TR 14 - Economic Value of Benefits from Recreation at High mountain Reservoirs, R.G. Walsh, R. Aukermand, and D. Rud, December 1978

Rapid population growth along the Front Range of Colorado exerts increased pressure on the state's natural resources, degrading existing water recreation areas and diminishing the value of water recreation activities. Economic information is needed to asses the feasibility of expanding recreation opportunities on high mountain reservoirs which are now closed to public use. Until recently, more than 100 reservoirs were closed, with 3,500 surface acres representing 40 percent of the total surface area of reservoirs at 6,000 to 11,000 feet elevation on the Front Range of Colorado. In the future, these small reservoirs of 10 to 400 acres in size may be able to satisfy uses for water-based recreation while continuing to serve other uses, such as storage for irrigation and domestic water supply. The recreation benefits found in this study can be compared to the costs of developing and managing recreation facilities along with legal, environmental, and institutional considerations to assess the feasibility of expanding recreation opportunities on high mountain reservoirs.