At a Glance

By understanding the resiliency and vulnerabilities of the natural environment, the City of Boulder can maximize Boulder Reservoir’s role as both a natural and recreational resource.

Project Description

Boulder Reservoir is a rarity in semi-arid Colorado, a freshwater lake on a 234-acre site with diverse surrounding habitat. The City of Boulder contracted Biohabitats to conduct a biological assessment that will serve as a basis for the plan and develop an approach to specifically link the monitoring information to management alternatives.

Boulder Reservoir offers habitat to four distinct native plant communities, including native herbaceous wetlands that are ecologically significant and an unusual system of salt flats. Black-tailed prairie dogs and the burrowing owls that depend on them are included in the area’s wildlife community. The reservoir is managed for domestic water supply and irrigation, but it has also become an increasingly important recreational resource. As the recreational pressures increase, there is a critical need to balance the protection of natural resources and management
of recreation.

Biohabitats took an ecosystem approach to this project, addressing the soils, hydrology, vegetation and animal communities, as well as the critical component of human use.

Biohabitats conducted baseline inventories of vegetation and wildlife resources; established ecological management zones and priority conservation targets; analyzed the recreational activities and potential impacts to resources; developed protection strategies and recommendations, and created a framework for adaptive management.



Southern Rocky Mountain

Physiographic Province

Colorado Piedmont Section of the Great Plains


St. Vrain

Expertise Areas

Conservation, Water


City of Boulder


Boulder, Colorado, United States