FOLBR - Friends Of the Lower Blue River

Whats Happening

White River National Forest secures 90 acres in the Lower Blue near Green Mountain Reservoir

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.”

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The Sandhill Crane Migration Through Colorado

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.

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Blue Valley Ranch/BLM Land Swap Approved

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has approved the Blue Valley Land Exchange, netting hundreds more acres of open space in Summit and Grand Counties for outdoor activities. The deal also provides for millions of dollars worth of recreation and ecological improvements, including development of two new recreation areas — the Confluence Recreation Area and the Green Mountain Recreation Area — with trails, walk-in fishing access, picnic tables, wheelchair accessible fishing platforms, and more. The BLM found the exchange is overwhelmingly in the public interest.
The Blue Valley Land Exchange allows 1,830 acres of private land owned by Blue Valley Ranch to be transferred for 1,489 acres of public land. Under the deal, both Green Mountain and San Toy Mountain are protected from any future development. As a result, there is a net gain of approximately 1,100 acres of public upland lands providing a variety of recreational opportunities like hunting, hiking and wildlife viewing. 

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Support FOLBR Every Time You Shop at City Market or King Soopers

Friends of the Lower Blue River is now enrolled into the City Market or King Soopers Community Rewards Program. The Kroger Company will donate to our organization based on the shopping you do every day.

We have been assigned a new NPO (Non-Profit Organization) number ND017. (an important number to remember)

Here's how to use the King Soopers or City Market Community Rewards Program:
For King Soopers Stores - go to
For City Market Stores - go to
Log into your Loyalty Card account. Once logged in, scroll down to the bottom of the home page and look for "Community." Click the link that says "Community Rewards." You will then need to link your card to an organization. Search for Friends of the Lower Blue River either by name or the NPO #ND017 and then click Enroll. New users will need to create an account which requires some basic information, a valid email address and a loyalty card.

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You Can Help Capitalize Climate Resiliency!

Our Climate Resiliency Initiative is fostering natural climate solutions where you live and play, here in the Lower Blue River Valley. We need capital to sustain and fulfill this mission.

Traditionally, many have generously contributed to our organization allowing us to move forward on behalf of our dedicated members. Dynamically, you can also provide needed capital to FOLBR in the form of a stock, bond or mutual fund donation.

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Fungi Could Change The World: From an article by Mitchell P. Jones

Fungi — a scientific goldmine? Well, that’s what a review published in the journal Trends in Biotechnology indicates. You may think mushrooms are a long chalk from the caped crusaders of sustainability. But think again.

Many of us have heard of fungi’s role in creating more sustainable leather substitutes. Amadou vegan leather, crafted from fungal-fruiting bodies, has been around for some 5,000 years.

More recently, mycelium leather substitutes have taken the stage. These are produced from the root-like structure mycelium, which snakes through dead wood or soil beneath mushrooms.

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Wanted: FOLBR Board Treasurer

The FOLBR Board of Directors is seeking someone to be our next Treasurer. Our current Treasurer, Laura Fox, is leaving the Board, effective January 1, 2023. Laura has done a terrific job maintaining the financials of our organization. Laura has set up a great framework to help the next person succeed in this position. We are looking for someone who can continue her good work.

FOLBR Board members are all volunteers. The Board meets monthly to discuss FOLBR's progress to protect the integrity of the Blue River Valley. Our current focus is the Safe Soils/Climate Resiliency Initiative to address Climate Change.

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The Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument


After years of hard work by US Senator Michael Bennett and US Representative Joe Neguse, President Joe Biden has designated thousands of acres of federal land in Colorado as a national monument. Here’s everything you need to know about the President’s first National Monument designation.

As a national monument, Camp Hale can be set aside for conservation due to its historic or scientific significance. The President used the Antiquities Act of 1906 for the designation, which is something 18 other presidents have done

Camp Hale is just 15 miles from Leadville. Local residents know the area for its stunning hikes and rugged snowsport terrain. In addition to outdoor activity, elk, deer, bear, lynx and other animals rely on Camp Hale for habitat.

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Congratulations to Frank and Myra Isenhart

At this year's FOLBR Annual Gathering, Frank and Myra Isenhart received the 2022 FOLBR Founders Award.

Frank and Myra understood more than 20 years ago, that it was time for valley residents to organize to protect the values unique to the Lower Blue and to be ready for future threats. Together with the George and Pam Beardsley (2021 FOLBR Founders Award Recipients), they formed Friends of the Lower Blue River—our FOLBR.

The organization grew into what it is today. We owe a great debt of thanks to the Isenharts.

The 2022 FOLBR Founders Award

Congratulations to Myra and Frank Isenhart, this year's recipients of the 2022 FOLBR Founders Award.

In the early 2000’s, Lower Blue Valley residents were fighting commercial development proposals that would increase density, including a proposed golf course. Residents worked to ensure the Lower Blue Master Plan reflected our interests: to maintain the extraordinary natural open-space and agricultural character of our valley.

Frank and Myra Isenhart understood that it was time for valley residents to organize to protect these values unique to the Lower Blue and to be ready for future threats. Together with the George and Pam Beardsley (2021 FOLBR Founders Award Recipients), they formed Friends of the Lower Blue River—our FOLBR.

