The Western Slope Conservation Center’s work has been devoted to the health of the North Fork and Lower Gunnison Watersheds since 1977. Since 1999, we have implemented 19 river restoration projects along the North Fork of the Gunnison River to rehabilitate floodplains, stabilize channels and banks, improve diversion structures, and enhance aquatic habitat. These projects were developed in response to watershed assessments developed by the Conservation Center and its predecessor, the North Fork River Improvement Association. The watershed assessments for the North Fork of the Gunnison River have served as guidebooks for project planning.

In 2014, the Conservation Center extended its focus beyond the North Fork of the Gunnison in order to better understand the needs of the Smith Fork and Surface Creek drainages. The watershed assessments for both drainages build on the Conservation Center’s long legacy of successful watershed planning, and they evaluate the respective environments and identify future projects that will enhance and protect each watershed. Future projects will range from improving fish passages on irrigation diversions to building new trail sections to increase recreational access.

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The Conservation Center has published numerous reports on the North Fork of the Gunnison and Lower Gunnison Watersheds. Read them here!