Roaring Fork Conservancy    Floating Northstar Preserve. Photo by Tim O'Keefe
 Colorado Water Plan
 Crystal River
 Fryingpan Study
 Water Conservation
 Drought Response
 Riparian Land Conservation
 Water Quality
 The Watershed
 Watershed Plan
 Events Calendar
 School Programs
 Teacher Workshops
 Adult Programs
 River Center
 River Flows
 Snowpack Graphs
 About Us
 Take Action
 Become a Member
 Contact Us


Ramsey Kropf Leaves for Washington
We are most excited to announce that Ramsey Kropf has accepted the esteemed position of Deputy Solicitor for Water with the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. We sincerely appreciate Ramsey’s eleven years of service to the Board, particularly her term as president from December 2011 through January 2015. We wish her the best during this two year appointment and once in a lifetime experience. Former Board President, Diane Schwener will serve as interim board president for the remaining months of 2015.

Roaring Fork Beer Co. Launches 1% for the Fork Program
Carbondale-based Roaring Fork Beer Company (RFBC) recently released its long-awaited seasonal Slaughterhouse Lager. RFBC is donating 1% of the revenue from sales of the Slaughterhouse Lager to Roaring Fork Conservancy to support protection of local rivers. The label on the can features the Roaring Fork Conservancy logo demonstrating the brewery’s commitment to the Roaring Fork Watershed and its rivers.

RFBC has named multiple beer offerings with rivers in mind. Slaughterhouse Lager is named after a prominent rapid on the Roaring Fork River near Aspen loved by boaters during high water. Their Freestone Extra Pale Ale also incorporates the local rivers into its name. A freestone river is one without a dam and the local Crystal River is one of a handful that has not yet been dammed. 

The craft Slaughterhouse Lager can be purchased throughout the summer and fall at RFBC’s tasting room in Carbondale and at local restaurants and liquor stores; see the complete list.

Sharon Clarke is Moving On After 10 Years
Roaring Fork Conservancy would like to thank Sharon Clarke, Watershed Action Director, for over 10 years of contributing to our organization and especially the Roaring Fork and Crystal River valleys. Sharon accepted a new position with the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, and will return to the much beloved Pacific Northwest she called home for many years. During her time at Roaring Fork Conservancy, Sharon led efforts to implement Watershed Action projects which led to many victories both for the rivers and the community. Among her major successes are: co-leading the development and implementation of the Roaring Fork Watershed Plan and compilation of State of the Watershed Report; spearheading the Crystal River assessment and restoration project; and developing strong relationships and partnerships with local, state and federal government agencies, water right holders, and other non-profits such as Colorado Water Trust, to pursue creative solutions to enhance stream flows, which included the development of a Roaring Fork Watershed regional water conservation plan. Sharon has directed RFC’s land conservation program, designed and implemented macroinvertebrate studies, identified stream gage needs and obtained funding for their installation, and was instrumental in coordinating the Comprehensive Fryingpan River Study. Sharon will be greatly missed by Roaring Fork Conservancy and the many people that have had the privilege of working with her. We wish her well in her future endeavors in Oregon. View photos here 

Tim O'Keefe moving on at end of year
After over 12 years with the organization, education director Tim O’Keefe is moving on at the end of the year. Tim will become the community pastor for Crossroads Church in Glenwood Springs. Tim is excited about this new and challenging opportunity. During his time at Roaring Fork Conservancy, Tim helped thousands of students and adults experience the river first-hand through classroom explorations and hands-on field trips. He also helped translate the organizations often complex science and policy work to citizens and students. Roaring Fork Conservancy will hire a new education director by the end of the year. For more information on the job listing visit:

Crystal River Named One of America's Most Endangered Rivers
Sharon Clarke of Roaring Fork Conservancy helps announce that the Crystal River has been named one of America's Most Endangered RiversIn a press conference May 15th, national river organization American Rivers, announced that the Crystal River has been named one of America's Most Endangered Rivers. Roaring Fork Conservancy welcomes the national attention to the Crystal River which has flow, sediment and human impact issues throughout its 363 square mile watershed.

America’s Most Endangered Rivers is an annual call to action, spotlighting rivers facing significant threats, and emphasizing solutions for the rivers and their communities. The Crystal River provides essential habitat for fish and wildlife, beautiful vistas and recreation for visitors, and is one of the few remaining free-flowing streams in Colorado. However, new hydropower dams, reservoirs, and water diversions threaten to destroy the river’s unique values.