The organization grew into what it is today. We owe a great debt of thanks to the Isenharts.

The 2022 FOLBR Annual Gathering Auction

Help Support FOLBR through our Online Auction. It benefits FOLBR's land stewardship, sustainability, and philanthropy efforts in the Lower Blue River Valley. Your participation will support our programs that include:

The Safe Soils/Climate Resiliency Initiative - A research and climate action project, underway now, that provides ranchers in the valley with tailored plans to help them maximize the climate resiliency of their lands. FOLBR is helping landowners in the valley improve soil health, carbon sequestration, and capability to improve the environment, support livestock and wildlife in a balanced way.

The Livestock Emergency Evacuation Plan - A comprehensive guide to livestock emergency preparedness. We provide landowners and stakeholders in the valley with a network of safe zones for livestock evacuation and emergency resources in the case of wildfire.

Our partnership with the Blue River Watershed Group and other environmentally and community-focused non-profits. These partners strengthen our community and protect the natural beauty of the Blue River Valley and its surrounding areas.

Our collaboration with Middle Park Conservation District, Colorado Cattlemen's Agricultural Land Trust, Lake Dillon Fire District, and more.

To access the Auction, click the link below, create an account and you're good to go. The auction closes on 8-9-2022 at 2:00pm.

2022 FOLBR Annual Gathering

Mark Your Calendars for our Annual Gathering

It's been a long time coming, but after a two year hiatus, the FOLBR Annual Gathering will be Sunday, August 7th between 11:00am and 3:00pm at Slate Creek Hall. It will be a great time to catch up with everyone and hear what FOLBR has been up too.

We will have a buffet lunch and music from the blue grass group Blue Valley Grass. We decided to make this a bring your own beverage event (BYOB) to reduce our carbon footprint in the environment.

We will also be presenting the 2022 FOLBR Founder's Award, to the recipient who has made a real impact to who we are and what we do.

You can buy tickets to the event using the Eventbrite link below. Tickets are $20/person in advance on Eventbrite and $30 at the door. We also encourage new members to join and existing members to renew. We will have that capability on site.

Eventbrite Link:

In Kawuneeche Valley, Beavers Are on the Return

By Meg Soyars: Sky Hi News

The hundreds of thousands of visitors who visit the Kawuneeche Valley of Rocky Mountain National Park each year enjoy the valley’s picturesque meadows and forests beside the winding Colorado River, with elk and moose abundant. What many may not know is that the valley was once home to a thriving beaver population, whose efficiently built dams kept the area covered by water.

Beavers are more than furry animals that love to swim, said Koren Nydic, Chief of Resource Stewardship at RMNP. “Beavers are ecosystem engineers. They raise the water table and connect the river with the floodplain.”

Nydick is responsible for overseeing work on natural and cultural resources, fire management, and more. She is also a member of the Kawuneeche Valley Ecosystem Restoration Collaborative (KVERC), whose mission is to restore the valley to its natural, wetland state. One facet of this mission is bringing back beaver

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Can We Leave it to the Beavers? From The Journal Science:

When it comes to transforming their environment, beavers have a lot in common with humans. They clear-cut trees and build dams to block streams, in the process radically altering the world around them. Now, it appears that beavers play a complex role in climate change, too. A new study suggests that beaver dams and the sediments corralled behind them sequester carbon, temporarily keeping greenhouse gases containing the element out of the atmosphere. But when the animals abandon these sites, the carbon leaks back out, contributing to global warming.

Before Europeans settled North America, as many as 400 million beavers inhabited an area covering just over nine-million square miles (about 60% of the continent). The wetlands that form behind their dams, as well as the floodplains that they groom nearby, provide habitat for many creatures. And although many ecologists are familiar with the biodiversity-boosting aspects of beaver activity, fewer are aware of beavers' role in carbon sequestration, says Ellen Wohl, a geoscientist at Colorado State University, Fort Collins.

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CPW Warns Be Safe Fishing on Frozen Lakes

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, there probably is no such thing as “safe” ice, but there are some guidelines anglers should consider. In Colorado, ice conditions can vary from lake to lake. Along the Front Range, it is especially important that anglers check ice conditions before heading out because of the region’s notoriously variable weather conditions. Many of the most popular lakes are within Colorado State Parks and anglers should check with the specific park staff about ice thickness before going out.

Before going onto a frozen lake, pond or river, it's important to take safety precautions to reduce the risk of falling through the ice. Remember you take a risk any time you go onto the ice. Anglers should always decide for themselves if it is safe to go out and walk on or drive a snowmobile on ice

Knowing how to judge ice conditions will help you make more informed decisions while enjoying your outing. Ice thickness depends on several factors with the first and most obvious factor being location. The type of lake also affects ice thickness; a shallow lake will freeze faster than a deep lake. Look for clear blue ice. New ice is stronger than old ice. Ice thickness is not consistent. Beware of ice around partially submerged objects such as trees, brush, embankments or structures. Ice will not form as quickly where water is shallow or where objects may absorb sunlight.

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