By Taylor Cramer

The Garfield County Commissioners unanimously voted on Monday to allocate $3 million toward the acquisition of the Shoshone water rights by the Colorado River District.

Although the district requested $4 million, the pledged amount marks a substantial contribution to preserving one of the region’s most critical environmental assets.

“This is something that the Western Slope has been focused on literally since 1937,” Colorado River District General Manager Andy Mueller said. “(It’s important to) keep those flows into stream in the Colorado River so that we can use that water down below and frankly, the economy above it can use it for recreation.”