Supporters of the designation, including the Crystal River Environmental Protection Association, Pitkin County, and Roaring Fork Conservancy, propose eliminating plans for dams and increased diversions on the Crystal and pursual of a federal Wild & Scenic designation to future protect the Crystal River. Even before the designation, Roaring Fork Conservancy was working on plans to restore Coal Basin, a major tributary, and to address low flow issues on the lower Crystal. Crystal River Facts. More information on America's Most Endangered Rivers.


Why Watershed Groups Matter in Colorado Video Released
Only 19% of registered voters in Colorado know they live in a watershed, yet everyone in the world lives in a watershed! Colorado State University recently released a video about the importance of watershed groups to protecing rivers and engaging citizens along the Colorado River corridor. Roaring Fork Conservancy is featured throughout the video.
View video now.

Roaring Fork Conservancy working with local water users to respond to drought conditions

The Roaring Fork River ran dry in Aspen in 2002. Roaring Fork Conservancy hopes to keep that from happening this yearRoaring Fork Conservancy has partnered with the Colorado Water Trust (CWT) to bring a new, pilot water leasing program to the Roaring Fork Valley in response to the drought conditions expected this year. The program will be undertaken in conjunction with the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) under the State’s short-term water right loan statute, which allows a water right owner to loan water to the CWCB for instream flows for up to 120 days. Instream flow water rights provide legal, nonconsumptive, in-channel water for the benefit of the environment. CWT will facilitate and pay for the leases under the State statute. More information on the Requests for Water 2013 program.

Roaring Fork Watershed Plan Complete!
Roaring Fork Watershed PlanThe Roaring Fork Watershed Plan has been finalized! The Watershed Plan consists of a number of sections including an introduction and overview, recommendations for urgent actions, recommendations applicable to water quality, water quantity and regional water management, and a discussion of implementation. The matrices, which arrange the recommendations in a sortable format, divide the recommendations into several categories which allow for examining the recommendations from a number of perspectives such as location, key entities and recommendation type (study, project or regulation). Although the Watershed Plan is intended to be an ever-evolving and flexible document we do hope to update it periodically as information, prioritizes and planning changes. For more on the watershed plan visit

Roaring Fork Watershed Plan - April 12, 2012 (.pdf)  

Roaring Fork Watershed Plan - Recommended Actions (Matrix Format .xls) 
Roaring Fork Watershed Plan - Recommended Actions (Google Docs) - for use by key participants to update status

Roaring Fork Conservancy River Center Wins Architectural Award
Harry Teague (center) accepting the award on behalf of Roaring Fork ConservancyRoaring Fork Conservancy’s future River Center won a prestigious Merit Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Colorado West chapter. Project architect Harry Teague accepted the Merit Award in the Unbuilt category on behalf of the organization last Friday.

In presenting the award, the jury touted the project’s “transition from the larger scale of the [future] adjacent built environment to the scale of the river” as a tremendous asset. Other strengths sited included the building’s sensitivity to the surrounding environment and the use of exterior building materials to tell the story of the River Center site. The award underscores the attention the design team has given to the building site, surroundings and functional uses as it sits on the edge of downtown Basalt. More on River Center.

RFC Welcomes Christina Medved, Watershed Education Director
We are pleased to welcome Christina Medved as its Watershed Education Director. Christina steps in for out-going Watershed Education Director Tim O’Keefe who worked with Roaring Fork Conservancy for 12 years. Christina will start in late February. Christina comes to the Roaring Fork Valley from Stroud Water Research Center near Philadelphia, PA where she’s been the Education Programs Manager and Leaf Pack Network® Administrator for the past 13 years. 

Christina’s career has focused on watersheds and stream ecology. She particularly enjoys making complex scientific information accessible and applicable to the non-scientist.  Her experience ranges from teaching field-based, boots-in-the water stream studies to students in the 4th grade all the way to retirement age; training citizen volunteers on how to monitor their streams; and coordinating two watershed treks which gave high school students a full-immersion experience in tracing the drinking water supply of New York City and Wilmington, DE. Throughout her time at the Stroud Center she presented stream ecology and Leaf Pack Experiment workshops across the United States as well as in villages of Costa Rica and Peru. Christina brings a wealth of experience and talent to Roaring Fork Conservancy’s staff. As Watershed Education Director she will oversee the organizations programming with schools, adults, families and the public. View entire press release here.

