Yampa River Awareness Project

Echo Park

Echo Park, Steamboat Rock and the confluence of the Yampa and Green Rivers.

2015 UPDATE: From June 5-9, 2015, we once again pulled off another great Yampa River Awareness Project trip thru Dinosaur National Monument.  With the Yampa River flowing anywhere from 10,000-7,000 c.f.s. and the Green River pumping in an additional 1,600 cfs river flows were exceptional for this social and educational experience thru one of North America’s last great, wild river canyons.

We’d like to thank our partners the O.A.R.S. Family of Companies and American Rivers in helping make this trip so special.  Also Lighthawk and our pilots Dan Birch and Jack Dysart again for helping with our Yampa Basin flight over the 250 mile long Yampa River and adjoining landscapes of northwest Colorado.

This trip was an exceptional experience as we were blessed to once again have Tamara Naumann participate on the float.  Her wealth of knowledge on everything Dinosaur and all things Yampa River helped us raise the awareness of the group about the important attributes that an unregulated Yampa River supports.

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Eric Kuhn from the Colorado River District discusses the Colorado River Compact at the confluence of the Yampa and Green Rivers in Echo Park.

We were also fortunate to have the owners of the Hell’s Canyon Ranch along (former Mantle Ranch) on this tour.  It is great to see that these new owners are devoted to keeping this ranch intact and a historical cultural asset.  Thank you for the tour.

This Yampa River Awareness Project has become a Friends of the Yampa signature event and somewhat of an institution in the Colorado water world.  We are proud of making this happen on an annual basis and applaud all the participation and engagement brought to each and everyone on these YRAP trips from the participants and guests, the volunteer guides and staff who come along for the adventure.  Thank you everyone for making this trip so special.

Affiliations who participated in this 2015 version of the Yampa River Awareness Project:

  • O.A.R.S. Family of Companies
  • American Rivers
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    The Tiger Wall and the tradition of kissing the streaks of Desert Varnish to pay heed to the river gods for safe passage thru Warm Springs Rapid

    Dinosaur National Monument

  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Colorado River District
  • Friends of the Yampa
  • Yampa River System Legacy Project
  • Conservation Colorado
  • American Whitewater
  • Routt County Conservation District
  • Upper Yampa Watershed Group
  • Walton Family Foundation
  • Denver Water
  • Protect the Flows
  • Colorado Water Conservation Board member
  • Interbasin Compact Committee members
  • Colorado River Basin Roundtable members
  • Yampa/White/Green Basin Roundtable
  • Tri State Energy
  • Staff from Governor Hickenlooper’s office
  • High Country News
  • Aspen Journalism
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Our 2015 Yampa River Tribe

2014 UPDATE: In early June 2014 we successfully organized our Yampa River Awareness Project (v.2014) with 25 participants from a wide range or water related organizations and river based advocacy groups.  Once again we partnered with Don Hatch River Expeditions and the O.A.R.S. Family of Companies, along with American Rivers.  This year we focused on “Next Steps” in protecting the Yampa River and where the idea of preserving the Yampa’s flows fits into the Governor’s Water Plan.

We were blessed to have a myriad of opinions, ideas and concerns that drove our riverside conversations while inspiring the group to work hard at educating and documenting the Yampa’s incredible attributes.

We also wish to thank Jack Dysart from Steamboat Springs and Dan Birch from the Colorado River District for helping with a Yampa River fly over in their plans the day before this event.  Thanks you guys for your generosity and time in making the fly over happen.

Braden Gunem's image of our group engaging in conversation

Braden Gunem’s image of our group engaging in conversation

Affiliations who participated in our June 2014 YRAP float:

  • O.A.R.S. Family of Companies
  • American Rivers
  • Dinosaur National Monument
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Colorado Water Trust
  • Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District
  • The Wilderness Society
  • Colorado River District
  • Friends of the Yampa
  • Yampa River System Legacy Project
  • Conservation Colorado
  • Colorado Mountain College
  • Colorado Foundation for Water Education
  • Rig To Flip
  • American Whitewater
  • National Young Farmers’ Coalition
  • Western Resource Advocates
  • Paddling Life Magazine
YRAP 2014 Group

The 2014 Yampa River Awareness Project group shot.

2013 UPDATE, YRAP organized another June float trip down Yampa Canyon that launched on June 7th.  With support from Don Hatch River Expeditions and the O.A.R.S. Family of Companies as well as American Rivers, we invited several water dignitaries, policy folks, freelance writers, filmakers and river advocates to educate and brainstorm ways to maintain the Yampa’s incredible attributes and it’s value of its wildness in today’s modern world.  With the Yampa Basin now being a focus of the America’s Great Outdoors, this trip was a great venue to further the conversation of protecting this national treasure.

Affiliations who participated in our June 2013 YRAP float:

  • O.A.R.S. Family of Companies
  • American Rivers
  • Colorado Water Conservation Board
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • National Parks Conservation Association
  • Colorado Water Turst
  • Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District
  • The Wilderness Society
  • Colorado River District
  • Friends of the Yampa
  • Yampa River System Legacy Project

Learn more about this trip via these press room links:

Published in March 2012, the most recent addition to the Yampa River Awareness Projects film series:

The Yampa River Awareness Project’s (YRAP) goals are to:

  • Document the unique resources and values of the wild and free flowing Yampa River.
  • Inform the public and policy makers about these values and what could be lost if a major dam, diversion or dewatering project occurs on the Yampa.
  • Inspire people to protect the Yampa River for future generations.

YRAP is organized by the Friends of the Yampa who rallies local, state, national and international organizations, businesses and individuals to realize the unique natural and recreational values of the Yampa.

Organizations we have worked with in the past:

  • American Rivers
  • American Whitewater Association
  • Colorado Environmental Coalition
  • Colorado Outfitters Association
  • Colorado River Outfitters Association
  • International Rivers
  • National Parks Conservation Association
  • Nature Conservancy
  • Rivers Foundation of the Americas
  • Sierra Club
  • Utah Outfitters Association
  • Wilderness Society
  • World Wildlife Fund

This project was organized during the winter of 2006/07. A group of Yampa River advocates and specialists included those from Friends of the Yampa and the Rivers Foundation of the Americas came together in hopes of producing a documentary film to educate the public about the Yampa River (watch original movie here), its special attributes and current water projects and proposals regarding this river.