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OCTOBER 14 / NOVEMBER 18, 2020

EDUCATE Left Hand Water Conservancy district seeks tax increase for water resources protection

recreational uses. Grow food locally – Water for agricultural irrigation is critical for local food production. The ditches that provide water to farms are old and in need of repair and will benefit from upgrades that will deliver water more By Greg Lowell New water plan addresses future efficiently. Much has changed since the St. Vrain and Left Hand Store water for dry years – Mined-out gravel pits can Redstone Review Water Conservancy District was established. Climate be lined and utilized to store streamflow during times of surLYONS – The social restrictions of the change and with it the threat of long-term drought, and plus. Water can then be released later in the year to supCOVID-19 pandemic that have led many more wildfires like the nearby Cameron Peak Fire, add a plement flows for fish, recreation, and agriculture. These people to seek comfort and recreation new urgency to the protection of water resources that was reservoirs can be strung together throughout the valley to along local rivers, the summer’s drought, not present in 1971. Further, as the population in Col- better manage water supplies for multiple benefits. and the burgeoning population along the orado continues to grow dramatically the reliance on and Maintain healthy rivers and creeks – The recently Lowell Front Range have increased awareness of protection of water resources likewise grows. completed Stream Management Plan identified several the area’s water resources. “Water programs, services, and projects are more com- reaches of St. Vrain and Left Hand Creeks in need of Protecting and advocating for local rivers, streams and plex and challenging today than they were 50 years ago,” restoration to stabilize the creek channel and reconnect reservoirs is the St. Vrain and Left Hand the floodplain. Strategic partnerships Water Conservancy District. The disand strong fundraising efforts will be trict was formed to develop, manage necessary to achieve these stream imand safeguard local water resources. provements. “Since its creation, the St. Vrain The district’s new water plan has and Left Hand Water Conservancy gained the support of groups such as the District has led, facilitated, and impleNature Conservancy, Western Remented water programs, services and source Advocates, Trout Unlimited, projects with an emphasis on the and American Whitewater. Statewide overall big picture for water use optiagricultural associations are also supmization,” said Sean Cronin, Execuporting the new plan. tive Director of the district. Need for increased funding on ballot The local district is one of 49 Col– To fund the Water Vision and Action orado water conservancy districts Plan, voters are being asked for a propformed in 1971 under the Water Conerty tax increase, appearing as issue 7A servancy Act. The districts engage in a on the current ballot. wide range of water issues, including de“This is the first time in its history that velopment and management of water the district’s mill levy will increase,” projects, water conservation, distribuCronin said. tion, water quality protection, flood The ballot measure would add control, legislation and education. 1.25 mills to the district’s current The St. Vrain and Left Hand Water This map shows the boundaries of the St. Vrain and Left Hand Water Conservancy District. levy and provide an additional $3.3 Conservancy District’s boundaries million annually. As an example, the start in the headwaters within Boulder County and extend said Cronin. district’s current mill levy of 0.156 mill adds $5.92 a to the confluence with the South Platte River in Weld A recognition of these challenges has led the district to year to the property taxes of a $500,000 home. The County. develop a five-point Water Vision and Action Plan to ad- new mill levy of 1.406 would cost $44.64 a year for the The district is divided into seven subdistricts, each rep- dress the region’s future water needs. same $500,000 home. resented by a member on the board of directors. There are Protect water quality and drinking water sources The tax would sunset in 2030 and would require future also two at-large board members. – The health of creeks and rivers is linked to the condition voter approval to continue. The district will publish an anOne of the district’s goals is to prevent “raids” on the of the forests in the upper watershed, which act as a filter nual public expenditure report / audit that will identify how watershed’s resources, said Cronin. For years, entities out- to keep pollution out of the water. Colorado is experienc- the funds are being used. An appointed volunteer board of side of the basin have actively planned their future water ing increased large-scale wildfires, and local forest manage- local residents will oversee spending, said Cronin. supply sources with the St. Vrain River in mind. Recent ment will be the key to maintaining the health of local “As we have seen with Colorado’s wildfires and this designs on water development at the confluence of the St. waters. Also, the issue of water rights in Colorado is com- year’s drought, the threats to our water quality and quanVrain and South Platte rivers underscore the threats the plex and few residents understand how water rights are em- tity are increasing,” said Cronin. “The new revenue will watershed faces from outside. The district, however, has ployed to keep water flowing out of residents’ taps. The allow the district to leverage additional funding to meet limited resources to protect its water. district plans ahead and proactively protects local water those threats.” Protecting water rights is “expensive,” Cronin said, and rights to benefit the local economy, families and farms. Funding for creek improvements and wildfire prevention as the price of water continues to rise, the fight to keep Safeguard and conserve drinking water – Most “are far less costly than disaster recovery,” he added. For local water resources will struggle to keep pace. The dis- urban water is used for irrigation. Partnerships with local more information on the district, visit https://svlhwcd.org. trict currently receives $421 thousand from residents’ water providers to increase outdoor water efficiency and property taxes – not enough to prevent exploitation from conservation are effective for long-term water sustainabilLyons resident Greg Lowell, is a Lyons Town Board Trustee outside the watershed, he said. ity and offer greater opportunities for environmental and and serves as a liaison to the Ecology Advisory Board.

