Farm & Ranch Sustainability Program

Working with local partners to determine gaps & needs and provide additional resources to stakeholders to ensure sustainable and resilient agriculture across the watershed.

Currently this program focuses on the following critical areas:

  • Education and outreach to non-agricultural stakeholders to:
    • Provide experiential learning opportunities for youth and adults to learn more about how farming and ranching works
    • Learn the importance of agriculture in our watershed
    • Share our rich agricultural history in the watershed
    • Share the ‘agricultural perspective’ on a variety of topics
  • Education and outreach to agricultural and non-agricultural stakeholders to discuss and collaboratively problem solve issues tied to increasing recreation in the watershed and increasing city-raised newcomers moving to the watershed such as:
    • Working to problem-solve increasing recreational trespass on agricultural private property by those not familiar with the watershed and/or not understanding private property rights
    • Helping all stakeholders better understand who owns the water, who owns the riverbed, and who owns the riverbank when it comes to recreation near private land; and proper etiquette when recreating on or near private lands (e.g. what’s a water gap and how should I behave around one?)
    • Helping new recreational stakeholders understand the complexities of developing new recreational opportunities smack in the middle of a traditional agricultural landscape, and helping all stakeholders ‘play together better’ (e.g. Rules of the Trail Stewardship Skills Training teaching proper etiquette when horses and mountain bikes meet, sharing maps and apps to help recreators better navigate public vs private land, etc)
  • Working collaboratively with project partners to secure funds to support important agricultural infrastructure projects
  • Conducting Stream Management Planning efforts to determine additional critical needs and gaps for farmers and ranchers in the watershed
  • Working with agricultural partners to provide services and support to address current known needs and concerns (e.g. support of rural drinking water treatment project, conducting river cleanups to keep trash out of critical irrigation infrastructure)
  • Working to secure additional funding to support critical farming and ranching activities in the watershed

Examples of current projects include:

  • Youth Outdoor Education Series: A Day in the Life of a Farmer & Rancher
  • Conducting ongoing education and outreach to share the agricultural perspective on a variety of topics with non-agricultural stakeholders through PWP Facebook posts, one-on-one conversations with stakeholders, and at local and regional meetings
  • Working collaboratively with local partners to secure funding for implementing important agricultural improvement projects that increase farm and ranch productivity while also benefitting watershed health (e.g. Baca-Picketwire Diversion Dam Restoration Project)
  • Monthly river cleanups to clear trash out of the river just upstream of an important agricultural irrigation headgate, where headgate functionality and irrigator safety is significantly hindered when too much river trash builds up
  • Working to secure funding to install educational signage along the river through the town of Trinidad, teaching the agricultural history of watershed
  • Working with local partners to move plans forward towards developing a Purgatoire River Water History Museum or similar that would include extensive education about the important history of water and agriculture in the watershed
  • Working to build better partnerships with other local history organizations to better support their mission in outreach and education of our rich agricultural history

More Information on the Stream Management Planning Effort

In our watershed we have many important local and regional organizations and partners providing critical resources to support farming and ranching activities including:

The Purgatoire Watershed Partnership (PWP) is working closely with the Spanish Peaks-Purgatoire River Conservation District (SPPRCD) to conduct a Stream Management Planning outreach effort that includes gathering critical information from agricultural stakeholders (and non-agricultural stakeholders) as to needs and concerns they have in the watershed that are not currently being met. PWP will then be working with SPPRCD to summarize these needs and concerns, determine gaps in resources and services in the watershed, and determine what additional agricultural and non-agricultural missing resources and services – within our partners mission or our mission – that we can all provide.

Learn more about Stream Management Planning and let your voice be heard!

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