News from Around Colorado – July 2019

News and opportunities for working lands in Colorado

Landowners and partners gather to discuss reduced tillage opportunities in Delta County


Landowners in the Field

Western Landowners Alliance (WLA), CSU Extension, CSU Western Colorado Research Center, USDA-NRCS, Mesa and Delta Conservation Districts, and landowners collaborated to host a 2-day cooperative field tour on the West slope that focused on opportunities for improving conservation tillage.  Over the two days, close to 70 landowners and partners gathered to share resources, discuss innovative ideas and share experiences. One producer told me “if it weren’t for local tours like this that focused on gathering landowners to learn from one another, I would not be where I am with improving the health of my land.”  Feedback like this helps WLA engage with landowners and gather real-world perspectives that enable us to better support programs and opportunities that are useful to landowners and managers on the ground.

CSU Western Colorado Research Station Field Tour Stop to discuss cover crops

Landowner examines roots on corn planted in minimal tillage system












Colorado Forest Legacy Program

The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) is accepting Forest Legacy Program (FLP) proposals from landowners throughout the state. The program authorizes the CSFS or U.S. Forest Service to purchase permanent conservation easements on private forestlands to prevent those lands from being converted to non-forest uses.

The program provides an opportunity for private landowners to retain ownership and management of their land while receiving compensation for unrealized development rights.  The application deadline is July 31 at 5 p.m.

New study shows soil food webs play a key role in supporting grassland ecosystems

To learn more about the effects of climate change and extreme events, a team of soil and plant ecologists, led by Colorado State University (CSU) faculty, studied nematodes, commonly known as roundworms, that play a key role in carbon and nutrient cycling and decomposition in soil.

Conservation District Cost Share Programs

Do you have an irrigation or range project that may not be EQIP-eligible but still need technical or financial assistance?  Your local conservation districts are at work!  Bookcliff, Mount Sopris and South Side Conservation Districts offer a conservation cost-share program each year to help landowners with projects that may not be EQIP-eligible. Call 970-404-3439 for more information or check out all of their programs here!



Rangeland Health & Sage-grouse Habitat – July 26 | Craig, CO

Join the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies and Pheasants Forever for a FREE workshop on cost-share opportunities to improve health and productivity of your rangelands and benefit the Greater Sage-grouse.  

Topics for this event include:

  • Resources, tools and funding opportunities available for landowners
  • Habitat needs and conservation practices for Greater Sage-grouse
  • Landowner perspective on the CPW Habitat Partnership Program

2019 Grass Tour – Five Dimensions of Ranching – Aug. 15-16 | Grover, CO

Join Pawnee Buttes Seed and Lonesome Pines Land & Cattle Co. to learn about the “Five Dimensions of Ranching”: Landscape, Animals, Forage Resource, Time and The Unexpected. They will cover topics ranging from the effects of Co2 on biodiversity, differences in plant photosynthetic cycles (C3 vs C4 vs CAM), the effects of Mycorrhizal fungi, soil health, reclamation and much more! Register here.

Raft the River with RiversEdge West – Aug. 24 | Fruita, CO

Join RiversEdge West (REW), Rimrock Adventures, and hand-picked local river experts on for their annual river trip and dinner along the Colorado River!  This year they are excited to welcome the creative musical duo, Tim + Richard to their riverside venue. Spanning across acoustic, rock, gypsy, folk, jazz, and blues genres, Tim + Richard’s unique sound is not to be missed.

Seats are limited. Registration ends on August 15. Tickets are $85 to attend or $72 for REW members. All proceeds will support river restoration and youth education in the Grand Valley.

Wonders of Wetlands for Private Landowners – Aug. 29 | Pagosa Springs, CO

Learn about opportunities for wetlands and wildlife on private lands. Topics Include:

  • Importance of small wetlands
  • Habitat elements and species of concern
  • Wetland and riparian restoration
  • Financial and technical assistance options
  • Priority wildlife species and identification
  • Bring binoculars for some birding!

Space is limited. Please RSVP by August 1 to



Rio Grande National Forest – Forest Plan Revision Update

The Rio Grande National Forest’s revised land management plan announcing the final environmental impact statement and draft record of decision will be available online later this summer once the Legal Notice is published. The forest plan provides management guidance across the 1.8 million acre Rio Grande National Forest for the next 15 years. A Legal Notice will appear in the Valley Courier and a  ‘Notice of Opportunity to Object’ will concurrently be published in the Federal Register. Once published, U.S. Forest Service will host meetings to clarify and explain the forest plan and the next steps in the process. Stay tuned for more information.

Carson National Forest – Draft Land Management Plan

The U.S. Forest Service is providing a preview version of the Draft Land Management Plan for the Carson National Forest (NM) with alternatives and a draft environmental impact statement so that the public can familiarize themselves with the documents before the start of the official 90-day official comment period later this month. They are not soliciting comments at this time and ask that you wait to submit comments until the official comment period begins. Public meetings will be held later in the summer where the public can learn about what is in the plan and environmental impact statement and provide comments. A summary of all changes made to the plan since the previous version (Preliminary Draft Proposed Plan, version 2, from December of 2017) is online here.  Please note the next monthly open house, July 17 from 12:00-2:00 PM at the Supervisor’s Office in Taos, New Mexico. These open houses are informal opportunities for the public to ask questions of the planning team.


Thank you!

If you have news to share, need more information, or have any questions, feel free to send me a message:



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Delta County Conservation Tillage Landowner Tour


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