Ramsey Kropf Leaves for Washington We are most excited to announce that Ramsey Kropf has accepted the esteemed position of Deputy Solicitor for Water with the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. We sincerely appreciate Ramsey’s eleven years of service to the Board, particularly her term as president from December 2011 through January 2015. We wish her the best during this two year appointment and once in a lifetime experience. Former Board President, Diane Schwener will serve as interim board president for the remaining months of 2015.
Roaring Fork Beer Co. Launches 1% for the Fork Program Carbondale-based Roaring Fork Beer Company (RFBC) recently released its long-awaited seasonal Slaughterhouse Lager. RFBC is donating 1% of the revenue from sales of the Slaughterhouse Lager to Roaring Fork Conservancy to support protection of local rivers. The label on the can features the Roaring Fork Conservancy logo demonstrating the brewery’s commitment to the Roaring Fork Watershed and its rivers.
RFBC has named multiple beer offerings with rivers in mind. Slaughterhouse Lager is named after a prominent rapid on the Roaring Fork River near Aspen loved by boaters during high water. Their Freestone Extra Pale Ale also incorporates the local rivers into its name. A freestone river is one without a dam and the local Crystal River is one of a handful that has not yet been dammed.
The craft Slaughterhouse Lager can be purchased throughout the summer and fall at RFBC’s tasting room in Carbondale and at local restaurants and liquor stores; see the complete list.
Sharon Clarke is Moving On After 10 Years Roaring Fork Conservancy would like to thank Sharon Clarke, Watershed Action Director, for over 10 years of contributing to our organization and especially the Roaring Fork and Crystal River valleys. Sharon accepted a new position with the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, and will return to the much beloved Pacific Northwest she called home for many years. During her time at Roaring Fork Conservancy, Sharon led efforts to implement Watershed Action projects which led to many victories both for the rivers and the community. Among her major successes are: co-leading the development and implementation of the Roaring Fork Watershed Plan and compilation of State of the Watershed Report; spearheading the Crystal River assessment and restoration project; and developing strong relationships and partnerships with local, state and federal government agencies, water right holders, and other non-profits such as Colorado Water Trust, to pursue creative solutions to enhance stream flows, which included the development of a Roaring Fork Watershed regional water conservation plan. Sharon has directed RFC’s land conservation program, designed and implemented macroinvertebrate studies, identified stream gage needs and obtained funding for their installation, and was instrumental in coordinating the Comprehensive Fryingpan River Study. Sharon will be greatly missed by Roaring Fork Conservancy and the many people that have had the privilege of working with her. We wish her well in her future endeavors in Oregon. View photos here
Tim O'Keefe moving on at end of year After over 12 years with the organization, education director Tim O’Keefe is moving on at the end of the year. Tim will become the community pastor for Crossroads Church in Glenwood Springs. Tim is excited about this new and challenging opportunity. During his time at Roaring Fork Conservancy, Tim helped thousands of students and adults experience the river first-hand through classroom explorations and hands-on field trips. He also helped translate the organizations often complex science and policy work to citizens and students. Roaring Fork Conservancy will hire a new education director by the end of the year. For more information on the job listing visit: www.roaringfork.org/employment.
Crystal River Named One of America's Most Endangered Rivers In a press conference May 15th, national river organization American Rivers, announced that the Crystal River has been named one of America's Most Endangered Rivers. Roaring Fork Conservancy welcomes the national attention to the Crystal River which has flow, sediment and human impact issues throughout its 363 square mile watershed.
America’s Most Endangered Rivers is an annual call to action, spotlighting rivers facing significant threats, and emphasizing solutions for the rivers and their communities. The Crystal River provides essential habitat for fish and wildlife, beautiful vistas and recreation for visitors, and is one of the few remaining free-flowing streams in Colorado. However, new hydropower dams, reservoirs, and water diversions threaten to destroy the river’s unique values.
Supporters of the designation, including the Crystal River Environmental Protection Association, Pitkin County, and Roaring Fork Conservancy, propose eliminating plans for dams and increased diversions on the Crystal and pursual of a federal Wild & Scenic designation to future protect the Crystal River. Even before the designation, Roaring Fork Conservancy was working on plans to restore Coal Basin, a major tributary, and to address low flow issues on the lower Crystal. Crystal River Facts. More information on America's Most Endangered Rivers.
