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Raising Awareness For the Last Free Flowing River in the Colorado River System
Does a proposal to build a $3.2 billion dam on the last major free flowing river in the 5 state Colorado River system and pump water taken from a national park and endangered wildlife across the Continental Divide at an annual cost of millions of dollars in electricity seem justified in our contemporary global warming economy? No, but there are powerful interests working toward just this eventuality on the Yampa River in northwestern Colorado.
It is an environmental and economic nightmare from the last century that needs to be exposed.
The Yampa River, the last free flowing river in the Colorado River system, is in danger. As the Front Range cities of Colorado expand, they continue to use water at an unsustainable rate. It is estimated that the by the year 2030, the South Platte River Basin will need as much as 400,000 acre-feet of water, and that water needs to come from somewhere (Grand Junction Sentinel, January 18, 2007). The solution sought after by the Northern Water Conservancy District of Colorado is to dam one of our nation’s few remaining free flowing treasures.
Much of the Colorado River system is already dammed, permanently altering the landscape of the west and western rivers. The Yampa is the last truly natural flowing river in the Colorado River system, and there is a proposal to build a 500,000 acre-foot reservoir below Maybell Colorado to accommodate the water needs of eastern Colorado (Rocky Mountain News, February 22, 2007). Such a dam would include an initial plan to divert twenty percent of the Yampa’s total water over the continental divide and to the Denver area, but even greater diversions will likely follow in future years.
The dam would not solve the greater problems of over consumption of one of our most precious resources; it would merely work as a band-aid to cover the gaping wound that is western water consumption. The reservoir would loose much of the usable water simply due to evaporation. Perhaps most importantly is the fact that water left in the river is not wasted. In addition the water that leaves Colorado is not lost, rather it is already used. In 90% of the years water from the Colorado River does not reach the Pacific Ocean and its waters are totally consumed.
In order to bring awareness about the proposed water project and its detrimental effects, a group of citizens and Adrift Adventures Inc. is working on a documentary film to capture the grandeur of the Yampa River, to show what would be lost, and the Yampa’s importance to the existing Colorado River System. On June 6, 2007 we will raft the Yampa River with a team of scientist, scholars, business people and politicians on a trip offered by Adrift Adventures Inc. We have hired an award winning documentary film maker, Justin Zimmerman, to make this important film. We will distribute the film to a wide audience of people including colleges and universities, politicians, business owners, TV stations, and national environmental organizations. We will also develop a website.
We have many experts coming on our trip. To see the biographies see the end of the PowerPoint.
Adrift Adventures Inc. has already donated $12,600 dollars to make this film and we are seeking more donations to off-set the other costs for the production and distribution of it.
MAKE A DONATION!
We are offering the following donation levels:
(Free DVD video and Commemorative Plaque).
All above donors will be recognized on the video credits.
SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THE FILM AND PROPOSED WATER PROJECT!
Please contribute to this critically important effort to document the significant potential losses and costs, and help us to keep the Yampa River Free Flowing for future generations!
You can mail your generous tax deductible donation to:
Rivers Foundation of the AmericasAttn.: Pamela Hyde2690 E. Hemberg Dr. Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Please make checks or money orders out to Rivers Foundation of the Americas, with Yampa River Project in the memo.
For questions e-mail us at: [email protected]
Thank You for your time in helping save the Yampa River! document the significant potential losses and costs, and help us to keep the Yampa River Free Flowing for future generations!
Keynote SpeakerProfessor, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies San Francisco State University
Patrick Tierney earned a B.S. in biology/environmental science at Northern Arizona University and M.S. and Ph.D. in Recreation Resources from Colorado State University. He conducted his master’s research on boater impacts to the river corridors of the Green and Yampa Rivers in Dinosaur National Monument (DNM). Currently he is a professor teaching recreation, parks and tourism classes in the Department Recreation and Leisure Studies at San Francisco State University. Prior to working at SFSU, Pat was a lecturer at Colorado State University, an environmental planner with Environmental Research and Technology, a river ranger for Routt National Forest on the North Platte River and a kayak-based ranger for the National Park Service on the Green and Yampa Rivers in Dinosaur National Monument. During his tenure with the NPS in DNM he was involved with the Yampa River Wild and Scenic River proposal.
