The Bruchez family ranch is located on the Upper Colorado River near Kremmling , Co. Upstream trans‐mountain water diversions which divert up to 70% of the rivers native flows to the Front Range have severely impacted agricultural operations, fish and wildlife habitat, and water quality. As more and more Colorado River water is taken across the Continental Divide, irrigators have been forced to install deeper and deeper pumps and expensive diversions systems to get to their water. In order to confront this problem, local rancher, Paul Bruchez, built a groundbreaking coalition of irrigators and conservation partners to design, fund and implement a series of projects that will enhance irrigation operations while restoring aquatic and riparian habitat.
On April 22, 2017, Colorado Trout Unlimited recognized Paul Bruchez and the Bruchez Family with the prestigious Trout Conservation Award. This award highlights Colorado-based individuals or groups who have made exceptional contributions toward coldwater conservation through their professional or volunteer efforts.
In addition to Paul’s significant effort and leadership in building a coalition to improve water quality, address habitat degradation and loss of irrigation operations on the Colorado River, Paul and his family have also worked with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to preserve 3000 acres of his ranch through conservation easement to protect known Sage Grouse leks, wildlife habitat, and upland areas.
Paul demonstrates his leadership and communicates his conservation ethics and techniques as the agriculture representative on the Colorado River Basin Roundtable, a basin wide funding and policy forum. Paul serves on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Water Trust. He sits on the Open Lands advisory committee for Grand County, the Agricultural Water Network Advisory group, and the Middle Park Greater Sage Grouse Working Group. He also hosts numerous events for non‐profit organizations such as Project Healing Waters annual fishing retreat and the annual Reel Recovery fishing retreat.