Rio Grande Watershed Emergency Action Coordination Team
RWEACT brings together local, state and federal agencies, organizations, and individuals to develop an effective, coordinated approach for immediate actions addressing fire-caused hazards resulting in the protection of human life, property, and the natural health of the Rio Grande watershed and its environment.
RWEACT: Educating and Alerting the Public
- To provide emergency information to residents and the public of Hinsdale, Mineral, and Rio Grande counties relating to potential hazards following the West Fork Complex wildfire event.
- To provide public information ahead of a potential event.
- To increase public safety during rain events through preparedness.
- To increase access to monitoring information.
- To provide information about environmental restoration efforts for wildfire recovery.
- To provide public information about forest restoration, water quality, hydrologic function, and watershed health.
- To provide public information about fire severity, values at risk, and mitigating efforts.
Why RWEACT was Established
Through an intentional collaboration and cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and all entities involved in the fire suppression efforts and public safety interests associated with the West Fork Complex fire, a “pre-BAER” team assembled to address the immediate and obvious threats being observed. An initial community meeting was held on July 1, 2013, and the Rio Grande Watershed Emergency Action Coordination Team (RWEACT) assembled for the first time on July 3, 2013 in South Fork at the South Fork Firehouse. The team was formed at the urging and with the cooperative efforts of the San Luis Valley Irrigation District and Forest Supervisor’s Office for the Rio Grande National Forest and in full support and cooperation of the Boards of County Commissioners from Hinsdale, Mineral and Rio Grande Counties and the Colorado Water Conservation Board. To help the RWEACT function in an expedited manner, Hinsdale County is serving as the Fiscal Agent for the RWEACT.
Organizations & Partnerships
Organizations and partnership continue to join the efforts so this list is not exhaustive but includes:
- San Luis Valley Irrigation District
- San Luis Valley Water Conservation District
- USDA Forest Service
- Rio Grande National Forest
- Private landowners (4UR Ranch, Broad Acres, Broken Arrow Ranch)
- RiGHT Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust
- Natural Resource Conservation Service
- Hinsdale County Board of County Commissioners, Emergency Management and Sheriff
- Mineral County Board of County Commissioners, Public Health, Public Information and Sheriff
- Rio Grande County Board of County Commissioners, Emergency Management and Sheriff
- Colorado Office of Emergency Management
- Trout Unlimited
- Federal Emergency Management Association
- Colorado State Division of Water Resources
- Colorado Parks and Wildlife
- DiNatale Water Consultants
- Colorado Department of Local Affairs
- The Cities of Creede, South Fork, and Del Norte
- San Luis Valley Rural Electric Association
- Colorado Department of Transportation
- Team Murphy Realty
- Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control
- Rue Logging
- Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
- State Senator Larry Crowder and State Representative Edward Vigil
- Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration
- Rio Grande Water Users
- Black Creek Hydrology
- Division of Water Resources
- and many more….