Western Slope Conservation Center

The Western Slope Conservation Center has relied on our members, donors, and supporters to protect and enhance our public lands and watersheds in Western Colorado for the past 40 years. With your support, we'll continue to produce tangible and enduring results for our lands, air, water, & wildlife.

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General Information

Official Name
Western Slope Conservation Center​​​​​​​
DBA/Trade Name(s)
Former Name(s)
(2010)Western Slope Environmental Resource Council (WSERC)
(2010)North Fork RIver Improvement Association (NFRIA)
(2012)NFRIA-WSERC Conservation Center (NWCC)
Date Established
Offers Additional Colorado State Tax Credit
Tax ID
Headquarters Address
204 Poplar Ave
PO Box 1612
Paonia, CO 81428
Colorado Location
204 Poplar Ave
Paonia, CO 81428
Mailing Address
PO Box 1612
Paonia, CO 81428
Other Address
Main Phone Number
Fax Number
Other Phone Number
Social Media Links

Mission Statement

The Western Slope Conservation Center builds an active and aware community to protect and enhance the lands, air, water and wildlife of the Lower Gunnison Watershed.

Organization History

The Western Slope Conservation Center (WSCC) formed in 1977 when a small group of local citizens joined together to successfully stop coal mines from dumping waste near the North Fork of the Gunnison River. Over the last four decades, we have remained committed to public lands advocacy, watershed stewardship, and community education and engagement - with a rich list of accomplishments too extensive to include here!

Recent Accomplishments
• In 2006 we worked with a local gravel company to donate 19 acres of a former in-stream gravel mine to us which we have since restored into the Paonia River Park
• In 2009, we successfully lobbied the U.S. Congress to pass the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, authorizing the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area.
• Since 2011 we have successfully held off a 30,000-acre oil and gas BLM lease sale
• In 2013, we successfully lobbied the State Legislature to pass a Rural Renewable Energy Standard to create incentives for capture of coal mine methane
• In 2014, we successfully included our community supported North Fork Alternative into the range of alternatives for the regional BLM Draft Resource Management Plan
• In 2015, we completed our first regional baseline air and groundwater monitoring programs
• In 2016, we released a Water Quality Report which analyzed our 15 years of water quality data in the Lower Gunnison Watershed
• In 2016 & 2017, we traveled to Washington, D.C. to promote the North Fork Alternative and other public lands protections for nearly 675,000 acres of BLM lands on the Western Slope.
• In 2017, we joined the North Fork Methane Working Group to address local coal mine methane problems
• In 2018, won the deferral of ~8,000 acres of land from the BLM's December 2018 Oil & Gas Lease Sale.


"Anyone who loves the organic farming industry, especially those in the CO region who love clean, local, family grown foods, please, get involved to preserve & protect the water & air in the North Fork Valley." Beth Quist via Facebook

"This organization and the volunteers are guardians of the earth. They give their time and passion on protecting life and ensuring health for all within this valley. For all you do, I thank you." Alan Stands Alone Bryant, via Facebook

"An asset for our community." Gretchen King, via Facebook

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