OSMRE / VISTA Team Projects
OSMRE / VISTA: Lindsay Murdoch
Supervisor: Stacy Kolegas Beaugh
Address: PO Box 1907, Grand Junction, Colorado 81051
Voice Telephone: 970-256-7400
Web site: www.crosswatershed.net
Congressional District: 3rd
Bureau: Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE)
The Cross Watershed Network (XWN) strives to help watershed restoration practitioners in the arid West maximize their effectiveness and impact through information sharing, collective capacity building, and collaboration across watersheds.
About the Surrounding Community
Years of mining legacy, fast growth, and climate change have made significant impacts on the local watersheds. Several threats exist including invasive plant species, altered hydrologic systems, acid mine drainage, and land use practices that have degraded upland, riparian, and in-stream habitat. Many of the local rural, low-income communities have limited employment opportunities, especially in the natural resource management fields. The per capita income of the zip codes served by Tamarisk Coalition is 26.25% below the national level and 18.67% live below the national poverty level.
The OSMRE/VISTA serves the Cross-Watershed Network (XWN) initiative with a goal to unite resource (land and water) managers and communities addressing common challengers: leveraging resources, building capacity, and collectively implementing riparian restoration actions in an effective manner that promotes information sharing, stewardship, and long-term success within and across watershed boundaries. The OSMRE/VISTA identifies the diversity of stakeholders working in local watersheds impacted by mining and engaging them in XWN through outreach, involvement in an annual workshop, cross-visits, and other XWN programs. The project also assesses the health of additional mining-improved watersheds to add to the network and connects local groups with other organizations, programs, and funding streams that support local job creation and training. Increases in public health, job creation, and education are key components of larger strategies to alleviate poverty in rural watersheds within the XWN.