Reel In Water Use Campaign Helps Fish Out
Reel In Water UseRoaring Fork Conservancy and the Community Office for Resource Efficiency have launched a new water conservation campaign to benefit people and the environment. As the second year of sustained drought continues, wise water use is more important now than ever. Help reel in your water use at

Water in the West Radio Series

KDNK Community Radio and Aspen Public Radio teamed up to bring listeners an in-depth series looking at the threats to the region's water. Reporters from the two stations examined how population growth, climate change, the loss of agricultural land, developments and the energy industry all put strains on Colorado's limited resource. The demands on water that impact states like Arizona and California are moving upstream and are just decades away in Colorado. The series ran December 13 through 20 and are available below. Also check the Aspen Public Radio Blog for additional stories and recordings. The series is edited by former NPR Western bureau chief Alisa Barba and underwritten by the Colorado River District.
Part 1 |
Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9
Jon Waterman Interview
 | Ken Neubecker Interview| Justice Gregory Hobbs Interview


Donate Now to Roaring Fork Conservancy

  Connect @rfconservancy  Connect on Google+
Roaring Fork Watershed Channel  Linkedin  Flickr

Roaring Fork Conservancy
in the News

Forecaster: El Nino could brings lots of rainy, cloudy summer days - Aspen Daily News - 5/9/15

Water expert: More study needed of Brush Creek coliform issue - Aspen Daily News - 4/20/15

'Rock snot' showing up early in the year near Ruedi dam - Aspen Daily News - 4/17/15

Snow, precip totals for March close to average in Aspen - Aspen Public Radio - 4/1/15

No surprise; our snowpack is dropping - Aspen Daily News - 3/30/15

Colorado River roundtable prioritizes water projects - Aspen Times - 3/29/15

Storm cycle a shot in the arm to snowpack
- Aspen Daily News - 3/5/15

Learning about frozen gold in the hills
- Post Independent - 3/3/15

Snow to Flow Program on Saturday
- KDNK - 2/23/15

West Slope back on the drought monitor
- Aspen Public Radio - 2/9/15

January was a dry month
- KDNK - 2/6/15

Rain brings fog in midst of warm winter
- Post Independent - 2/6/15

Local watershed snowpack dips below 90 percent
- Post Independent - 1/29/15

Low Snowpack This Winter
 - Aspen Public Radio - 12/18/14

Snowmass Rotary shows spirit of giving
- Aspen Times - 12/17/14

Grant spurs discussion of Crystal River - Aspen Journalism - 12/16/14

Plan aims to improve health of Crystal River
- Aspen Public Radio - 12/4/14

City of Aspen Water Plant Tour Promotes Awareness and Conservation
- TPO Magazine - 12/14

Sunlight Opens Ahead of Schedule
- Post Independent - 11/28/14

Cattle Creek Water Quality Study Planned
- Post Independent - 11/18/14

RFC, ACES to advise on environmental education plan - Sopris Sun - 10/30/14

Study shows Fryingpan River healthy despite 'rock snot' - Aspen Times - 10/16/14

Local nonprofits help with statewide environmental education plan
- Aspen Public Radio - 10/9/14

City's effort to conserve Roaring Fork highlighted
- Aspen Journalism - 10/9/14

RFC and ACES serve on first Colorado Environmental Education Leadership Council
- NewsPronto - 10/8/14

Basalt nonprofit quizzes candidates on two big water issues
- Aspen Times 10/5/14

Tapping into the purity of Aspen’s liquid
- Aspen Daily News 9/21/14

Local students discuss water issues - KDNK 9/17/14

Volunteers Help plant seeds for Roaring Fork's Future - Aspen Daily News 8/25/14

Volunteers Help Plant Seeds for Roaring Fork's Future - Colorado News 8/25/14

Analysis: Thompson Divide Waters healthy, uncontaminated - Post Independent 8/15/14

Testing of water near Thompson Divide reveals very high quality
- Aspen Daily News 8/15/14

Basalt government gets non-profit's river center back on track
- Aspen Times 8/5/14

Cruise into year two
- Post Independent 7/17/14

Pause, Reflect, Enjoy
- Aspen Daily News 6/29/14

Thompson Creek earns Protection
- Aspen Daily News 6/18/14

Outstanding Waters designation for Thompson Creek
- KDNK 6/16/14

Thompson Creek branches gain protection
- Post Independent 6/13/14

Creek Through Contested Thompson Divide gets Additional Protection
- Aspen Public Radio 6/12/14

