National Geographic
Menu

Tag archives for Yampa River

In the Yampa River, Extra Flow Makes for Happier Fish

Back in late June 2012, the Yampa River – a beautiful Colorado River tributary that runs through the heart of Steamboat Springs, Colorado – was flowing at 5 percent of normal. Both the native whitefish population and the recreational trout fishery were threatened due to the river’s low levels of oxygen and its warmer temperatures.…

Colorado’s Yampa River Gets a Lift for Second Consecutive Summer

Once again, an innovative water management tool is coming to the aid of the Yampa River, a beautiful headwater tributary in the Colorado River Basin that flows through western Colorado ranch country and the tourist town of Steamboat Springs. Last week, the Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District signed an agreement with the Colorado Water Trust…

Floating One of the Last Wild Rivers: Yampa Journal, Day 4

Friends of the Yampa and American Rivers organized a trip down Colorado’s Yampa River in early June, to raise awareness about the last wild river in the Colorado River Basin (see interactive map). This post is the final in a four-part series about the trip. Day 1  *  Day 2 * Day 3 Day 4 Today,…

Floating One of the Last Wild Rivers: Yampa Journal, Day 3

Friends of the Yampa and American Rivers organized a trip down Colorado’s Yampa River in early June, to raise awareness about the last wild river in the Colorado River Basin (see interactive map). This post is the third in a four-part series about the trip. Day 1  *  Day 2 Day 3 Camped on the…

Floating One of the Last Wild Rivers: Yampa Journal, Day 2

Friends of the Yampa and American Rivers organized a trip down Colorado’s Yampa River in early June, to raise awareness about the last wild river in the Colorado River Basin (see interactive map). This post is the second in a four-part series about the trip. Read the post from Day 1. Day 2 Rivers move…

Floating One of the Last Wild Rivers: Yampa Journal, Day 1

This is the Yampa, one of the Colorado Basin’s, and the nation’s, last wild rivers. American Rivers named the Colorado River the #1 Most Endangered River in the country in April, and protecting the Yampa is one important puzzle piece for ensuring a healthier Colorado Basin in the long-term. The purpose of this five-day trip is to bring leaders together to explore the value of the wild Yampa and discuss the river’s future.

There are 20 of us – decision-makers, local officials, conservation advocates, scientists, and journalists. The trip was organized by Friends of the Yampa and American Rivers, and is supported by world-class outfitter OARS.

The Yampa River flows 250 miles through Northwest Colorado’s farms and ranches, and towns including Steamboat Springs, before joining the Green at Echo Park . While most rivers in the Colorado River Basin have been dammed and diverted for water supply and hydropower, the Yampa remains wild and healthy – an example of what rivers in this region were meant to be. There is a dam on the upper Yampa but it is far enough upstream that the river’s natural flows and functions are essentially intact.

As Drought Persists in the West, Time to Prepare for Summer Shortages

Drought, drought, and more drought seems to be what’s in store for most river basins in the West, including the Colorado, the lifeline for 30 million people. Back in late November, I wrote about how NOAA’s seasonal drought outlook for mid-November to late February indicated the persistence of dryness in most of the Colorado River…

With Drought Looming, Colorado River Basin Needs Solutions

If early forecasts pan out, the Colorado River Basin could be in for yet another year of intense drought. On NOAA’s seasonal drought outlook map for mid-November to late February, the entire basin is shaded in dark brown, signaling the anticipated persistence of drought conditions through most of the winter.  That could again wreak havoc…

How the Yampa River, and its Dependents, Survived the Drought of 2012

As this year’s drought deepened and spread across the United States, many cities and farms took steps to cope.  Bans on landscape irrigation conserved municipal supplies.  Farmers pumped more groundwater for their crops to make up for the lack of rain. But what’s a river to do? Most rivers are last in line for help…