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An urgent ditch project has presented itself and the Central Colorado Conservancy (CCC) has put out an SOS for volunteers on April 8 to help clean wind-blown debris that has accumulated in the Ouray Ditch behind the recycling center in Poncha Springs.

Accumulated garbage in the Ouray Ditch is set to soon impede irrigation water flow, causing the Central Colorado Conservancy to send out an urgent appeal for ditch volunteers,

The project is slated for 8:30 a.m., Monday, April 8, and should last about two hours. The ditch runs along the north side of the county fairgrounds and is best accessed through the Poncha Springs Industrial Park. Volunteers should head up onto the mesa in Poncha Springs and turn into the industrial park at Elevation Brewery. Then go north to the end and take a right toward Alfa Dog. Just past Alfa Dog is the recycling center, where you can pull off to the left where the ditch is located.

Trash has rapidly been accumulating in the ditch and there is limited time to clear the debris before waters begin to run from snowmelt. Due to the time and cost involved in hauling and dumping the debris, the ditch owners can’t handle it on their own.

The CCC points out that most ranchers have considerable work in the spring just to clear willows, grass and fallen trees that clog ditches and culverts, without dealing with accumulating trash blown in by the wind. Volunteers can help reduce the burden on local ranchers and become part of the effort to keep working agricultural lands working in Chaffee County.

To volunteer or for more information, contact Buffy Lenth at 719-539-7700 or email her at