“This is a quick and dirty look at the River,” says Coordinator Sarah Sauter, stressing that no prior experience is required to participate. The Uncompahgre Rapid River Assessment will be a perfect pairing with water quality reports because it will show what key areas look like.
This assessment is critical because the Uncompahgre is a heavily used river and there are several areas that are not documented. The UWP has worked with local natural resource consultants, geomorphology experts, and the Environmental Protection Agency Rapid BioAssessment Protocol to tailor a study for the river. To achieve a representative sampling, the watershed has been divided into three segments, characterized by geology and land use from Delta to Ouray. Three teams, each with an expert on river health, will visit selected sites in each segment to build a snapshot of the River.
The report is made possible by a grant awarded by the Colorado Healthy River Fund, to which taxpayers donate voluntarily on their tax returns. To stay in line with a simple and inexpensive method, volunteers are a key part of the project’s success. A mandatory training session will be held on Friday, Sept. 17 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Rollins Park in Ridgway to prepare for Saturday’s fieldwork. After a full day following a GPS with a digital camera and field data scorecards, the group will meet at Ridgway Town Park for a barbecue finale.
Anyone interested should email with any questions and please RSVP by Sept. 11 to Rachel at UWPVista@gmail.com. The Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership meets monthly, and will hold its next stakeholder meeting on Sept.23 from 5-7 p.m. at the Delta Library. Visit its website for more events and information, uncompahgrewatershed.org.