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Dolores River

  • Arguments continue to rage over whether President Biden should designate a national monument on lands along the Dolores River.
  • Troubled by the possibility of a new national monument along the Lower Dolores River, county commissioners for both Montezuma and Dolores counties met Tuesday and voiced support for creating a National Conservation Area instead.
  • A Mancos resident is investigating the Indigenous history of the Dolores River in southwest Colorado. Amorina Lee-Martinez completed her PhD on water management around the Dolores River at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She’ll be speaking at the Dolores Public Library on Thursday. The talk will cover the history of Indigenous peoples in the Four Corners, and then turn to the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and the origins of McPhee Reservoir. Lee-Martinez says the reservoir is a rare example of a tribal community negotiating for and successfully receiving at least part of their share of water rights in the Colorado River basin. The discussion is open to the public, and will start at 6 p.m.
  • Last month, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper of Colorado wrote a letter requesting a hearing for their Dolores River conservation area bill in the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The committee has agreed to hold a hearing on the legislation during their next meeting on July 12. The bill would protect 68,000 acres of public lands along the river in southwest Colorado. But now, in addition to the NCA Act, community organizations that advocate on behalf of the Dolores River are discussing the idea of President Joseph Biden designating some areas not covered by the bill as a national monument. And ten new Colorado state laws took effect on Saturday.
  • Democratic United States Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado has reintroduced legislation to protect the Dolores River. Along with Colorado’s other senator, John Hickenlooper, Bennet reintroduced the Dolores River National Conservation Area and Special Management Area Act, a bill aimed at protecting 68,000 acres of land in southwest Colorado. And lawmakers want to streamline how the state oversees safety in Colorado’s public schools.
  • Democratic United States Senator John Hickenlooper of Colorado reintroduced legislation to protect the Dolores River earlier this month. Colorado’s other senator, Michael Bennet, joined Hickenlooper in sponsoring the Dolores River National Conservation Area and Special Management Area Act. And Governor Jared Polis signed four bills into law on Friday. That included one that will make it easier for out-of-state teachers to work in Colorado.
  • Conservation groups are praising a scientific proposal to protect a large swath of Western land that could help restore wolf and beaver populations. And new legislation has been introduced in the US Senate that would protect parts of the Dolores River Canyon as a National Conservation Area.
  • Drought remains widespread across the Southwest, even after a wet monsoon season in parts of the region; Colorado Parks and Wildlife has lifted the voluntary afternoon fishing closures on the Dolores River effective as of Thursday.
  • Understanding the impacts of drought on everyday life isn't easy. Water access and distribution is complicated, especially in a place like the Four…
  • A new National Conservation Area on the Lower Dolores River may still be a possibility.