Pat is actively involved in research having completed tourism, recreation management and eco-tourism projects for the National Park Service, the Belize Tourist Board, U.S. Forest Service, Galapagos National Park, Ecuador, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the California Division of Tourism. He conducted research on motivations and factors that effect river runner willingness to protect the Green and Yampa Rivers in the future. He followed-up his thesis research with a comparable survey ten years later to determine changes in river corridor use patterns and conditions. He is recipient of the 1997 Best Tourism Research Award from the California Division of Tourism, the 1991 Excellence in Research Award from the Commercial Recreation and Resort Association, as well as co-recipient of the 1990 Colorado Rural Tourism Achievement Award.
In addition to his academic pursuits he is actively involved in ecotourism and served as Director of Bay Area Partners in Responsible Tourism. Pat was co-owner, for 25 years, of Adrift Adventures, a licensed concessionaire of the National Park Service and BLM offering interpretive rafting experiences in Colorado and Utah. Pat was an active supporter and testified before the U.S. Senate on the creation of the Cache la Poudre National Wild and Scenic River in Colorado.
Director of the Colorado Water Workshop and Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies at Western State College of Colorado
Peter M. Lavigne is an environmental attorney, educator and writer. He has a B.A. in Government and Geology from Oberlin College (1980) and a Master’s in environmental law (1983 cum laude) and a Juris Doctor (1985) from Vermont Law School.
In July 2006 he was appointed Director of the Colorado Water Workshop and Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies at Western State College of Colorado. An avid sea kayaker and mountain climber, Peter founded and still teaches in the Watershed Management Professional Program of the Executive Leadership Institute and is an adjunct Associate Professor in the Public Administration Graduate Program and in the Leadership for Ecology, Culture and Learning Program -- all at Portland State University where he teaches a variety of intensive courses in sustainability, natural resources, and water policy.
He is co-founder and a board member of the Rivers Foundation of the Americas, (www.riversfoundation.org) where he served as the first president and CEO from 2000-2005. Among his efforts at the Rivers Foundation was co-authoring the article ReThinking Green Philanthropy with David W. Orr.
Pete has served as executive director of the Westport River Watershed Alliance and the Merrimack River Watershed Council; co-founded the Coalition For Buzzards Bay and the New England Coastal Campaign; worked for American Rivers in the Northeast coordinating issues in Quebec, New England and New York; was Deputy Director of the Pacific regional group For the Sake of the Salmon, and has worked in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bolivia, and Turkey. Peter was also director of River Network’s national River Leadership Program where he spent four years organizing river watershed protection and restoration organizations in the United States and Canada. At River Network he helped establish over twenty statewide and regional river watershed protection organizations from New England to Alaska.
The River Leadership program included recruiting and training organizational leaders (both board and staff), supporting them on a variety of strategy and management issues, funding, and inspiring them. Two outstanding projects included initiation, design and implementation of the National Leadership Development Program with the support of the George Gund Foundation and the National Watershed Innovators Project developed with Ted Smith at the Henry P. Kendall Foundation.
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Director of the Colorado Water Workshop and Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies at Western State College of Colorado
Peter received a master’s degree cum laude in environmental law and policy and a Juris Doctor degree at Vermont Law School, and a B.A. in Government and Geology from Oberlin College. He is co-author of a book on land use policy Vermont Townscape and his articles have appeared in publications as diverse as the UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, River Voices and TheNew York Times. Present Board service includes serving as President of the Rivers Foundation of the Americas, on the advisory board of the Glen Canyon Institute, and past service includes the boards of Cascadia Times Research Fund, the Alaska Clean Water Alliance, Trustee of the Rivers Council of Washington, and on several advisory boards including Amigos Bravos in New Mexico, Stewardship Initiatives in Colorado, and others. Other experience includes 5 years as a gubernatorial appointee on the Massachusetts Coastal Resources Advisory Board, various E.P.A. committees, helping rewrite Vermont environmental law in 1985 as a lobbyist for the Vermont Natural Resources Council, serving as chair of Vermont Emergency Medical Services District 8, and serving on the boards of a nonprofit bookstore, a Consumer’s Cooperative, and a city Housing Renewal Commission.
From 1998-2000 he participated in the city of Portland's Willamette River Task Force and was a co-author of its final report which laid the basis for an integrated watershed management plan for the urban watershed of the Willamette River and its tributaries in Portland.
