April 12, 2024

Rocky Daily News

Colorado Politics-Sports-Business-Weather

A Colorado river basin has been drying. It’s changing a way of life. 

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In the crackling dry rangeland north of this dwindling farm town, at a minor depression slowly filling in with yucca, sage and tumbleweeds, the South Fork of the Republican isn’t so much a river as the ghost of one. 

A river it may be on the maps. But when fourth-generation wheat farmer Bob Brachtenbach stops his truck over the map coordinates for the South Fork, his wheels come to rest on a bridge that doesn’t span water, but simply connects one sand dune to another. 

The last time he saw running water under this bridge, Brachtenbach says, was a memorable night of harvesting winter wheat with the rainfall-charged river reflecting fireworks from Stratton 2 miles away. 

That was 1993. 

This story first appeared…

Michael Booth

2023-05-21 04:29:00

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