Resource Management

Special Species

Water Home Your Watersheds Caring for Water Make a Difference Water Community


"Fish play their own part in keeping our water clean." - Your Best Waters, US Forest Service video


The San Juan National Forest is home to over a hundred streams that support many important plant and animal species, with a handful of truly special streams that are critical to the survival of extremely rare native fishamphibians, and globally rare plants. For example, the Carolina bugbane flower, when it grows together with subalpine fir ,is part of a globally imperiled plant community, and this flower is only found in one place in Colorado: Vallecito Creek in the Weminuche Wilderness. Also, the San Juan Lineage Colorado River cutthroat trout was considered extinct until just a couple of years ago.  It has been rediscovered living in just seven streams on Earth, and five of them are located on the San Juan National Forest.  The high elevation streams on the San Juan National Forest are also important because their cold, clean waters are the last remaining stronghold for native trout that need cold temperatures and intact habitat to survive as the climate of southwest Colorado continues to warm.


Carolina bugbane
(Trautvetteria caroliniensis)
San Juan Lineage cutthroat trout
(Oncorhynchus clarkii pleuriticus)