo a los ninos les gusta saltar y meterse a el rio, durante el verano, eso me trai muchas memorias hermosas. Mi familia tubo la oportunidad de estar en un viaje flotante que la comunidad organizo, durante el verano. Fue una experiensia fabulosa que todos lo disfrutamos mucho. Estoy muy contenta de vivir en un lugar tan maravilloso como Colorado.
If someone asked me why our Colorado rivers are important, I would say: rivers are important because they make Colorado so beautiful and unique. I love that they are so close and accessible to us. For me, rivers are like a therapy, where I can get away and enjoy nature. When I walk close to the river I like to hear the refreshing sound that the river makes when it hits the rocks. The landscape around the rivers creates a picture-perfect vista. When I see other people fishing, floating, or rafting, they look like they are having such as a great time. Close to where I live, there are always children jumping in the river which brings back wonderful memories. My family had the opportunity to go on a float trip that the Watershed Council offered during the summer and it was a great experience. I am very happy to live in a wonderful place like Colorado.
-Perla Gurrola, Edwards
I have always been drawn to rivers. The unique environment and topography that eventually gives rise to a river is pretty neat. We are very fortunate to have many great rivers in our area to experience: from the biggies like the Colorado, Green, Snake, Dolores, and San Juan to our local Eagle River and watershed. My local favorite is Homestake Creek and the high mountain lakes and streams that feed it. What a great resource to have in our backyard. As the seasons change, so do the recreational opportunities. It’s a fun river to explore and get to know. The spectacular wetlands and surrounding habitat are full of wildlife like moose, beaver, lynx, pine marten and migratory birds. The fishery has improved, which is evidenced by the number of guides with clients casting flies. The life-sustaining water supply, valuable wildlife habitat, and exceptional year-round recreational opportunities require that we protect this very valuable watershed.
-Howard Tuthill, EagleVail
In Eagle County rivers are one aspect of our culture. Our community prides itself in our outdoor lifestyle of skiing, snowboarding, rafting, biking, and hiking. I love our rivers because of rafting and because rivers are an important part of our community. At Gypsum Creek Middle School in 7th grade STEM, we learned how to count the number of macroinvertebrates to tell if the water was healthy. We learned that pollution intolerant macroinvertebrates such as mayflies, caddisflies, and stoneflies were good indicators of clean water. We also tested water quality through a series of tests such as pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, phosphate, and nitrate level. This taught us how important our rivers are and we are now excited to take care of the Eagle River watershed. Designing and creating conservation practices in our watershed is a goal for the future health of our water and to protect our rivers from storm drain pollution.”
-Sylvia Fochesato, Gypsum
Do you have a river story? Submit them to the Watershed Council at firstname.lastname@example.org for our next River Voices feature! Visit erwc.org for more information on how to get involved with river stewardship locally.
Lizzie Schoder is the Education and Outreach Coordinator for Eagle River Watershed Council. The Watershed Council has a mission to advocate for the health and conservation of the Upper Colorado and Eagle River basins through research, education, and projects. Contact the Watershed Council at (970) 827-5406 or visit www.erwc.org.