Current Projects

For more information about any of our projects, please contact us!  We are always happy to talk about what we do. If you are interested in being engaged with our organization as a volunteer, please let us know!

Youth River Program

We love our engagement with youth, and are happy to share that our Youth River Program is growing! With support from the Onward Foundation and Mild to Wild Rafting and Jeep Tours, we are able to provide a free trip to the Piñon Project’s Youth Mentoring Program each spring. Through our engagement with the Montezuma Inspire Coalition, we have been able to expand the program in 2018 to include subsidized youth and family trips through the Cortez Recreation Center.

Through DRBA’s Youth River Program, youth and families in Montezuma and Dolores counties are introduced to river education through boating and hands-on educational opportunities during a one-day river trip on the Dolores River. Youth receive Leave-No-Trace training, learn river safety skills, and experience whitewater rafting in a fun and safe environment. Our youth program addresses the need for kids to experience nature, rivers, and the outdoors in a fun, safe, healthy, and meaningful way. Youth today spend less time outside than ever before, which has numerous negative impacts on their health and well being. Further, many kids, especially in our area, experience barriers to accessing the outdoors. This program will be offered to youth in our community experiencing the highest need for this kind of exposure to the natural world and the associated benefits.

Release Management

In years where there is a release from McPhee Reservoir resulting in boatable flows downstream, DRBA works closely with water managers and other stakeholders including the Native Fish Monitoring and Recommendation Team to ensure the best management possible for both boating and ecological goals. In 2017 there were over 60 boating days and some very important ecological goals were met as well.  In general boating and ecological goals go hand in hand, and having a healthy river ecosystem is critical for the boating experience in the long run.

During releases we make sure you have the most current boating information!

Partnerships, Restoration Projects

DRBA has been partnering the Bureau of Land Management for several years.  A great example of this is the campsite restoration work we have done on the Dolores River with the BLM below the confluence of the San Miguel River.  This year we are working to formalize our work with the BLM through memorandums of understanding to create more ease in our partnership work.  We are also excited to have an intern working with us who can help organize some on the ground projects.

NCA Discussions

In December of 2008 a diverse stakeholder group was formed to give the BLM feedback on the Dolores River Corridor Management Plan, which was in need of an update. After the Lower Dolores Plan Working Group provided that feedback, the members reached consensus that the group should also discuss Wild and Scenic suitability on the Dolores River and see if agreement could be reached on any potential alternatives. In March of 2010 the group reached consensus to pursue National Conservation Area designation and a Subcommittee was created to develop the skeleton of a proposal.  Eight years later the proposal is still being worked on.  Two drafts of legislation have been released to the public for consideration and comment and a third draft is currently being worked on. The legislation would not designate a Wild and Scenic river, but would create a National Conservation Area that would include some wilderness and roadless protection.  Boating and native fish would be among the “purposes” for which and NCA would be created. The legislation would also protect private property rights and access, as well as water rights held through the Colorado State water rights system. DRBA has become a leader in the process and strongly supports legislation moving forward.

New River Map

DRBA is currently in the process of creating and producing a new river map for the Dolores and San Miguel Rivers.

The primary mission of the Dolores and San Miguel River map is to inform the public about:

  • Recreational river opportunities, conditions and requirements for both rivers;
  • Natural and human history, including geological, archaeological, biological, and ecological characteristics;
  • The historical and current use of the Dolores River, including the historical agricultural use of water, the creation of McPhee Reservoir and the Dolores Project, and pre and post-dam recreational uses of the Dolores River; and
  • Advocacy groups working to preserve the Dolores and San Miguel Rivers.

This project has a unique advocacy vision.  The vision includes deepening the recreational public’s understanding of the complex circumstances surrounding the Dolores River in order to create a deeper and more fruitful public dialog. This project will inform the recreational public about the Dolores River’s history, water rights, management, boating history, potential solutions to issues, and the advocacy groups working to preserve the river.

The map is being created in partnership with the company RiverMaps, so will have that great look, feel, and functionality that you are used to in a river map.

We have sponsorship opportunities available for the river map. Please contact Amber at or 970-799-8704 if your organization or company is interested!

Friends Grassroots Network

DRBA is a member of the Friends Grassroots Network(FGN).  As part of our work with the FGN, DRBA is coordinating the Network’s Colorado member groups to fight against direct threats and policy threats to Conservation Lands, and to send a strong message to legislators and policy makers that Coloradoans support and value our public lands and rivers. Through this work we engage closely with other groups like ours around Colorado.

Free Raft Rides @ the Dolores River Festival

We provide free raft rides and have a fun booth every year at the Dolores River Festival, which is held the first or second weekend of June each year.  Come visit us there and get out on the river!