Dolores River Restoration Partnership


The Dolores River Restoration Partnership
has been around since 2009. What this partnership has done is bring together
over 30 organizations, dozens of private land owners, and hundreds of volunteers to work
towards a common vision of restoring the riparian system of the Dolores River. This is Russian Knapweed, and this is what
we’re really -well we’re battling this and tamarisk. Both of them are kind of our main targets
on this river. You’ve got a really dense stand of mature
tamarisk, and then really the only thing that’s growing below it is this Russian Knapweed. So when you go into these restoration sites
it’s a long term multiyear process of controlling these secondary weeds. So you’re getting your native grasses, shrubs,
and trees coming back in and establishing. We’re seeing benefits not only for fish
and wildlife, but for livestock, and for people who want to be able to access and enjoy the
river too. We also have a social goal where we’re hoping
to develop the next generation of stewards. And to date, we’ve employed almost 300 young
adults through Conservation Corps Crews, Conservation Corp Internships, and what we call Conservation
Corp Strike Teams. And ultimately what we’re hoping to see
is that these people will work their way through the Corp System and find jobs whether it’s
with the county weed department, with a federal agency, or in some cases with a private company
doing natural resource management. I definitely want to stay in restoration. This project has helped me get a lot of opportunities. We’re also seeing a number of these young
people go through the Corp Programs and then go back to college. So I started off as a member in SCC in 2014. I just got out of college, needed a job, and
didn’t want to live with my parents so I joined SCC. You see how all of the branches are coming
off directly across from each other. I think I’m lucky that I started out in
the Conservation Corp world. This river restoration means a lot to me. This is my second year out here doing it. So the first year I was out doing tamarisk
removal and now I’m out here doing more of the monitoring work. And it’s really cool to see the river progress. It’s really good to see these native species
come back and to see the invasive ones start to go away. So, yeah I think it’s making a big impact
here, and it’s also cool to be part of a program that helps people like me and like
my interns develop some -just skills to help us out in the real world. All of these ugly looking trees right here
is what we call tamarisk, most of it is dead thanks to the tamarisk beetle, but a lot of
it is still alive. I do foresee plenty of job opportunities that
will arrive to me, hopefully, by the end of this season. It is probably the most rewarding job that
I have ever done, that’s definite. It’s nice to be able to see all of your
hard work too. Serving Colorado as well is pretty amazing
too. I just feel like I’m a part of something
bigger.

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