Rafters bring momentum to conservation efforts in Colorado’s Dolores River Canyon

May 2, 2023

Rafters are flocking to the Dolores River in southwest Colorado as record flows create some of the river’s best rafting conditions in decades. The strong flows are a result of record-high snowpack in the Dolores River Basin, which reached 237 percent of the median snow water equivalent for the month of April.

The influx of recreationists brings momentum to ongoing local efforts to permanently protect the Dolores River Canyon. Legislation from U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper and U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert would establish a new national conservation area on the upper section of the river. In addition, a coalition of community members, outdoor recreationists, and conservation groups strongly supports establishing permanent protections for the Dolores River Canyon—a sentiment that is shared by 90 percent of Coloradans.

Watch the Center for Western Priorities’ short 4-minute video, an installment of our Road to 30 Postcards campaign, to hear from a native fish biologist, a county commissioner, and a healthy rivers advocate about what makes this region so special.

Fossil fuel-friendly lawmakers tie debt ceiling to handouts for oil and gas industry

Last week, the House narrowly passed H.R.2811, which would lift America’s debt limit, avoiding the economic catastrophe that would ensue if the U.S. defaults on its debt payments. But as Center for Western Priorities Policy Director Rachael Hamby details in a new blog post, the package is full of industry handouts and would grant a wish list of exemptions from environmental review requirements. This approach is the exact opposite of what Westerners say they want their lawmakers to prioritize, and demonstrates that fossil fuel allies in the House care only about giveaways to oil and gas companies.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Quick hits

Conservation momentum surges for southwest Colorado’s Dolores River as record flows draw rafters

Colorado Sun

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Colorado lawmakers “belly flop” on water crisis, opting for further study of Colorado River over action

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Supreme Court grants case that could end Chevron doctrine

E&E News

Quote of the day

”Recreation is how you begin to love a place and learn about a place. It’s hard to care about something you’ve never seen.”

—Rica Fulton, advocacy and stewardship director for Dolores River Boating Advocates, Colorado Sun

Picture this

a baby bison stands the the middle of a road

Pro tip: Enjoy the Ride! There’s often wildlife in the road. Observe posted speed limits and use pullouts to watch wildlife, take pictures, and let other cars pass. Help ensure everyone’s safety by not stopping your vehicle in the road. #SpringBabies

(featured image: Rafters along the Dolores River. Photo courtesy of Cody Perry, Rig to Flip)