San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council

The San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council is a Public Lands Advocacy Organization located in south-central Colorado at the headwaters of the Rio Grande, surrounded by some of the wildest lands that are left in the lower 48 states. We provide public comment to provide landscape level protection (wildlife corridors, watersheds, biodiversity) on behalf of the American Public.

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Water Quality Education near mine sites

Class

Community, Business & Industry 

Beneficiaries

Ethnic/Racial Minorities
General population
Hispanic, Latino Heritage
People/Families of People with Health Conditions
Poor, Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent

Description

SLVEC is working closely with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to perform water quality testing downstream of mine sites. We will analyze heavy metals that may be contained in household wells as a result and educate citizens regarding mitigation.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We aim to impact at least 30 households downstream from mine sites regarding health impacts and how to implement mitigation measures.

resistance to trans basin water diversion

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

General population

Description

A private company, Renewable Water Resources, is attempting to acquire water for the purpose of piping it out of the aquifer and transporting it to a reservoir that will supply the I-25 corridor (predominately Douglas County). We are very concerned about environmental and economic impacts to the San Luis Valley. We are working closely with the Water Conservation District.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Preventing the private company, Renewable Water Resources, from a trans basin water diversion.

environmental education

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Description

We are working with Adams State University to develop place-based learning for K-12 teachers who are pursuing continuing education credits. Place-based learning uses citizen monitoring techniques to develop baseline around critical issues impacting the San Luis Valley, including air and water quality, solid waste management, and recycling.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We hope to involve 300 teachers who will teach these techniques in their classrooms.

reviewing federal policy mandates

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Animals
General population

Description

An enormous amount of federal policy is being rewritten at this time regarding public lands and the privatization of public assets. We vigilantly monitor these policy changes and follow up with public comment letters and other forms of engagement using the the National Environmental Policy Act.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Redirection of policy that compromises integrity of public lands.

public lands planning/BLM Inventory

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Animals
General population

Description

There are a number of management planning revisions in process. Immediately upcoming is the Bureau of Land Management areas surrounding San Luis Valley. There will be an Environmental Assessement conducted and SLVEC will be involved in that process.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We would like to encourage the development of a San Luis Valley Conservation Area to encompass lands that include areas of critical and environmental concern (ACECs) and riparian areas along the Rio Grande River that deserve long term protection. These lands are primarily in Conejos County.

Solid Waste Management and Recycling

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

General population

Description

In 2014-2015 we mitigated illegal dumping in Conejos and Costilla Counties, cleaning up 13 active illegal dumps involving the public and public agencies, as well as mobilizing school children to be involved.

In 2015-2016 we targeted Alamosa and Saguache Counties, specifically the Saguache County Landfill, which has compliance issues with the state. We compared the costs of staying open to the costs of closing and becoming a transfer station. In Alamosa, a major clean-up involving the community was organized, which received major publicity.

In 2016-2017 we worked on a SLV regional recycling plan, involving a Task Force of major players, such as the recycling center director, waste haulers, landfill staff, etc. and stakeholders across the region; this involved contracting through LBA associates, a waste diversion expert who led us through several studies to determine what is being thrown away and what should be diverted. The project ends December 2017.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

15 illegal dump clean-ups, better enforcement, development of a regional plan for Solid Waste Management and recycling.

Rio Grande National Forest 20 Year Planning

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

General population

Description

The Rio Grande National Forest is the first forest in Region 2 to go through this planning process, it will decide how the forest will be managed for the next 20 years. SLVEC has researched for the past two years and submitted 23 individual recommendations based on our ground-truthing and scientific research.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

The Rio Grande National Forest is going to come out with a Conservation Alternative for the public to review based on our recommendations.

Friends of Wolf Creek

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

General population

Description

Protecting Lynx habitat along the Continental Divide in southern Colorado and stopping unbridled development.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We won the lawsuit we filed in federal district court to continue to protect the Canadian Lynx.

Renewable Energy Plan to Mitigate Climate Change

Class

Public, Society Benefit 

Beneficiaries

General population

Description

Developed a renewable energy plan for the San Luis Valley based on the power grid and the potential development of renewable energy resources to support the area and be able to also export on the transmission lines.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Over 120 megawatts of solar energy are already on-line.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.