Western Slope Conservation Center

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poppy lightfoot, trash clean up
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

In honor of Earth Day on Wednesday, a group of middle schools students in Paonia volunteered to clean up trash along the river. 

Armed with black trash bags and work gloves more than 20 seventh and eighth grade students are searching for rubbish in the woods near Paonia High School.

The area is next to the North Fork of the Gunnison River, a tributary of the Colorado River. And, these middle schoolers are here for a community service project coordinated by the Western Slope Conservation Center, a local nonprofit.

Jake Ryan

Last weekend, conservationists, students, and volunteers were spread out across the North Fork area, collecting water samples.  KVNF’s Jake Ryan found out why.

Jessica Reeder via Flickr (CC BY creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

There’s a new study that’ll be happening in the North Fork area.  The Western Slope Conservation Center and University of Colorado Boulder are teaming up to test water wells.

The collaboration is looking for drinking well owners who would like to participate in the tests.  The first round of testing is planned for September 20th and 21st. 

North Fork Merchant Herald

Today on Local Motion we talk with three of the people involved with the North Fork Air Quality Study, a year-long project put together by CU-Boulder, the Western Slope Conservation Center and the Delta County School District. 

The project will use low-cost, portable and permanent monitoring devices to get baseline measurements of air quality in the North Fork Valley. 

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The fight to keep negative impacts of gas drilling out of the North Fork Valley got a boost as community members got a glimpse of the area from a higher plane. On Monday The Western Slope Conservation Center and Eco-Flight offered two tours of the North Fork Valley to graphically show the importance of the North Fork Valley Alternative Plan – a proposal created to provide a rallying point for residents concerned about oil and gas extraction on public lands. The Conservation Center’s director Sarah Sauter explains the purpose of the flights.


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A dedicated troupe showed up to tramp around the Paonia River Park yesterday and mark another step in its transformation from an in-stream gravel operation into a thriving fish and wildlife habitat, wetlands, swimming and boating area, and riverside park.

The Conservation Center held an annual meeting yesterday, and chose a new name: Western Slope Conservation Center. The nonprofit was created by the marriage of two deep-rooted local organizations, the North Fork River Improvement Association, known as NFRIA, and the Western Slope Environmental Resource Council, known as WSERC.


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