Why Watershed Groups Matter in Colorado Video Released Only 19% of registered voters in Colorado know they live in a watershed, yet everyone in the world lives in a watershed! Colorado State University recently released a video about the importance of watershed groups to protecing rivers and engaging citizens along the Colorado River corridor. Roaring Fork Conservancy is featured throughout the video. View video now.
Roaring Fork Conservancy working with local water users to respond to drought conditions
Roaring Fork Conservancy has partnered with the Colorado Water Trust (CWT) to bring a new, pilot water leasing program to the Roaring Fork Valley in response to the drought conditions expected this year. The program will be undertaken in conjunction with the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) under the State’s short-term water right loan statute, which allows a water right owner to loan water to the CWCB for instream flows for up to 120 days. Instream flow water rights provide legal, nonconsumptive, in-channel water for the benefit of the environment. CWT will facilitate and pay for the leases under the State statute. More information on the Requests for Water 2013 program.
Roaring Fork Watershed Plan Complete! The Roaring Fork Watershed Plan has been finalized! The Watershed Plan consists of a number of sections including an introduction and overview, recommendations for urgent actions, recommendations applicable to water quality, water quantity and regional water management, and a discussion of implementation. The matrices, which arrange the recommendations in a sortable format, divide the recommendations into several categories which allow for examining the recommendations from a number of perspectives such as location, key entities and recommendation type (study, project or regulation). Although the Watershed Plan is intended to be an ever-evolving and flexible document we do hope to update it periodically as information, prioritizes and planning changes. For more on the watershed plan visit www.roaringfork.org/watershedplan.
Roaring Fork Conservancy River Center Wins Architectural Award Roaring Fork Conservancy’s future River Center won a prestigious Merit Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Colorado West chapter. Project architect Harry Teague accepted the Merit Award in the Unbuilt category on behalf of the organization last Friday.
In presenting the award, the jury touted the project’s “transition from the larger scale of the [future] adjacent built environment to the scale of the river” as a tremendous asset. Other strengths sited included the building’s sensitivity to the surrounding environment and the use of exterior building materials to tell the story of the River Center site. The award underscores the attention the design team has given to the building site, surroundings and functional uses as it sits on the edge of downtown Basalt. More on River Center.
RFC Welcomes Christina Medved, Watershed Education Director We are pleased to welcome Christina Medved as its Watershed Education Director. Christina steps in for out-going Watershed Education Director Tim O’Keefe who worked with Roaring Fork Conservancy for 12 years. Christina will start in late February. Christina comes to the Roaring Fork Valley from Stroud Water Research Center near Philadelphia, PA where she’s been the Education Programs Manager and Leaf Pack Network® Administrator for the past 13 years.
Christina’s career has focused on watersheds and stream ecology. She particularly enjoys making complex scientific information accessible and applicable to the non-scientist. Her experience ranges from teaching field-based, boots-in-the water stream studies to students in the 4th grade all the way to retirement age; training citizen volunteers on how to monitor their streams; and coordinating two watershed treks which gave high school students a full-immersion experience in tracing the drinking water supply of New York City and Wilmington, DE. Throughout her time at the Stroud Center she presented stream ecology and Leaf Pack Experiment workshops across the United States as well as in villages of Costa Rica and Peru. Christina brings a wealth of experience and talent to Roaring Fork Conservancy’s staff. As Watershed Education Director she will oversee the organizations programming with schools, adults, families and the public. View entire press release here.
Reel In Water Use Campaign Helps Fish Out Roaring Fork Conservancy and the Community Office for Resource Efficiency have launched a new water conservation campaign to benefit people and the environment. As the second year of sustained drought continues, wise water use is more important now than ever. Help reel in your water use at www.roaringfork.org/reel.
Water in the West Radio Series KDNK Community Radio and Aspen Public Radio teamed up to bring listeners an in-depth series looking at the threats to the region's water. Reporters from the two stations examined how population growth, climate change, the loss of agricultural land, developments and the energy industry all put strains on Colorado's limited resource. The demands on water that impact states like Arizona and California are moving upstream and are just decades away in Colorado. The series ran December 13 through 20 and are available below. Also check the Aspen Public Radio Blog for additional stories and recordings. The series is edited by former NPR Western bureau chief Alisa Barba and underwritten by the Colorado River District. Part 1| Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 Jon Waterman Interview | Ken Neubecker Interview| Justice Gregory Hobbs Interview