by Tom Slabe and Alice Wood
…Southern Colorado at well above average snowpack totals …wolf sighting confirmed at Rocky Mountain National Park…new mineral claims on Colorado’s public lands increased 239% since 2003… mountain pine beetles expected to kill the majority of Colorado’s large-diameter lodgepole pine forests within three to five years…Denver selected to host Democratic National Convention… These recent headline stories show that 2008 is shaping up to be a big year. Like a flake of snow melting on the Continental Divide, the impacts of weather, nature, economics, and politics always trickle down through their surroundings to eventually influence natural and, in particular, riparian environments. The articles in this issue of the green line speak to all levels of riparian impacts: big-picture legal developments, research breakthroughs, and funding opportunities (such as Governor Ritter’s announcement of funding for preservation of 138,000 acres across Colorado) trickle down to regional implementation actions like the South Platte Channel Improvement Project, the Clear Creek Watershed Foundation management plan, and the Blue River restoration projects. In turn, hands-on actions by real people involved in programs like Wildlands Restoration Volunteers and Native Plant Masters bring these projects to life at the local level. With water and with the world, the only constant is change. While we can’t predict the end result of these changes before they happen, we can do our best to become informed and prepared. The New Year is a good time for everyone interested in riparian preservation and restoration to take stock of the sometimes .exciting, sometimes frightening changes on Colorado’s horizon. Get ready — it is sure to be a wild ride!
Speaking of change, the green line will be saying goodbye and many thanks to Steve Johnson for his contributions as co-editor. Steve’s new business, Natural Resource Services, Inc., is now an all-consuming project and was recently recognized by the Boulder County Business Report as one of the fastest growing businesses in the county. Congratulations, Steve, for your important mission of restoring lost resource values. Here at the green line, Tom Slabe (Environmental Protection Agency) will continue to captain the ship as Editor in Chief, with assistance from first mate co-editors: Jackie Blumberg (Walsh Environmental), Meegan Flenniken (Larimer County Open Lands Program), and Alice Wood (Integral Consulting). The new editorial volunteer staff draws on diverse expertise from the public and private sectors in areas of natural resources, natural history, ecosystem restoration, and watershed management, and brings a shared dedication to the advancement and communication of knowledge related to riparian ecosystems in Colorado and beyond. Everyone at the green line will strive to continue bringing content-rich articles to the Colorado Riparian Association readership; we wish to present a richness of format and content we feel you deserve as champions of riparian and wetland habitat restoration and preservation. We are extremely interested in your opinions regarding your publication, the green line, so your input is wholeheartedly encouraged. Please contact one of us with your ideas, suggestions, criticisms, or any other contributions.