FOLBR - Friends Of the Lower Blue River
A volunteer group promoting quality of life, and the
environment of the Lower Blue River Valley.
The Friends of the Lower Blue River are dedicated to sustaining and protecting the traditional agricultural character, promoting the safety of the residents, livestock and wildlife, and maintaining the environmental integrity of the Lower Blue River Valley through education, collaboration and community involvement.
To sustain and protect the traditional agricultural character, promote the safety of the residents, livestock and wildlife, and maintain the environmental integrity of the Lower Blue River Valley through education, collaboration and community involvement.
Friends of the Lower Blue River is committed to preserving the rich history of the Blue River Valley. Through grant support from the Summit Foundation, we have created this interactive tool that documents and takes you to key points of interest in the Valley. You will see photographs and read about those who came before us. Those who settled this pristine area of Summit and Grand Counties in the 1800’s and the relevance those sites have today. FOLBR invites you to take this journey on our website and discover the treasure, that truly is the Lower Blue River Valley.Click Here to see History Story Map
DOWNLOAD Livestock Emergency Preparedness Program
FOLBR is actively working on our Summer/Autumn implementation plans with our private landowners.
We have examined the results of our soil tests across four landscape types with our partner Colorado Mycology Watershed Institute.The samples came back with results across physical, biological and chemical groups.
Overall 15 characteristics or indicators were listed with a value and rating of very low, low, medium, high or very high. The indicators illuminated potential ecological soil uplifts or amendments to enhance surface hardness, organic matter and active carbon as well as soil respiration.
We're working on soil health solution projects. As we refine the action plan, we will report to you the latest information including scope and timelines. We'd like to see these projects begin when the snow melts in the Valley.
Right now, we are determining the costs involved to carry out our pilot prescriptions. As we have reported before, these efforts will cost money.
We are developing the budget for implementation and looking to our members, friends, grants and governmental sources to help achieve FOLBR's climate action goals this year, and in the years ahead.
State Representative, and Speaker of the House Julie McCluskie and Summit County Commissioner Josh Blanchard were among the advisory committee members who reviewed the findings of our Phase 1 research. FOLBR's Safe Soils/Climate Resiliency Initiative now moves to identify the prescriptions needed to address environmental opportunities identified in Phase 1 research.
Our Advisory Committee is made up of County, State and Federal stakeholders who are committed to addressing climate change. Our thanks to our robust team members Caitlin Miller and Mark Volt of the Middle Park Conservation District, Stephen Jaouen and Kara Vigneau of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Cindy Lair with the Colorado Department of Agriculture and FOLBR Board Members Sam Kirk and George Resseguie for their participation.
Many Coloradans overlook the not-so-subtle differences between the state’s complex mix of coniferous forests. The various tree species, geographical aspects, and weather patterns throughout the state greatly influence how forest lands should be managed. More importantly, how they manage themselves.
Here, in the Blue River Valley, lodgepole pine, spruce and fir dominate the sub-alpine terrain. These forests are extremely dense and do not allow for easy passage by recreational hikers, hunters, and backcountry skiers. As a result, many mistake these forests for being overgrown or poorly managed.
Colorado’s lodgepole pine, spruce, and fir trees have a lifespan of 100 to 150 years. These trees reach a size that makes them highly susceptible to the mountain pine beetle. The beetles require a certain trunk diameter for insulation and food. They target and kill off large mature sections, causing the impassible pile-up of dead trees, familiar to so many of Summit County residents.
Right now, the question of who owns riverbeds in Colorado is under the microscope in Colorado’s Supreme Court.
Several years ago, Roger Hill repeatedly attempted to fish on a segment of the Arkansas River by standing on the riverbed that belongs to Mark Warsewa and Linda Joseph. After Mark and Linda attempted to forcefully remove Roger from their property, Roger sued Mark and Linda and claimed that title to the riverbed on their property belongs to the State of Colorado and is held in trust for public use under the public trust doctrine.
Under the public trust doctrine, the public is granted access to waterways for recreation, navigation, and subsistence. In Colorado, the public trust doctrine is limited to “navigable” rivers, yet, in 1912, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that there are no navigable rivers in Colorado.
From the Environmental Defense Fund
Scientists are detecting a stronger link between the planet's warming and its changing weather patterns.
Though it can be hard to pinpoint whether climate change intensified a particular weather event, the trajectory is clear — hotter heat waves, drier droughts, bigger storm surges and greater snowfall.
The dangerous effects of heat waves, including death, occur as a result of both temperature and humidity — especially if those conditions persist for more than two days.
With temperature records being smashed month after month, year after year, it's likely that human-caused global warming is making extreme heat events more frequent.
We want to recognize two dedicated members of the FOLBR Board of Directors. Jan Lowrey has served the FOLBR Board as our Secretary. Jan moved from Miami, Florida to Summit County 24 years ago. She is leaving the Board for family reasons and will be spending more time in Florida. Jan has been a terrific Secretary and her great work will be missed.
Sharon Sweet is a long time member of The FOLBR Board. Sharon is also a former FOLBR Board Secretary. We also want to thank Sharon for helping make our annual gatherings every year a tremendous success. Sharon and her husband Bob have managed Brush Creek Ranch for 24 years. The ranch is owned by FOLBR founders, Pam and George Beardsley. Bob served on the Board for two years focusing his energy on improvements to Slate Creek Hall. Sharon and Bob are retiring to their property in Idaho. We wish them happy trails and many thanks for all their contributions to Friends of the Lower Blue River. We will miss you all!!
From the US Forest Service
This month the White River National Forest acquired two parcels totaling 90 acres at Green Mountain Reservoir using the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
The Forest Service acquired a 66-acre parcel near Cow Creek South Campground and a 24-acre parcel near McDonald Flats Campground from Summit County.
“Summit County has a long-standing partnership with the White River National Forest to acquire private holdings in the county to improve access to National Forest System lands,” said Summit County Open Space Director Katherine King.
“This acquisition will help us resolve access and expansion opportunities at the campgrounds,” said Dillon District Ranger Adam Bianchi. “Public use at Green Mountain Reservoir continues to increase, and this acquisition will allow us to proactively plan for future needs.”
As the Monte Vista Crane Festival prepares for its 40th year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff and volunteers are once again eager to assist visitors to the event as it returns to a full in-person format.
The highlight of the three-day festival, to be held this year from March 10-12, is the spectacle of more than 20,000 greater sandhill cranes making their annual spring migration and stopping over in southern Colorado as they transition from winter habitat to breeding range in the north.
Those interested in attending official event sites to see the sandhill cranes and other bird species can reserve tickets using the link below. CPW staff and volunteers will support outdoor scope sites and be on hand to help answer questions.
CPW will also host a booth at the Ski Hi Complex in Monte Vista throughout the event to provide additional information and learning opportunities.
Attendees may also attend a talk from 1-2 p.m. Saturday, March 11 regarding elk on the San Luis Valley refuge complex. The $5 presentation will be led by Doug Ouren, the Elk Distribution and Dispersal Coordinator for CPW’s Habitat Partnership Program.