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Happy April all!

We are excited to be springing back into the world at Western Slope Conservation Center. Lots has happened since our March newsletter and lots more happening before our next update in May.

We were happy to host our Annual Meeting on March 20th. Thank you to all who attended and for those that weren’t able to make it, catch up HERE.

We are again starting our MIKE’S HIKES program and already have about 10 hikes on the calendar. More information on our upcoming hikes below.

We are also thrilled to be diving back into hosting Conservation Days! We are now hosting all of Delta County’s 3rd graders at Paonia River Park on Thursday and Friday May 5th and 6th. Thank you to The Nature Connection, Delta County Schools, and all of the education station leaders for making this event possible!

Read more about Conservation Days, oil and gas updates, bills at the state legislature to watch, a recap of our annual (this year virtual) visit to Washington DC, and Paonia in Motion below.

And last but not least - looking ahead to River Fest in June - if you are a certified boat captain and/or want to volunteer your boat for Sunday June 5th, we would love to hear from you! Send an email to

For the love of the land,

Volunteer for Conservation days May 5-6th
Conservation Days is back! We’re very happy to be gearing up for another Conservation Days extravaganza at Paonia River Park after a two-year hiatus. This year, with help from a myriad of partners and sponsors, we’ll be hosting third graders from throughout Delta County and engaging them in a variety of natural history and science lessons, plus a visit to the North Fork Historical Society’s museum and classroom.
We are also looking for a few additional volunteers to help out for half a day or more. Please email to sign up.
Spring Mike's Hikes
Spring has sprung and hiking season is ramping up! Our Mike’s Hikes calendar is filling in nicely thanks to the enthusiasm of our volunteer trip leaders. This year we’ll be offering both tried-and-true favorites and a few new ventures. Here’s what’s in store for the next couple months:

TOMORROW! Thursday, April 14: Senior’s Hike at Delta Confluence Park. Co-sponsored by North Fork Senior Connections. Julie Sapena, trip leader. To sign up call NFSC at (970) 527-3482.

Friday, April 22: Earth Day Hike at Cool Rock Canyon. Betsy Johnson and Holly Bidle, trip leaders. RSVP here.

Saturday, April 30: Birding at Fruitgrowers Reservoir. Bob Sapena, trip leader. RSVP here.

Saturday, May 21: Art Hike at Paonia River Park. Cedar Keshet, trip leader. RSVP here.

River park workday, april 26, 10-12:30

Join WSCC and Friends of Paonia River Park for our first workday of 2022! We'll be doing a variety of spring clean-up activities. Meet at the park and bring work gloves if you have them. 

Sign up for April 26 River Park Workday
To volunteer for Conservation Days email
We are always looking for more voices on WSCC's Volunteer Committees! Our committees are critical to the success of our programs, organization, community, and environment. We meet once a month - email for more information.

Where would we be without our volunteers? In the past month, volunteers collected and analyzed our first River Watch water samples for 2022, volunteered to lead 8-10 Mike's Hikes (so far!) and completed two fence removal projects. We made a short video of one de-fencing project to show how and why we do it. You can view it here:

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to these efforts! 

Haven't joined us as a volunteer yet, but want to? Click the button below to sign up for future opportunities.

Volunteer Signup
photo of blossoming fruit tree with "2022 Annual Meeting Highlights" title

Highlights from WSCC's
2022 Annual Meeting

WSCC held its 2022 Annual Meeting via Zoom on March 20th. The meeting included the election of two new board members, announcement of the 2021 Conservation Heroes, an engaging keynote speaker, and much more...
Read the full blog post here
Action Alert!

State legislation to
advocate for today!

Every year, WSCC tracks statewide bills and works to organize our community around advocating for legislation that would improve the western slope of Colorado... read more...
Read the full blog post here

Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Reform

In light of the most recent IPCC report, the science is unequivocal: immediate action is needed to avert the worst effects of the climate crisis. We must rapidly end fossil fuel development while helping communities transition to more just and equitable economies. The Biden Administration and its Department of Interior have acknowledged the significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions that stem from oil and gas development on public lands and the dangers these emissions pose to our planet and way of life. 

  • Our public lands need to transition away from fossil fuel development that degrades lands and waters for communities and wildlife, and toward sustainable energy solutions that increase their fighting power against climate change. Now is the time to put words to action and rapidly end fossil fuel development while transitioning communities to a more just and equitable economy.

  • How to act: Join us in sending a loud message to our Senators that Coloradans support policies to reform our broken oil and gas leasing system - submit a letter here

WSCC, COFFA, and VOGA DC Fly-In Recap

  • Each year leaders from western Colorado’s North Fork (of the Gunnison River) Valley send a delegation to Washington DC to meet with Congressional and agency officials. This year was our second “virtual fly-in” conducted via Zoom - and we brought the message to "Keep the North Fork Fruitful" in recognition of our agricultural heritage and our commitment to secure protection and investments for this place to ensure its viability into the future. Organizations leading this effort include the Western Slope Conservation Center, the Colorado Farm & Food Alliance and the Valley Organic Growers Association. Through our discussions, we met with Sen. Hickenlooper, Sen. Bennet, Rep. Boebert, and representatives from the US Department of Agriculture.

Paonia in Motion continues to move

  • The draft of the Paonia Parks, Recreation & Trails Master Plan is available for review and feedback! The Master Plan is intended to serve as the community’s roadmap for the future of parks, recreation amenities/facilities, and trails in and around Paonia. This draft of the Master Plan reflects the input that the Paonia community has shared over the course of the Paonia In Motion (PIM) planning process.

  • TOMORROW! Please join the planning team on Thursday, April 14, 2022, for an Open House to review and discuss the draft of Paonia’s Parks, Recreation & Trails Master Plan. The Open House will be hosted from 4:00-7:00 PM at the Ellen Hansen Smith Center in Paonia’s Town Park. We look forward to seeing you there! For more information, please visit:

To read the draft Master Plan, please visit:
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Western Slope Conservation Center · 204 Poplar Ave. · PO Box 1612 · Paonia, CO 81428 · USA

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