Click HERE to learn more about the Dolores River Conservation Area Proposal and to submit your comments.
Dear Senator Michael Bennet,
We run a unique multi-sport adventure guide & instructional service out of Mancos, Colorado, called Four Corners Guides. We rely on a steady supply of water in the rivers to teach our packrafting courses. We employ a half dozen guides. It would be immensely beneficial to our business and for our guides, not to mention the environment, the fish and the wildlife, if the Dolores River was transformed into a National Conservation Area.
We do hope you will consider this and also that you will consider allowing sufficient CFS to flow into the river to not only supply local agriculture with water, but also to support the burgeoning outdoor recreation industry in this region. Right now there is NO consideration being given to outdoor recreation in regards to the Dolores River. There is barely enough flow for the fish to survive. This area could bring in thousands more tourists and their dollars each year who might enjoy the river corridor for fishing, rafting, kayaking, packrafting and so much more. These dollars would support local communities.
U.S. data shows that the outdoor recreation economy accounted for 2.1 percent ($459.8 billion) of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) for the nation in 2019. If this region focused a bit more on outdoor recreation, we could easily capture some of those dollars. Montezuma County is depressed economically, but it doesn’t have to be.
But to capture some of those outdoor rec dollars, there needs to be some water in the river. I understand there’s a drought and not much water to be had. And I support our local agriculture. However, surely there could be some better water management plans implemented throughout the County to allow for more water to flow into the Dolores River? One of our County Commissioners wrote in a FB post last year that Montezuma County had “millions of dollars” available to spend. Let’s spend it on programs to conserve water, to help farmers to maximize their water use AND to help grow the outdoor recreation industry in the region. Thanks for your consideration.
Elizabeth Scully & Steve Fassbinder
Owners, Four Corners Guides LLC
438 Bauer Ave.,
Mancos, CO 81328