Protecting and restoring watersheds since 2005

Science + Community

Left Hand Watershed Center protects and restores watersheds for people and the environment using a collaborative and science-based approach.

We are a stakeholder driven, non-profit organization located in Boulder County, Colorado that values science and community. We used sound science to monitor, assess, and manage our watersheds. We use data to plan and implement on-the-ground forest and river restoration projects. We strive to build a strong stewardship ethic in our community through place-based and participatory learning.

View the Left Hand Watershed Center 2020 Annual Report

Watershed Days

A Community Celebration of our Watersheds

August 13 – September 26, 2021

From the end of August, through the month of September, the Watershed Center, along with partners and sponsors, will be hosting and co-hosting watershed outreach events, educational experiences, and a celebration aimed to inspire people to connect to their watershed through place-based, participatory learning.


St. Vrain Forest

Front Range
Fire Followers

St. Vrain Forest

St. Vrain Forest Health Partnership

Photo Credit: Isabel Schroeter

Adaptive Restoration Project

Big Five Tunnel

Captain Jack
Superfund Site

Our Work

Learn more about how we protect and restore Front Range watershed health.

adaptively manage watersheds

Adaptively Manage Watersheds

We use science-based adaptive management to monitor and manage watershed health from the upland forests to the urban corridor.

Volunteers Engage Community

Engage Community

We are building a community-wide stewardship ethic rooted in watershed science through place-based and participatory learning.

Restore Forests

Restore Forests

We are leading a diverse partnership to address post-fire recovery and restoration, as well as landscape-scale forest health planning.

Restore Rivers

Restore Rivers

We plan and implement on-the-ground projects that advance watershed restoration practices and incorporate climate change scenarios.

Upper Left Hand

Before and After Restoration


Before and After Restoration

81st Street

Before and After Restoration

Watershed Insights

Lefthand Watershed in History


Colorado’s First Inter-basin Water Transfer and the Coffin versus Left Hand Ditch Water Case

How did an 1879 water conflict in the Left Hand Creek headwaters come to influence water law in nine western states?


and Left Hand Creek’s Legacy of Mining

Following the discovery of gold in Denver in 1859, it did not take long for miners to work their way up the creeks into the mountains, panning for gold and searching for the veins from which the nuggets came.


is it a Volcano?

Standing rather proudly in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains along the front range of Northern Colorado is a very unique little mountain affectionately known as Haystack Mountain, earning its name by the early dairy farmers who settled on its flanks.