Groups led by Peter have helped stop dozens of environmentally damaging projects, saved thousands of acres of wetlands, and helped formulate innovative governmental and NGO approaches to watershed protection and restoration.
He taps a personal network of several thousand environmental protection and restoration experts throughout the world. He is known and respected for strategic vision, love of innovation, skill in implementation, and for sensitive and effective work with indigenous organizations, government agencies and local activists everywhere.
National Wildlife Research Center, Ft. Collins, CO
Stewart Breck attained his bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in Wildlife Biology, masters from University of Nevada Reno in biology, and his Ph.D. from Colorado State University in Wildlife Ecology. Research includes understanding the role of herbivores in community and ecosystem dynamics, the influence of large disturbance factors (for example flooding) on ecological interactions, and the management of endangered carnivores. This work included research on black rhinos, wolves, black-footed ferrets, beavers, and small rodents. Currently Stewart works for the National Wildlife Research Center and his research is focuses on minimizing conflict between carnivores and humans. Studies include testing non-lethal methods and tools for reducing livestock depredation by wolves and damage caused by black bears in suburban settings; behavioral studies of wolves and bears as it relates to foraging strategies; and the ecology of carnivores.
Executive Director of “Futafriends” of Patagonia, Chile
Daniel Gonzalez is a Chilean biologist educated in the US. The opportunity to work at Sequoia Nat'l Park and studying some of the country's best environmental
thinkers such John Muir, Aldo Leopold and Dave Brower greatly influenced his
interest to work for the environment. Daniel has worked as a conservationist and
activist for the past 18 years. In the late 80's he became International Coordinator forthe Bio Bio River Campaign established to stop large dams on one of Chile's most
spectacular river valleys, also the home of the mapuche Indians.
Daniel went on to work as Executive Director of the Pumalin Project, an
800,000 acre private initiative founded by former North Face and Esprit owner
Douglas Tompkins. Located in northern Patagonia’s fjord region, the 800,000 acre
Pumalin Park protects some of the most pristine temperate rainforests in the world
including the ancient alerce tree (Chile's sequoias). Currently Daniel shares his time
between Colorado and Chile and works as the Executive Director of Futafriends, a
non profit working to promote and protect the Futaleufu River and other wild rivers in Chilean Patagonia.
American Conservation Experience
Ian Torrence currently works for American Conservation Experience (ACE). We are a local non-profit based here in Flagstaff, AZ. We do service projects with international volunteers for the National Parks, National Forests, and Bureau of Land Management, local, state and private companies. We perform trail work, stone work, reveg work, fencing, and weed control projects. Here's our web site www.usaconservation.org. You can find more info there if you want. I've been here since July 2006 and I am their Vegetation Program Coordinator.
Before ACE I worked for the National Park Service at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, Hoovenweep National Monument, Teton National Park, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Shenandoah National Park. At Lake Mead I was the supervisor for the Lake Mead Exotic Plant Management Team performing weed control and restoration projects for federal lands across the southwest. While at Arches and Canyonlands I was the Vegetation Coordinator for those parks.
Biochemical Engineer Kathinka, process engineering consultants
Floris Delee received his degree in Biochemical Engineering from the Catholic Institute of Technology in Antwerp, Belgium. Floris’ brewing career spans several continents. He started working for the Alken-Maes Breweries in Waarloos, Belgium where he wrote his thesis on the design and commissioning of the pilot brewing plant in 1993.
From there he went on to the New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA where he worked his way up from entry level engineer to Technical Director, leading the Design and Engineering departments. He was instrumental in the success of the brewery’s growth of more then 350 000 hl sales beer. During those 10 years New Belgium Brewing Company became famous for its innovative designs and sustainable brewing and design practices.
During his tenure at New Belgium he went back to Europe to work for the Anton Steinecker Maschinenfabrik GmbH. in Freising, Germany. There he worked as project manager on projects all over the Americas, including a turn key brewery in Belize City, Belize, Central America.
Recently Floris started his own engineering firm; Kathinka,processengineering consultants, based on his unique international experience building and designing sustainable brewing and soft drink operations. His primary goal is to pursue his never ending passion for innovative designs that form a solid balance between environmental, economic and social parameters.
