The idea for this handbook grew out of the recovery efforts after the 2013 Colorado flood and federally declared disasters. The Lefthand, Big Thompson, Little Thompson and Saint Vrain watersheds were all heavily impacted by the 2013 flood. All four watersheds have since been involved in numerous stream recovery and stewardship projects, many of which were funded by the state of Colorado through the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) disaster recovery program. The projects included private landowners, government agencies, funding administrators, watershed coordinators, engineers,environmental scientists, landscape architects and river constructors.

Steward | stoo•erd | noun

“Someone who takes care of something and protects it.”

In the case of a stream steward, someone who takes care of and protects the larger stream corridor and watershed., n.d. [page 188]

Through the course of these projects, everyone involved learned valuable lessons about how streams function during and after a record-breaking flood, as well as how landowners can be good stewards of the stream system. From these lessons, the idea of a Handbook meant specifically for private landowners living along streams was born. DOLA funded the project, with the Lefthand (LWOG), Big Thompson (BTWC), Little Thompson (LTWC) and Saint Vrain (SVCC) Watershed Coalitions making up the Handbook Steering Committee.]