Pitkin County is proposing to place a host of water rights—over thirty—into the state’s instream flow program under a trust agreement. This ground-breaking collaboration between the Colorado Water Conservation Board and Pitkin County will come to fruition if a test-case donation to the CWCB of the County’s Stapleton Brothers Ditch water rights goes smoothly. From what we’ve heard, the local fish, businesses dependent upon the local fish, and those interested in a long-term, targeted approach to enhancing local streamflows are pretty pleased about the donation and the long-term plan. Unfortunately, the Stapleton Brothers Ditch donation is being opposed by the Basalt Water Conservancy District, Starwood Metropolitan District, the Willow Creek Ditch and Herrick Ditch Company, and the Roaring Fork Land and Cattle Company. The opposers have asked for a hearing on the donation, which is scheduled for November 16. Around here, that means we’re gearing up for the hearing—attending a formal pre-hearing conference and filing pre-hearing documents. The donation will add good, senior water rights to the Roaring Fork Valley’s thirsty local streams to enhance local streamflows. If you support what we do or this project specifically, we’d love it if you could send a letter of support to the CWCB. Please contact Ellen Olson if you’d like more information or would be willing to write a letter of support.

For all documents related to this hearing, please visit the CWCB website.