The River Reach Foundation has recently been asked to study the feasibility of acquiring a National Water Trail (NWT) designation on portions of the Animas and San Juan Rivers here in the Four Corners.
The National Water Trails System was recently established as a category in the National Trails System with designation granted by the Secretary of Interior. National Water Trails are a distinctive national network of exemplary water trails that are cooperatively supported and sustained through the mutual support of cooperation of federal, state, local and nonprofit organizations. Receiving a NWT designation would become a catalyst for protecting and restoring the health of local waterways and surrounding lands and; building a community that mentors and promotes the development of water trails and shares best management practices.
Paddle sports offer some of the most diverse outdoor experiences of any nature-based activity; giving participants the freedom to explore rivers, lakes, streams, and other waterways in their local communities and across the country. Nationally more than 6% of Americans participate in paddling in 2008. In New Mexico 5% of the population (67,000 people) and 11% of the Colorado population (393,000 people) participated in paddle activities in 2005. Source: Outdoor Foundation, 2009.