Dear HCCA Members,
Thank you for 3 amazing years of action for the environment and wonderful community! When I accepted the position of Water Director with HCCA three and a half years ago, I knew I would be surrounded by gorgeous mountains and a lively culture, but I had no idea how much we would accomplish together to protect the waters of the Gunnison Basin. Working collaboratively with you, other NGOs, local and state governments and agriculture, in the last 3 years we have:
- Ensured that the Gunnison Basin Implementation Plan for the State Water Plan includes strong water conservation goals, instream flow tools, and recommendations for environmental studies on our local tributaries.
- Sent over 300 comments to the Governor and our legislators on the State Water Plan.
- Started “Wading in the Water” on KBUT with our wonderful Red Lady, Crystal Edmunds.
- Brought Cassidy Tawse-Garcia and our intern Emma Griffin on board to do amazing, creative outreach on water.
- Won over half a million dollars in state funding to restore the Lake Fork, Henson Creek, Coal Creek, and the Gunnison River.
- Protected spring flows on the Slate River and Oh-Be-Joyful Creek.
- Tightened standards for cadmium, copper and zinc on Coal Creek.
- Helped pass a state wide rule regulating nutrient pollution.
- Forced U.S. Energy to study the impact of the historical Keystone Mine on groundwater and Coal Creek.
There are too many more good things to list here, and too many partners to mention. But I must say that with only 1 full time water staffer, it truly took a village and a great deal of work across organizations to achieve these water protections for the Upper Gunnison Basin. So, while it is certainly bittersweet for me and my family to leave lovely Crested Butte, we feel that we accomplished so much– in addition to all that great skiing, hiking and boating! Just as Steve Glazer established and led the water program so expertly before me, I am confident that our new Water Director, Julie Nania will bring a great fresh perspective and enthusiasm to the work. As for the Bock family, Garret has already begun his new job as an art and science teacher at an all girls’ middle school in Denver, I am still working on the water plan and now on sage grouse(!), and Violet is discovering the perks of city life including the botanical gardens, the art museum and the zoo. Needless to say we will be visiting frequently, and look forward to saying hello soon on Elk Avenue!
Keep in touch, All my best,