Saving a River
The Arkansas River is the mainstay of Southeastern Colorado. It provides water, a critical wildlife corridor, recreation, a sense of connection, and a regional history. It is among the most appropriated rivers in the United States. Water is diverted for agriculture, commercial and domestic purposes. The Arkansas River is threatened by insufficient flows and encroachment.
We have preserved important pieces of a mile-wide, 140 mile-long Lower Arkansas River corridor to protect the river in its relatively natural meandering state along with its riparian habitat, public access, views and agricultural heritage.
This is our Arkansas River Preservation Program. The work is about 25% complete with long stretches of river protected as for wildlife habitat and scenic views through conservation easements we now hold. Where possible water rights remain with the land to maintain conservation values and enhance in-stream flows. The Lower Arkansas River Conservation Corridor will be a legacy in perpetuity.
From its headwaters near Leadville, Colorado, the Arkansas runs as a steep mountain torrent dropping 4600 feet in 120 miles.
The Arkansas River flows 1450 miles from high Colorado peaks to Mississippi River flat-lands. It is one of America’s geographically significant rivers, but nonetheless a river in neglect. Our Arkansas River Preservation Program aims to help change that.