Redefining the waters of the United States - KDNK 5/29/14

Clean Water Act rule changes worry Roaring Fork Valley ranchers
- Post Independent 5/29/14

EPA's "Waters of the U.S." Source of Frustration for Farmers, Ranchers
- Aspen Public Radio 5/29/14

The Watershed Protection Efforts of Roaring Fork Conservancy
- Radio Free Aspen 4/20/14

Threats to Aspen area rivers discussed
- Aspen Journalism 4/11/14

Rivers, more water diversions, on tap for talk tonight - Aspen Daily News 4/10/14

Roaring Fork snowpack solid going into spring
- Post Independent 4/6/14

Forecast: Big Spring Melt Will Boost Area River to Above-Average Levels
- Aspen Public Radio 4/3/14

River runners are eager for run-off to begin
- Summit Daily 4/2/14

River runners are eager for run-off to begin
- Post Independent 4/1/14

River runners are eager for run-off to begin
- Aspen Times 3/31/14

Roaring Fork residents can help create state water plan
- Aspen Times 3/31/14

Snowpack and runoff potential looking good - Aspen Journalism - 3/30/14

Snowpack and runoff potentially looking good - Aspen Daily News 3/29/14

Visitor use and spending in the Fryingpan Valley to be studied - Aspen Daily News 3/28/14

Local Group to Study Fryingpan/Ruedi Impact
- Aspen Public Radio 3/27/14

Fryingan's Economic role being studied
- Post Independent 3/27/14

Fryingpan's Economic role being studied
- Aspen Times 3/27/14

After storms, snow removal bring water pollution concerns
- Aspen Daily News 2/19/14

Good News for Farmers: Mega Storm Boosts Snowpack
- Aspen Public Radio 2/4/14

Colorado River Headwaters Snowpack up to Around 120%
- KDNK 2/4/14

Local Conservation Group Gets Involved with Colorado Water Plan
- Aspen Public Radio 1/30/14

Colorado Does Not Have Enough Water
- KDNK 1/27/14

Water Conservation and Why It's Important - KDNK 12/19/13

Letter: Roaring Fork Watershed Photo Contest
- Post Independent 12/4/13

Glenwood Garden Club Programs Grow on You
- Post Independent 12/1/13

PitCo Water Cases Result in $300k Request - Aspen Daily News 11/27/13

Drought Prompts Study of Gold Medal Fishery Near Basalt
 - Aspen Public Radio 10/30/13

Scientists Check Fryingpan Health
- Aspen Times 10/29/13

Is There Something Fishy with the Fryingpan
- Moldy Chum 10/1/13

Is There Something Fishy with the Fryingpan
- Aspen Daily News 9/29/13

Monsoons Crank Up River Flows in and Around Aspen's Valley
- Aspen Business Journal 9/27/13

Recent Rains Boost Rivers to Flows Normally Seen in May
- Aspen Public Radio 9/24/13

Concerns Arise About Fryingpan River's Health
- Aspen Times 8/16/13

Reel Relief: Rain Cools River Temperatures
- Post Independent 8/1/13

Biologists Worry About Rising River Temperatures
- 7/19/13

Rising temps in Roaring Fork River cast shadow over fishery - Post Independent 7/18/13

Volunteers help Roaring Fork Conservancy Track River Temperatures - Post Independent 7/16/13

[Garfield] County adopts revised land-use code
- Post Independent 7/16/13

Roaring Fork Valley Rivers Drop with Heat, Lack of Rain - Post Independent 7/12/13

Increasing Use Leads to Resource Concerns at Northstar Preserve
- Aspen Daily News 7/8/13


Roaring Fork Watershed Plan

Click here for River Currents Newsletter

Job Opportunities with Roaring Fork Conservancy

Must-read articles by Rocky Mountain News:
"The Last Drop"

KEEP IT CLEAN 'cause WE'RE ALL DOWNSTREAM - Click here for more info


Untitled Document

ROARING FORK CONSERVANCY Brings People Together to Protect Our Rivers
© 2002-2014 ROARING FORK CONSERVANCY P.O. Box 3349, Basalt, Colorado 81621 Tel: (970) 927-1290

Donate Now  |  Events Calendar   |   Get Involved   |   The Watershed   |   About Us   |   Contact Us