Our Work

Planning for Resilience

Leading multi-objective planning projects that create watershed-wide guidelines to drive on-the-ground restoration.

Planning Projects

Watershed resilience is the ability of a system to sustain less damage and rebound quicker following major events like flood and fires. The Big Thompson Watershed Coalition’s planning projects are multi-objective and include assessments from a variety of fields including ecology, hydrology and geomorphology. These assessments drive the creation of conceptual plans that provide treatments that aim to reduce damage from future floods, stabilize the river bed and banks, improve habitat for wildlife and native plants, and enhance river corridor function. These plans help prioritize restoration efforts of specific areas selected by funders for implementation of treatments. Each of the plans led by the BTWC involve the input of technical experts as well as community and stakeholder input to capture multiple perspectives on project design and implementation and landscape scale river enhancement. 


Our Planning Goals to Improve Watershed Resiliency

Increasing floodplain capacity and connecting the river to its floodplain which dissipates energy during high flows

Reducing risk of high severity wildfire by thinning trees, reducing wildfire fuel, and enhancing forest health

Improving sediment transport and dynamics throughout the river system

Encouraging project areas that will protect important infrastructure and promote important community values

Improving and increasing riparian corridor habitat for water absorption, bank stabilization, and benefits to wildlife 


Our Accomplishments to Date


Created a flood Recovery Master Plan that covered over 80 miles of river and provided an overall vision and principles to guide flood recovery work


Produced a more detailed conceptual designs for approximately 10 miles of river


Awarded a Stream Management Plan grant to conduct additional long-term planning along 15 miles of river – starting in late 2019


Led the implementation of over $10 million of watershed enhancement projects based on our planning efforts


Planning Projects

Big Thompson River Restoration Master Plan

In 2014, with funds from Colorado Water Conservation Board and other  contributors, the Big Thompson Watershed Coalition led a master plan that provides high level guidance for long-term flood recovery and restoration of the watershed.
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Big Thompson River Corridor Master Plan

In 2017, the City of Loveland built upon the original Big Thompson River Restoration Plan and created a more detailed master plan covering the reaches of the river in the City’s growth management area.
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Conceptual Planning

Funding from the Community Development Block Grant- Disaster Recovery program allowed the Big Thompson Watershed Coalition to create more detailed conceptual design plans for certain areas of restoration need.
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Big Thompson River Envisioning Project

This new planning project, Big Thompson Watershed Coalition will focus on protecting healthy riparian ecosystems by balancing environmental, agricultural, municipal, and recreational uses of water.

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