Ranches for Sale in the Colorado Area and the Issue of Riparian Plants
Anyone looking for a suitable Colorado ranch for sale has a specific vision for it. Perhaps they plan to use the land to grow cash crops like cotton, wheat and corn. Others may want to start a cattle ranch and enter the beef production industry.
Of course, these lofty goals will crumble to dust if the ranch has insufficient water supply. That’s why Colorado ranchers were elated to hear that the local government will finally address one of their longstanding problems—water-sucking riparian plants:
“Many farmers and others applauded the recent signing of a bill aimed at addressing a major water issue in the region — vegetation along the rivers, which consumes about 40 percent as much water as all cities in northern Colorado combined, studies show.
Signed into law this month, Senate Bill 195, co-sponsored by Scott Renfroe, R-Eaton, allows the Colorado Water Conservancy Board to use funds for a two-year-plus study on the South Platte River watershed where it was impacted by the 2013 flood. The study will attempt to determine the relationship between high groundwater and increases in non-beneficial water consumption of phreatophytes — particularly non-native tamarisk, salt cedars, Russian olives and other such plants along rivers.”
By definition, riparian plants are land-based vegetation that require a lot of water to survive, prompting them to grow along lakes, ponds and rivers. They aren’t harmful per se, though—ecologists say these plants are a vital component of the water’s ecosystem, and they perform crucial functions, like cleaning pollutants from the water. Water-loving trees like elms, maples and ash trees can also firm up banks so they don’t get eroded by the constant rush of water.
When non-native plants like salt cedars take root, however, they will guzzle down water that could otherwise be used for irrigation. In light of Colorado’s disastrous 2012 drought, which saw crops dying by the acre, it’s understandable why local ranchers despise these invasive plants.
As such, people interested in buying ranches for sale in Colorado must ask their ranch broker about the water bodies running through the property and the vegetation growing along them. Knowledge of riparian vegetation—and the problems they cause—will help buyers ensure that their ranch will get enough water to support agricultural operations. When in doubt, just approach trusted companies like Mirr Ranch Group to see ideal properties suited to your needs.
(Source: Northern Colo. farmers welcome study aimed at 80 billion gallon issue — vegetation along the rivers, TheFencePost.com, June 19, 2014)