Money available for Yampa River Fund grant requests |

Money available for Yampa River Fund grant requests

Suzie Romig
Steamboat Pilot & Today
The Yampa River Fund awarded a grant in 2021 to The Nature Conservancy to address issues at the Maybell diversion on the Yampa River in Moffat County. This project will modernize the largest irrigation diversion on the lower Yampa River in Moffat County.
Yampa River Fund/Courtesy photo

As the manager of the Yampa River Fund since fall 2022, aquatic biologist Mike Robertson is looking forward to reviewing applications to award some $186,000 to projects that support many aspects of the Yampa River.

So far, however, the applications are not rolling in this spring. So Robertson, who has worked in and around rivers for more than 20 years, is encouraging interested applicants to connect with him for technical support to help develop grant proposals.

“I am always available to help anyone interested in pursuing funds as they put together an application or to discuss how their project idea may fit into the funding goals of this organization,” Robertson said.

Yampa River Fund grant applications for the 2023 annual grant cycle are due by 11:30 p.m. April 3.

“We’ve had some excellent projects in recent years and distributed over $600,000 to date,” Robertson said. “The activities of the fund should resonate with the entire community, as we have provided funds every year to help keep water in the river through Steamboat during the late summer and fall period to help reduce the time that the river is closed for tubing and fishing.”

Robertson said the fund supported the Colorado Water Trust to secure water from Stagecoach Reservoir in 2020 through 2022. During those three years, the grant awards helped release more than 5.7 billion gallons of water from the reservoir to keep the river flowing, and river flows were boosted for 64 days during 2022, Robertson said.

Robertson has a background in fisheries biology and hydrology including almost 10 years working as the in-stream flow biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and more recently in river basin planning. He served as the Wyoming representative on the Upper Colorado Endangered Fish Recovery Program and earned a master’s degree in fish and wildlife sciences from Texas A&M University.

Grants from the Yampa River Fund from 2020-22 helped release more than 5.7 billion gallons of water from Stagecoach Reservoir to help keep the Yampa River flowing through Steamboat Springs.
Yampa River Fund/Courtesy photo

The Yampa River Fund, which launched in September 2019, is a community-based collaboration dedicated to identifying and funding activities that protect the water supply, aquatic habitat and multi-beneficial opportunities provided by the Yampa River. The fund was created through a partnership of 21 public, private and nonprofit entities representing the entire Yampa Basin.

The grants support conservation and restoration activities that positively impact Yampa River flows and support natural resource-based livelihoods including agriculture and recreation throughout the basin. Projects that have received funding in the past range from planning for river improvements in Oak Creek to tree planting along the river in Steamboat and planning for the whitewater park in Craig.

Eligible applicants include state and local governments, public districts and irrigation entities, mutual ditch companies, homeowner associations and nonprofit organizations. Private landowners are encouraged to partner with one of those entities to submit a grant application.

Complete grant application information is available online at, and past projects can be reviewed at Robertson can be reached at or 970-439-0461.

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