Published as a letter to the editor in Sky-Hi Daily News on November 28, 2016.
UPPER COLORADO RIVER WATERSHED GROUP PROGRESS
Our first phase of WaterSMART community outreach is now complete, including 70 participants at meetings in Granby (Oct. 17), Grand Lake (Oct. 25), Fraser (Nov. 11), and Kremmling (Nov. 14Nov). These community-focused conversations gave us a better sense of local watershed interests including positive trends, a shared vision for our watershed future, and who else might be interested in joining future grass-roots conversations. Additional informal input came from local Rotary Clubs, including our Middle Park High School (MPHS) Interact Club, and the Grand County Board of Realtors. We’re pleased to report great local response, with plenty of deep conversations around our watershed future. Our Shadowcliff/Grand Environmental team collected attendee post-it notes from the walls after debrief, along with a remarkable collection of pipe-cleaner art, and will be sorting results in coming weeks then reporting back to the community after the Holidays. Do join us for mid-Winter when can digest results of the October-November conversations together, after which we can begin forming the Upper Colorado River Watershed Group (UCRWG) and WaterSMART Watershed Resiliency Plan. If you know now that you’d like to be more involved, please let one of our team know of your interest, or check us out on-line at http://www.ucrwg.org. Last but not least, we owe special thanks to Mountain Parks Electric, local Rotary Clubs, the Towns of Grand Lake and Fraser, and West Grand High School for hosting our Phase 1 events. Thanks also to Elevations Pizza in Fraser for generously feeding 25 people at the Fraser meeting and a special shout-out to our MPHS Interact Club and West Grand High Wrestler Raphael Dominguez for helping us set up then bringing youthful vision to our community conversations.
Geoffrey Elliott, UCRWG Project Scientist