FOLBR - Friends Of the Lower Blue River

Sustainable Hiker - Beyond the Trail Series

By Tom Koehler

Climate Change is a major risk

By Tom Koehler

In last month’s article, I highlighted how serious the problem is with our water resources here in the Lower Blue and all down the Colorado River. This river that serves up to 40 million people from Denver to Los Angeles has seen its flow dwindle 20% from last century. Most is attributable to climate change according to US Geological Survey scientists Chris Milly and Krista A. Dunne. They estimate the River supports approximately $1 Trillion of economic activity annually.

Flows start high in the Rockies in forested watersheds that we hold dear for their beauty and recreation. These watersheds filter pollutants out of the air and water and possess amazing carbon capture properties through soil and vegetation, including trees. But our forests that provide all this are at risk

Years of fuels buildup due to fire suppression have set the stage for more powerful wildfires when you add in progressively warmer temperatures. The United States Forest Service has a climate change resource center on their website to let you know how serious they take this risk. The frequency and severity of wildfire across the US over the last few years has accelerated.

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Reliable Insight on our eco issues of the day

By Tom Koehler

Water provides health, life, and economy and yet as vital as this precious resource is, we are staring at a serious supply demand deficit in the coming years in the Colorado River Basin. This has prompted officials through a multi-basin collaborative approach to come up with the Colorado Water Plan in 2015 and with renewed attention, it is time to become educated and involved.

The increase in population and climate change has the Colorado Basin in a precarious position as it will be asked to deliver more as it has less as time goes on. We recreate, reside, and use the water directly and indirectly here in the Lower Blue River Valley. This magnificent river corridor is home to abundant wildlife, avian and aquatic species as well as robust agriculture and ranching. It runs elegantly from the Dillon Reservoir to the Colorado River Headwaters in Kremmling, CO. We are a vital link.

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Silverthorne, CO 80498

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