The San Juan River is located in Archuleta County in Southwest Colorado. An existing, broad-based coalition was formed to develop a watershed assessment for the Upper San Juan River to determine the biological and recreational needs of the river. The group is called the Upper San Juan Watershed Enhancement Partnership. CPW is an active stakeholder and member of the steering committee. The Partnership is planning Phase I improvements to an existing access point on the upper San Juan River to meet recreational demands. Improvements will include the construction of a new boat ramp, channel shaping, a boulder structure in the river, and enhancements to the parking lot. A public information kiosk will also be constructed.
The proposed project will formally develop primitive seasonal access to a popular river segment to enhance recreational opportunities, reduce conflicts between recreational users, improve the recreational experience for all users, and eliminate trespass issues on private and Tribal lands. Improvements will preserve and enhance 12.2 river miles south of Pagosa Springs. Recreational boating is an important part of the Pagosa Springs economic portfolio and is increasing in demand. According to reported data by the Colorado River Outfitters Association, estimated direct expenditures from recreational boaters are $625,000 annually with an estimated economic impact of $1.6 million to the community.