As the Yampa River flows toward the bustling town of Steamboat Springs, the river provides for a flurry of activity and business in the community.
Locals and tourists enjoy ample fishing, rafting, kayaking, bird watching, hiking, and more along the Yampa. Additionally, much of the Yampa’s water supports local farms and ranches that provide fresh, local food for the community and beyond. Further downstream, the river provides critical habitat for Colorado’s four endangered warmwater fish – these creatures are not found anywhere else on earth besides the greater Colorado River Basin. The Yampa River is the lifeblood of the communities and the plants and wildlife of northwest Colorado. Its protection is vital.
Photos: Rafting and wildlife on the Yampa River — John Fielder
After years of successful collaboration, in December of 2018, the City of Steamboat Springs recognized the benefits of Colorado Water Trust’s efforts by issuing an official proclamation, “…recognizing the Colorado Water Trust for its contribution to the health of the Yampa River through Steamboat Springs, Colorado.”
Additionally, since 2020, Colorado Water Trust participates in a collaboration that restores water to the Lower Yampa River.
Starting near Craig and winding downstream to Echo Park at the confluence of the Yampa and Green Rivers, there is an important reach home to four federally endangered fish species. Thanks to a collaboration of Colorado Water Trust, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, the US Fish & Wildlife Services, and the Upper Colorado Endangered Fish Recovery Program, we were able to support a release of 162 million gallons of water to the Lower Yampa River to protect this reach in 2020. We will continue this partnership and restoration work in the years to come.