Private Lands

Riparian areas are plant communities adjacent to and affected by surface and underground hydrologic features of perennial or intermittent water bodies [FWS definition]
Does your property have a creek, drainage, wash, or river running through it?  You probably have a riparian area.  These areas are very important habitat for terrestrial and aquatic organisms, maintaining water quality, and a multitude of other reasons.  Want to see if you have a wetland or riparian area on your property?  Check out this US Fish and Wildlife Service Wetlands Mapper!
RiversEdge West employs a Private Lands Biologist through a partnership with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). Private landowner participation in restoration projects is vital to connecting habitat and expanding the reach of projects. 
Technical Assistance
Landowners can work with the NRCS to develop a conservation plan for their properties.  A conservation plan is designed with the latest scientific research and engineering to address resource concerns on your property and achieve your goals and objectives. These plans provide long-lasting, sustainable solutions to your resource concerns, and are developed free of charge!  The Private Lands Biologist will specifically work with you on conservation plans for any riparian or wetland property to create or enhance wildlife habitat, reduce erosion, or any other resource concerns affecting the wetland habitat.  
To get started, use this Conservation Concerns Tool to identify any resource concerns you have on your property.
Next, sign up for a Conservation Plan!  This form will be sent to your local NRCS service center to set up an initial site visit.
**Note:  Conservation Plans are completed in the order they are received.  The recommended signup deadline for 2021 is July 23rd.
Financial Assistance
Once landowners have a conservation plan, the NRCS has several funding programs as incentives to implement their conservation plan.  The Private Lands Biologist will help landowners navigate federal funding opportunities. Below are a few of the funding programs offered through NRCS for agricultural producers:
These financial assistance programs each have their own funding cycles and eligibility requirements.  Contact the RiversEdge West Private Lands Biologist to discuss program deadlines and eligibility requirements.
Grant Projects
RiversEdge West assists in funding and management of restoration projects throughout the Colorado River Basin. Though they do not usually have pools of funds on hand for private lands projects, they do seek to include private lands in their landscape and watershed-scale restoration projects. Join the list of interested private landowners to be included in the next riparian restoration grant-funded project in your area. Funding can be opportunistic and pop up quickly, so having a conservation plan already in progress will allow you to more easily take advantage of funding opportunities when they arise. 

Bridging the Gap

Private landowners with riparian corridors face similar habitat concerns as public entities and land managers, but the goals and desired outcomes can be very different. By designing alternative practices addressing the concerns of private landowners in riparian areas in Western Colorado, RiversEdge West hopes to bridge the gap in technical and financial assistance to bring restoration and conservation to private properties.
For more information, please contact the Private Lands Biologist at RiversEdge West:

RiversEdge West's

mission is to advance the restoration of riparian lands through collaboration, education, and technical assistance.