The mission of the Western Slope Conservation Center is to build an active and aware community to protect and enhance the lands, air, water, and wildlife of the Lower Gunnison Watershed.



Learn more and get involved by taking action with us.

The Western Slope Conservation Center is always working to ensure the health and preservation of the Western Slope of Colorado by working with our local, state, and federal governments, businesses, conservationists and stakeholders.


Working with the Community to protect our land for generations to come.

At WSCC, we work to ensure continued conservation efforts by working alongside community members and creating educational opportunities within local schools.


The Conservation Center has been working since 1977, check out what we've done.

The Conservation Center maintains an interactive map that includes a wealth of watershed information that you can explore. Our map layers include oil & gas leases and wells, irrigation ditches, restoration sites, soil data, USFS recreation routes, and more.




We formed in 1977 to disseminate information about regional energy development and its impacts on the region’s natural resources. Today, our mission is to build an active and aware community to protect and enhance the lands, air, water and wildlife of the Lower Gunnison Watershed.

As a result of our work, in 35 years the communities of the Lower Gunnison Watershed will be characterized by intact and functioning ecosystems, clean and abundant water resources, well-managed lands with the highest level of protection they deserve, and informed and an engaged citizenry that understand the connection between the vitality of its ecological and social communities.



Once an in-stream gravel mine, we have worked hard and received several grants to restore riparian habitat and make the Park a family-friendly recreation area.


The Conservation Center is dedicated to keeping a watchful eye on the quality of our water quality. Our volunteers monitor every month and collect samples from an established network of stream stations.


The data illustrated in our interactive maps tell the true story of conservation in Delta County. Layers represent oil & gas development, roadless areas, irrigation ditches and more.


Air & Water Quality
Public Lands
River Park

Bell Creek Trail Day in the Books

July 20, 2017
Within the Gunnison National Forest, the Paonia Ranger District manages 227 miles of hiking and horseback trails across 478,000 acres. To paraphrase moms everywhere, those trails don’t just take care of themselves! To that end, the Paonia Ranger District is employing several trail crews this summer. The Conservation Legacy Environmental Steward interns began their season focusing on more readily accessible trails, such as Dark Canyon and the Raggeds Trail. Another group of five Delta County youth make up the Youth Conservation Corps. So far, they’ve cleared the Beckwith Trail, Three Lakes Loop, and the Dyke Trail. The trail crew and volunteers gearing up for a day on Lamborn’s Bell Creek Trail. In a partnership with the Western Slope Conservation Center, the Forest Service planned two summer trail work days. On Friday morning, thirteen volunteers picked up pulaskis and tagged along for the first one. With a big rain the night before, the crews tested the truck’s 4WD capabilities driving everyone to the Bell Creek Trailhead. Close to the base, the trail crew and volunteers installed twenty check dams  and water bars. These check dams divert water from the trail, minimizing erosion. Higher up, another crew closed an unsustainable user-created shortcut and improved the switchbacks. After an afternoon of hard work, they had widened the treading by 18 inches and removed tripping hazards. Three volunteers climbed further and removed overgrown brush and fallen debris from the trail. Jake doesn’t like to brag, but he knows a thing or two about trail maintenance.  The Youth Conservation Corps first reported that their river trip with their crew leader was their favorite day of the summer. After prompting, they revised that opinion and said the volunteer trail day was their real favorite day of the summer. ********************************************************************************************** Missed the fun the first time?  Come out to Lost Lake on Saturday, August 5th! Meet at 8 AM at the Paonia Ranger District at 403 Rio Grande Ave in Paonia. RSVP here or email Please bring: – lunch – water – work clothes (long-sleeved shirt & pants) – boots – work gloves – sun protection Individual volunteer opportunities with the US Forest Service are available. Contact to learn more!

Get Involved with the Delta County Master Plan

July 19, 2017
  The Delta County Master Plan is a yearlong process that will define our County for the decades to come.  According to the county, the master plan “provides the overall vision for how the built environment – infrastructure, housing, transportation, recreation, business and industry – support and complement the other less tangible aspects of community – the economy, health, the environment, and quality of life.” The Master Plan is framed around this important question – How do we create opportunities for everyone to thrive while protecting the things that make Delta County unique? An updated Delta County Master Plan that will include two components: Our vision and goals for the future, and a Future Land Use Map and Plan (FLUP). The County will also produce a land use code assessment. The County outlines 4 phases to this process: Where are we at now? According to the County’s timeline, we are currently in Phase 2. In Phase 1 included a series of “Visioning” meetings, along with Landowner meetings, were held throughout Delta County. Public input was also gathered through an online survey that closed July 8. What’s Next? The Planning Commission will meet on July 26 at 5:30pm at the Delta County Courthouse. The agenda for that meeting can be found here. Learn more at the Master Plan website:

Delta County Trail Master Plan

July 19, 2017
Delta County is embarking on a multi-year process of inventorying, assessing, and mapping the recreation and public land resources in the county. The goal is for a new Trails Master Plan that can be incorporated into the Delta County Master Plan that is being developed concurrently. This is your chance to shape the future of recreation and public access in Delta County. We will keep you updated on the process and ways you can get involved. You can also learn more about the process by visiting the Delta County Trail Master Plan website. WSCC will continue advocating for our public lands, river corridors, and open spaces through this process.

Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison–Forest Planning, Oh My!

July 2, 2017
Let’s reminisce for a minute. Remember when “Thriller” was a #1 hit? That was 1983. Remember when Sally Ride became the first woman in space? Also 1983. Remember the last time the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forest Plan was revised? You guessed it–1983. We’re a little overdue. Forest plans guide the management of National Forests, and are usually updated every 15-20 years. Three phases make up a Forest Plan: assessment, revision, and monitoring. For our own GMUG National Forests, the Forest Service began the assessment phase in 2006, but put the process on hold due to a change in federal regulations guiding Forest Plan revisions. So yet again, in 2017, the GMUG National Forests are in the assessment phase. Part of the assessment process is soliciting public input. You can email the GMUG Forest Managers directly, submit a comment, sign up for the GMUG Forest Planning email updates, or attend one (or all eight) of the GMUG Forest Plan Revision Public Open Houses (see below). The first public open house will be July 25 from 5:30-7:30pm at Lincolen Elementary School in Delta. Join us there! WSCC is also seeking public lands enthusiasts to provide input and share your knowledge to help us make recommendations for management of specific areas within GMUG. To get involved, please email Event  Date Time Location County Public Open House 07/25/2017 5:30p.m. to  7:30p.m. Lincoln Elementary School Kiva (Common Space). 1050 Hastings St. Delta, CO Delta Public Open House 07/27/2017 5:30p.m. to 7:30p.m Fred R. Field Western Heritage Center VanTuyl Room. 275 S. Spruce St. #A. Gunnison, CO Gunnison Public Open House 08/01/2017 5:30p.m. to 7:30p.m. 4H Center, Mt. Sneffles Room (South Room). 22739 US-550, Ridgway Ouray Public Open House 08/03/2017 5:30p.m. to 7:30p.m. Lincoln Park Barn. 910 N. 12 St, Grand Junction,CO Mesa Public Open House 08/10/2017 5:30p.m. to 7:30p.m. Wilkinson Public Library, Program room      100 W. Pacific Ave, Telluride, CO San Miguel Public Open House 08/14/2017 5:30p.m. to 7:30p.m. Montrose High Scool Cafeteria. 600 Selig Ave, Montrose, CO Montrose Public Open Hpuse 08/15/2017 4:30p.m. to 6:30p.m. Lake City Community School, Common Space. 614 Silver St,              Lake City, CO Hinsdale Public Open House 08/17/2017 4:30p.m. to 6:30p.m. Saguache, Meeting Room at Road and Bridge 305 3 St, Saguache,CO Saguache

2,000 CFS of Gratitude After the Float Fest

June 6, 2017
Coincidentally enough, 2,000 cubic feet per second was also the water level during the Float Fest this Saturday. From the smooth rigging and takeout to the rocking bands, we have so many people to thank! Captains First, our intrepid captains.     And of course, our sponsors! Waterfall Sponsors Rapid Sponsors   Riffle Sponsors   Volunteers and Board Members We couldn’t have done any of this without our dedicated volunteers and board members–an enormous heartfelt thank you all of you! You got everyone outfitted in PFDs, set up tents, directed traffic, brought games, took out rafts, and much more!   Donors Big Bs provided one tasty lunch and the big top tent! The Rev, Palisade Brewing Company, Ska Brewery, and our volunteer barkeeps kept the libations flowing. Thank you to everyone who donated to the Float Fest Silent Auction! We raised $3600 from the winning bids! Sam and Tara kindly brought and set up the tent housing the silent auction bidding wars. The donors were: The Great Outdoors Company Gunnison River Pro J and Ray Outfitters Shadescapes America Black Canyon Anglers Western Slope SUP John Welfelt of Welfelt Fabrication Earth Friendly Supply Company Jane McGarry and Chuck Behrensmeyer PJ’s Neighborhood Pub Blue Heron Yoga Azura Cellars Mike and Barbara Galloway Ellza Coyle Indigo Autumn Western Anglers Nelle’s Café Black Bridge Winery Shish KaBikes Jill Knutson Painting NRS RIGS Big O Tires Chaco   Musicians Our musicians, Eclectic Alchemy and Mojo.  

Event Recap: Paonia River Park Trail Upgrades

May 18, 2017
Last week the Paonia River Park walking trail received some much needed repairs and upgrades with the help of a crew from Western Colorado Conservation Corps!  Improvements to the trail included: widening and resurfacing narrow sections, rebuilding grade on steep slopes, repairing ruts, replacing bridges, removing invasive species, and replacing sections of the trail where fabric was showing through.  Thanks to everyone who helped out and hope to see you all this summer enjoying the trail!  Interested in seeing the upgrades? Join us this Saturday morning, May 20th, 9-11am, for River Park Clean up!    
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