Origins of Lyons street names By Monique Sawyer-Lang Redstone Review LYONS – Ever wonder who were the people whose names grace the streets of Lyons? Names Sawyer-Lang such as Evans, Stickney, Seward, and Reese. To find that answer you have to go back to earliest days of Lyons when Edward S. Lyon purchased land from Hiram and Isabelle Sawyer in 1880. In 1881 Edward Lyon and a handful of others began laying out a town and erecting buildings, including the towns’ first school house, now the Lyons Redstone Museum. They started one of the first quarries in the area through the Evans Townsite and Quarry Company and the Lyons Rock and Lime Quarry Company in 1882. The original plat of the town was not registered until 1882 and only went as far north as High Street. The portion of town containing Stickney, Seward, and Reese Streets were part of the Nortonville Addition added by the Lyons Rock and Lime Quarry Co. in 1885 and 1889. Edward Lyon put his name on the town and his business partners put their names on the streets. Evans Street was named for Griffith Evans who was born in Wales May 2, 1830. His family immigrated to the U.S. in 1844, settling in Wisconsin. He married Jane Owen in 1855 and they moved to Colorado in the mid-1860s, living in Estes Park. There he operated a cattle ranch. In July of 1874 he and his neighbor James Nugent, also known as Rocky Mountain

Jim, got into an alcohol fueled argument which resulted in Nugent being shot. He died of his injuries several months later. Evans was brought to trial and was acquitted in Nugent’s death. In 1878 he moved to Lyons where he purchased the Miller Road House. The house, located on the current Planet Bluegrass property, was used as a stagecoach stop and inn by early travelers heading up the North St. Vrain to Estes Park. The home is on the National Register of Historic Places and part of the Lyons Historic District. In May of 1882 Griffith Evans along with Hiram F. Sawyer and Edward S. Lyon created the Evans Townsite and Quarry Company, one of the first quarry companies in the valley. In 1883 he sold his prop-

erty and moved to Jamestown where he operated the Evans House Hotel. Evans and his wife had eight children. He died in July 1900 and is buried in Jamestown. His wife, Jane, died in 1926 and is also buried in Jamestown. It’s believed that Stickney Street was named after Frank Hale Stickney. The February 27, 1891 issue of the Longs Peak Rustler newspaper lists F.H. Stickney as the president of the Noland Stone Quarry

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located in the Town of Noland in the hills above Lyons. In 1897 Stickney was the proprietor of the Lyons Rock and Lime Quarry owned by Edward Lyon. Seward Street was most likely named after Samuel H. Seward, one of the officers of the Lyons Rock and Lime Quarry Company. Seward was originally from Putnam, CT and was one of a number of people that Edward Lyon, also from Putnam, en-

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