40° 28′ 20″ N, 105° 49′ 34″ W

So what do these numbers and letters mean? They are GPS coordinates. More specifically, they are the GPS coordinates for La Poudre Pass, a high mountain pass that straddles the Continental Divide and serves as the northern boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park, and most importantly for purposes here, is the headwaters of the Colorado River.

The Colorado River has been and continues to be an important part of Jim’s life. Being raised during many of his more formative years in Colorado, he first learned to camp near it, first learned to trout fish in one of its tributaries (Yampa), first experienced the thrill and adventure of rafting in it, and more. Even now it is the source of the water that flows from his drinking taps. But the Colorado River is much more than just that. Consider the following excerpt from americanrivers.org:

“The Colorado River provides water to nearly 40 million people, flows through 9 National Parks, and drives a $1.4 trillion economy. If the Colorado River basin were a country, it would be the world’s 7th largest by economic output. But the river is stretched to its limit. Climate change and increasing water demand due to an expanding population is and will continue to present significant challenges that if left unaddressed, will impact our regional and national economies, degrade the environment, challenge our agricultural heritage and food production, and limit recreational opportunities from fishing and boating to skiing.”

Map of the Colorado River basin

The reason to care, the reason to act, is abundantly clear. Water conservation in the form of supporting policies, strategies, and activities that help manage the natural resource of fresh water, for the purposes of sustaining life and providing responsible recreation, and protection of the larger hydrosphere in general, is of particular interest to the foundation.

And this is what we call our 40⁰ 28’ 20” N”, 105⁰ 49’ 34” W” initiative.