Seventeen miles west of Steamboat Springs, the Yampa River drops through a narrow gap before flowing onto one of the broadest floodplains in western Colorado. The preserve is located on the eastern edge of this floodplain.
What to Expect
This preserve is beautiful throughout the spring, fall and winter, but mosquitoes can be unrelenting during the summer.
Why The Conservancy Selected This Site
How does the Yampa River support such an extensive riparian ecosystem?
Its natural flooding processes are relatively intact. When the river floods, the rushing water slowly erodes banks and deposits new sediments, allowing the river channel to shift. This "river dance" helps to establish new streamside forests and wetlands.
Another reason for protection: This preserve harbors one of the largest remaining examples of a rare riparian forest type dominated by narrowleaf cottonwood, box elder and red-osier dogwood.
What The Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The Conservancy has protected 8,800 acres along a 10-mile stretch of the Yampa River.
The Conservancy's long-term goal in the Valley is to provide conservation-based alternatives to traditional land management practices. We pursue this goal through these and other conservation tools that provide landowners with creative options for protecting their land:
- Conservation easements
- Assisting with management plans
- Cooperative stewardship projects with the Colorado State Land Board (SLB), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and private landowners.