For a healthy, resilient Big Thompson watershed





About BTWC

The Big Thompson Watershed Coalition (BTWC) formed as a 501(c)3 to help private and public landowners collaborate recovery efforts after the 2013 state-declared flooding emergency. Our flood recovery efforts brought over $15 million instate, federal, and local funds to the watershed allowing us to complete 15 restoration projects and 2 infrastructure replacement projects. Today, we are focused on creating a bright future for the Big Thompson watershed. Through dedicated partnerships we work to build resilience in the watershed through projects that reduce the risk and potential impacts of natural disasters like floods and wildfires and continue to help the watershed recover from events like the Cameron Peak Fire. Our goal as a Watershed Coalition is to bolster the health and integrity of this critical river system for the wild and natural communities that depend on it through engaging watershed residents and completing on-the-ground conservation projects.

Welcome to the Big Thompson Watershed

Click on the interactive map to learn more!

Home Map

The Big T is a critical freshwater resource linking diverse communities through environment, agriculture, industry, recreation, and more.

The Big T is an anchor for the largest transmountain diversion in the U.S. - the CO-Big Thompson Project - bringing water from the west slope to Front Range communities.

The Big T is a high quality water source for 1+ million water users, 32 communities, and numerous irrigators.

The Big T is a gateway for 4.5 million annual visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Our Mission

Working with others to take action that protects and restores the health and vitality of the Big Thompson watershed for the use and enjoyment of our community.

Our Vision

A healthy and resilient Big Thompson watershed benefitting fish, wildlife, and the people it serves through collaborative efforts for current and future generations.

Upcoming Events

Learn More

Big Thompson Watershed Coalition Quarterly Newsletter

Check out the latest BTWC quarterly newsletter and join our mailing list

Since 2016 we have:

Worked across 80 miles of the Big Thompson River from Olympus Dam to its intersection with the Middle South Platte River

Brought over $20 million in federal, state, and local funds to the watershed for restoration projects and community involvement

Collaborated with 200+ landowners throughout the watershed
Improved over 10 miles of river and installed 250+ rock habitat features
Treated over 2,000 acres of the Cameron Peak Fire burn footprint through aerial mulching, seeding, reforestation, and more
Logged nearly 5,000 hours of community participation through 100+ community events and volunteer projects
Reduced wildfire risk and increased forest health on 150+ acres of forested land in the Big Thompson Canyon
Transported 10,600+ dump truck loads of sediment and debris along the river and installed 50,000+ native plants and seedlings

Our Programs

Stream & Water Resources

  • Enhance aquatic and riparian ecological health, function, connectivity, and resilience
  • Improve water conveyance for high flows and low flows
  • Improve public use, enjoyment, and stewardship of stream and riparian habitat
  • Implement river and stream restoration projects that respect water and property rights, consider the diverse uses and needs of the river system, and enhance environmental and recreational opportunities

Forest Health & Management

  • Collaborate with partners to increase the pace and scale of forestry work to improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk
  • Reduce risk to river and water resources, public safety, property, and critical infrastructure (e.g., Colorado-Big Thompson water transit, transportation, energy, etc.)
  • Improve community understanding, planning, discourse, and action to manage forests
  • Align vision and management strategies for BTWC and partners’ forest management projects

Disaster Recovery

  • Restore ecological health and function to reduce post-disaster impacts to water resources, communities, infrastructure, wildlife, and ecosystems
  • Support large recovery and mitigation efforts by filling gaps and providing efficiencies
  • Increase community sense of support through the provision of knowledge, skills, resources, and capacities for autonomous recovery and future community resilience building

Education & Outreach

Tied to Stream, River, and Recovery Projects:

Leverage ongoing watershed projects and their goals to provide stakeholders and the community access to educational resources, events, media, and contacts to build brand recognition and support, advocacy, community relationships, and knowledge of the river system and its operations.