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Discussion Starter #1
Reading some other threads and the annual spring discussion about water rights, I had a thought - if you are running the lower dolores this year, make sure to spend money in the surrounding communities. Buy your food and beer there, hire a shuttle, have lunch and tip heavy, hell, buy some beans - just make sure that when you do, they know that you are there because of the river flow. 10 days, go mess up some sales tax history!

Reinforce the idea that the Dolores has more local value than a just spigot for agriculture - that even a small percentage of water devoted to a regular boating season could bring a whole new revenue stream to local business.

Above all, don't be resentful or rude to the so called "bean farmers" - same as the rules for any trip: be courteous, be an asset, contribute - and you might just get invited to go again.
 

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Reading some other threads and the annual spring discussion about water rights, I had a thought - if you are running the lower dolores this year, make sure to spend money in the surrounding communities. Buy your food and beer there, hire a shuttle, have lunch and tip heavy, hell, buy some beans - just make sure that when you do, they know that you are there because of the river flow. 10 days, go mess up some sales tax history!

Reinforce the idea that the Dolores has more local value than a just spigot for agriculture - that even a small percentage of water devoted to a regular boating season could bring a whole new revenue stream to local business.

Above all, don't be resentful or rude to the so called "bean farmers" - same as the rules for any trip: be courteous, be an asset, contribute - and you might just get invited to go again.
Excellent ideas. Word of mouth and actions speaking louder than words. As frustrated as we all are about the state of affairs, and that frustration largely comes from feeling helpless and unheard......but just do what you can. And what we can do, is be seen and be heard...favorably.

But, it's not the beans, it's the alfalfa. Beans (the best ones) are mostly dryland farmed.

Let's go boatin'!
 

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Bullshit

I call bullshit. The majority of the community in the Dolores basin doesn't give a shit about the health of the river and are the #1 reason for the environmental disaster that the Dolores has become. The last thing we should do is recklessly throw money around to these chumps. Give your money to those that deserve it or donate to American Whitewater, Colorado Whitewater, First Descents, Colorado River Runners Museum, etc.
 

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I would guess the bedrock store isn't seeing much benefit from the 'water project'. While it seems unlikely they would have enough beer to supply all the trips they could shuttle for, it is also very probable they would love the chance to do both.

I wonder how much voice the Mom and Pop stores have in where the water goes, and predict they would relish the opportunity of the seasonal windfall that recreation provides. Local economic impact is an important piece of the puzzle to get her flowing again, so yes, you should let the retailers know you are there for the river.

Joe's most important point is respect the locals, remember they will be the first ones there to help you when you need it.
 

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I call bullshit. The majority of the community in the Dolores basin doesn't give a shit about the health of the river and are the #1 reason for the environmental disaster that the Dolores has become. The last thing we should do is recklessly throw money around to these chumps. Give your money to those that deserve it or donate to American Whitewater, Colorado Whitewater, First Descents, Colorado River Runners Museum, etc.
Obviously, we should be supporting orgs who are doing the work that needs doing, and in any way we can ($$, time, whatever). And yes, the water buffalo culture is deeply entrenched in places like Montezuma and Dolores counties, CO. But the populations of places like that are not monolithic. Humans are mostly complex bundles of contradictions (to prove that point, just look at yourselves and those you know well). I am frequently surprised by the view someone has on a given topic, when I thought I had them pigeonholed. Cultural change happens slowly, stubbornly, and it takes persistence and patience and tenacity to bring it about.

These conversations are very useful, let's keep them going.
 

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Well kinda sounds like we NEED more dry land bean farmers! What happens with that alfalfa any way? Just for horses? ( Though I'm guessing Alfalfa is more profitable?)

One thing I see helping out with cultural change, is educating the NEXT generation, I could see getting the local youth out there to experience the Dolores as a river, instead of just a water source, helping out a lot.

Thanks for all the productive input and insight you always seem to have on the Dolores Grumper!!
 

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Well kinda sounds like we NEED more dry land bean farmers! What happens with that alfalfa any way? Just for horses? ( Though I'm guessing Alfalfa is more profitable?)

One thing I see helping out with cultural change, is educating the NEXT generation, I could see getting the local youth out there to experience the Dolores as a river, instead of just a water source, helping out a lot.

Thanks for all the productive input and insight you always seem to have on the Dolores Grumper!!
Mattman, no pedestals please...... ;) ....and no fence-sittters either!

Yes, youth boating and public outreach through stewardship projects and education.....and patience....cuz things take time. We (DRBA) do youth boating days, river water monitoring (CO RiverWatch). We actually have current irrigators and folks from ag backgrounds (OMG!) on our board and among our supporters. We don't want to put an entire segment of the local economy out of business, but the river needs to be a river again. And it's doable.

Yes, alfalfa is a high margin (relative to many crops), low hassle (it's a perennial) crop. And the high elevation version is high in nutrients and therefore in high demand all over the world. The alfalfa that is grown here is fed to racehorses, dairy cows and more, all over the world. No shit. Also, plenty of it is used locally and regionally, of course. On one level, you can't really blame a farmer for growing a good cash crop, he's just trying to make a living, but it's not a sustainable choice. As is true of any group, a lot of farmers have opinions and beliefs based on tilted, incomplete or incorrect info. Here's an article that shows alternatives; not a perfect comparison, but good ideas and open-minded thinking, BY FARMERS (OMG!). It's possible. Here's that article: After years of drought and overuse, the San Luis Valley aquifer refills — High Country News
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Swimteam - ditto on the nonprofits you listed. Just saying, American Whitewater doesn't make beer (though maybe they should?) - if you have to buy the stuff anyway, buy it there. There's no permit, no local staff, its the only way to make a positive financial impact in those areas, and a way to interact with the community - a small way to make boaters be desired, that's all.

Mattman yes! Getting people to experience these places is the best way to change minds (kudos to Mr Muir) - leave a spot on the bow and kidnap a local? I'm in.
 
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