Water in the West: Meridian Lake

By: Marissa Markus Also on May 11th, Frank and I visit Meridian Lake Reservoir near Mount Crested Butte. Frank visits Meridian Lake Reservoir every month to inspect and report the storage amount, percent capacity, seepage, and any net changes in storage. He shares his most recent report from late March when he visited the lake […]


Water in the West: 4th Grade Water Festival

By: Marissa Markus  On May 26, 2017, I attended the 4th Grade Water Festival. The water festival is an annual event that has been occurring in Gunnison for over ten years. Throughout the course of the day, students participate in eight workshop stations. They eagerly learn and share their existing knowledge about water in the Gunnison […]


Water in the West: Lake San Cristabol

By: Marissa Markus  On May 11th, Frank and I made the scenic road trip from Gunnison to Lake City to tour the natural and picturesque Lake San Cristobal.  We looked for the Slumgullion slide that formed Lake San Cristobal about a thousand years ago after the slide blocked off the Lake Fork of the Gunnison […]


Water in the West: Balancing Water Users’ Needs

By: Marissa Markus On May 10, 2017, I attended the Taylor Local User Group (TLUG) meeting as a guest. TLUG meetings are held at the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District (UGRWCD) office for users of Taylor Park Reservoir and Taylor River. UGRWCD hosts a diversity of meetings pertaining to constituents and their water management […]


Water in the West: Intern Introduction

By: Marissa Markus I would like to introduce myself so that I may explain how I became so interested in watershed management. I moved to Gunnison, Colorado in August of 2008 from Kingwood, New Jersey. Gunnison appealed to me for several reasons, one being that it was so similar and yet so different from where […]


Wet Meadows Coordinator Hired

The Wet Meadow Restoration-Resilience Project has selected Tom Grant as their project coordinator, replacing Betsy Neely of The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Local land managers, private landowners, and non-profit groups such as TNC have been working together for five years to restore wet meadows in upland habitats surrounding Gunnison. The Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District (UGRWCD) has taken over the lead from TNC in organizing the large-scale, collaborative project and Tom Grant’s role is to help coordinate the implementation of projects, scientific monitoring, and development of educational outreach and volunteer programs.

The collaborative, cross-boundary project is improving habitat using small rock structures and earthen impoundments to slow down the flow of water through the system and restore the critical wet meadows that are found scattered throughout the sagebrush landscape. The project’s goals are to enhance the resilience of wet meadows and riparian areas by restoring their hydrologic and ecological function. This includes, improving rangeland health and forage for livestock, enhancing habitat for the Gunnison Sage-grouse and other wildlife species, and increasing the ecosystems’ resilience to a changing climate.

Dr. Grant currently works as a lecturer in Western State Colorado University’s Master in Environmental Management (MEM) program. His background in restoration ecology includes working on wetland restorations in the San Juan mountains, reclamation of oil/gas pads on the Western Slope, revegetation of riparian areas impacted by mine tailings, and management of invasive plant species. The Wet Meadow Restoration-Resilience Project is expanding projects on public lands and looking for more partnerships with private landowners. Additionally, the project is working with the Western Colorado Conservation Corps to hire a team of local youths (ages 16-25) to build and maintain the restoration structures. Please contact Tom Grant (UGrestoration@gmail.com) at the UGRWCD with any questions about the project, volunteering, or the paid positions with the Western Colorado Conservation Corp.



Cottonwood Seeds

Good ideas are like cottonwood seeds . Floating by gently in the breeze, Swirling in the air currents with ease. Dearly beloved trees, Why do you choose to hold on to your leaves? And why do you choose to let go of your seeds? Maybe it is so they take root. Like an idea in […]


UGRWCD Mini-Grant Program

The Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District (District) has established a mini-grant program to support educational projects designed to expand awareness of water-related issues in the Upper Gunnison Valley. Grant requests may be up to $300.

Anyone currently engaged in education activities within the Upper Gunnison River watershed (upstream of Blue Mesa Dam) is eligible to apply for a mini-grant. This includes school or university faculty, watershed groups, or other resource organizations with a strong water connection. Western State Colorado University students developing and teaching water curriculum as part of a class may also apply.

For more information, please see the guidelines, or contact the District at beverly@ugrwcd.org or 970-641-6065.