Pagosa Gateway Project announces May 23 open house


The Upper San Juan Watershed Enhancement Partnership (WEP) has been working since 2018 to meet one of the goals of the Colorado Water Plan — to develop a stream management plan. 

This plan’s intent is to pursue implementation of on-the-ground projects that improve conditions and resilience of the watershed. 

In 2022, the WEP met that goal for the Upper San Juan Watershed when we finalized our plan but called it an Integrated Water Management Plan (IWMP). Over that time span, and working through three phases, the WEP organized a steering committee of local stakeholders representing agricultural, environmental, municipal, and recreational needs and interests of our community.

The steering committee obtained grants to hire entities to assist the WEP in determining the environmental, recreational and agricultural infrastructure needs of our community and watershed. 

The end result of these collaborative efforts is the IWMP, which outlines 25 projects that will address some of the various needs identified in the IWMP. These projects were discussed in a public meeting that obtained the community’s input on the feasibility of the projects. The results of the public meeting assisted the WEP in placing relative priorities on the projects.

After completion of the IWMP, the steering committee decided to become a Colorado nonprofit and incorporated in 2023. The steering committee, that became the nonprofit’s board, worked to obtain grants to hire a contractor that will design and implement our first project — the Pagosa Gateway Project.

The Pagosa Gateway Project is a vital restoration endeavor targeting approximately 2 miles of the San Juan River upstream of the Town of Pagosa Springs. This initiative aims to strengthen the river’s resiliency, reinforce riverbanks, minimize stream bank hazards, safeguard aquatic habitats and enrich recreational opportunities amid challenges posed by dwindling water flows and escalating temperatures. 

The WEP will be holding an open house on May 23 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Ross Aragon Community Center to obtain additional community input on the preliminary details of this exciting project. 

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