Two Grants to Help Fund Restoration Along the White River in Colorado and Utah

June 24th, 2021


Two Grants to Help Fund Restoration Along the White River in Colorado and Utah
RiversEdge West was awarded a combined total of $153,939 from the Bureau of Reclamation and the Colorado Water Conservation Board


RiversEdge West (REW), a Grand Junction-based nonprofit focused on restoring riverside lands, is celebrating two grants received recently for riparian restoration work in the White River basin of Colorado and Utah as part of the White River Partnership (WRP).

For many years, various stakeholders have been involved with riparian restoration efforts along the White River. Over the past year, REW worked to formalize the WRP with the assistance of numerous partners to establish a governance structure, memorandum of understanding, and restoration plan. 

The health of the White River is increasingly threatened by tamarisk and Russian olive, two invasive tree species that reduce water quality, increase wildfire risk, impair aquatic and terrestrial wildlife habitat, and inhibit recreational and agricultural uses of the river. The WRP aims to reduce these negative impacts through collaborative efforts around tamarisk and Russian olive removal and subsequent replacement with native plants. 

The funding was awarded by the Colorado Water Conservation Board, which will provide $69,191, and the Bureau of Reclamation, which will provide $84,748. Over the next 2 years, these funds will help improve the health of the White River watershed by:

  • Removing tamarisk in Yellow Creek, a major tributary of the White River
  • Removing tamarisk and Russian olive on 3 sites along the main stem of the White River
  • Revegetating restoration sites with desirable native plant species
  • Monitoring and documenting site changes and implementing followup treatments as needed

RiversEdge West will partner with Western Colorado Conservation Corps to complete this work, providing job opportunities and career training for young adults in western Colorado. 

“RiversEdge West is very excited to move forward with several riparian restoration projects along the White River,” said Shannon Wadas, Associate Director for RiversEdge West. “Through the support of the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the Bureau of Reclamation, we will be able to directly address the negative impacts of invasive plant species along the river through the collaborative efforts of many partners and stakeholders involved in the White River Partnership.” 

RiversEdge West's

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