Western settlement patterns, past and present, have always followed the water. The majority of fertile valley bottoms and accessible water resources are thus privately managed. The way in which we manage our water resources impacts everything from agricultural productivity to our neighbors and communities to fish and wildlife populations. As landowners, we are committed to identifying and implementing best management practices in the conservation and wise use of water.
Water Rights in the West: What Every Landowner Needs to Know
Few things are as crucial to ranch operations as water. Getting a handle on your water rights may seem akin to drinking from a fire hose, but it is wildly important. Western water is complex, contentious, and rooted in rich history. For anyone who owns or operates a working landscape, making the investment to become an expert on your water rights can give you an amazing window into the history of both your property and region, and prove invaluable when the inevitable conflict arises. This must-read article will help get you started.
Acequia Waters, by Ernest Atencio (2001)
Acequias refer to both irrigation ditches and the community of farmers organized around them; they are the lifeblood of northern New Mexico. In this 8-page article written in 2001 and published by Rivers & Birds, Ernest Atencio provides an in-depth explanation of this ancient community governance system used to share and manage water.
Watersheds and Communities
A short educational video explaining the way watersheds work and how their function is connected to human communities and quality of life.
Trout Unlimited’s Colorado Landowner’s Guide to Stream Restoration
By investing in stream improvements and wildlife habitat, landowners can enhance their property values and bottom lines.
Holistic Management of Riparian Areas from HMI
Long-time Holistic Management practitioner Agee Smith offers a presentation of the work he has done to improve the riparian corridors through holistic planned grazing.
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