Floris has a favorite quote which summarizes his design thoughts. It comes from avid French aviator, engineer and philosopher Antoine de Saint-Exupery :
“ In anything at all, perfection is finally attained, not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away. “
Associate Professor of Psychology at Western State College of Colorado
Patrick Stark received his Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from theUniversity of Colorado at Boulder in 2001. He has been an assistantprofessor at Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado from the fall of 2003 to the present. Dr. Stark's research has been focused primarily on the behavioral ecology of reptiles. In addition to his interests in herpetology and neurophysiology, Dr. Stark has been active in promoting a strong liberal education program for Western's students. In that capacity, he hasdeveloped a new course for the Honors program at Western titled The Great Conversation which introduces students to the discussion of the great ideas of western civilization through the reading of original source material. In an effort to increase awareness of the importance of wilderness topsychological wellbeing Dr. Stark has developed a wilderness symposiumcourse for K-12 teachers that explores the relationship between humankind, society and nature. Dr. Stark lives in Gunnison with his wife Stacy and their three childrenwhere he enjoys rock and ice climbing, skiing, mountain biking, kayaking and reading textbooks.
Small business owner, fire fighter
Vancouver Island, Canada
While obtaining her degree in Tourism Management, Anja participated in an eco-tourism exchange program between Malaspina University-College in British Columbia, Canada and Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. For two summers she returned to Colorado to work as a raft guide on the Taylor River and guide for the Outdoor pursuits program at Western.
Anja also has a diploma in Fisheries and Aquaculture and has worked in this field since 1997. She owns a fisheries consulting business that conducts salmonid escapement surveys on the rivers of Vancouver Island and works as a Fish Culturist at one of Western Canada’s largest fish hatcheries. In the summer months she works on a specialty forest fire crew in southern B.C. known as Rapattack. This crew is designed to respond to forest fires in inaccessible mountainous terrain by means of rappelling from helicopters. She has discovered a great sense of accomplishment doing work that protects her provincial natural resources. She hopes to extend that sense of awareness with this project on the Yampa River.
Her passion for rivers largely began when she attended a river management symposium with Western State College on the Yampa River in the spring of 2003. She found it a powerful experience where education and adventure were combined in a natural setting. This experience solidified the understanding that habitat protection and tourism can coexist in a mutually beneficial relationship and that tourism can in fact act as a protective force for the pristine wilderness areas it extends into.
Gigi Richard is currently an Associate Professor of Geology at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, CO in the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences. She holds an M.S. and Ph.D. from Colorado State University in hydraulic engineering and a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Gigi created the Watershed Science program at Mesa State and teaches water science and environmental geology classes. Her research focuses on human impacts on rivers systems including lateral confinement and downstream impacts of dams in Colorado, New Mexico and New Zealand. Her recent work on the Yampa and Dolores Rivers in western Colorado studied the need for peak flows to maintain the channel form and looked at the changing morphology of the rivers.
A resident of Colorado for 18 years, Gigi has experience in private engineering consulting and served on water quality and land use planning commissions in Summit County, Colorado from 1990 to 1996. In addition to parenting her 12-year old daughter, she enjoys many forms of outdoor recreation in the canyons and mountains of western Colorado including hiking, mountain biking, skiing and boating. Gigi's passions include growing, cooking and eating delicious locally-grown produce, as well as striving toward sustainability in all aspects of her life and community.
Kent Vertrees is a river advocate living in Steamboat Springs, Colorado where he has been active in
outdoor recreation and river politics since 1994.
After receiving a bachelors of Fisheries Management from the Ohio State University, Kent moved to
Colorado where has been entrenched in the guiding industry. Initially guiding rafting and fishing trips on the
Arkansas River, Kent would then follow the water to West Virginia where he guided rafts on the Class V,
Upper Gauley River. During the winter, Kent's travels took him to Steamboat Springs, Colorado where he
guided snowmobiling tours and winter fly fishing trips.
Kent's passion for guiding led him into a management position with Steamboat Powdercats,
Colorado's premier snowcat skiing operation and Blue Sky West, a Steamboat Springs rafting, fly fishing and
river outfitter with permits for tours on the Yampa, North Platte, Elk, Eagle and Colorado Rivers. Kent is an adjunct professor at the Alpine Campus for the Colorado Mountain College where he
teaches River and Canyon Orientation courses. His passion for water and eagerness for advocacy drove him to become part of the Steamboat Springs
River's and Trails Committee which among other things developed the Yampa River Management Plan for the
city of Steamboat Springs. He was very active in assisting the City with their Recreational In-Channel Diversion application and has worked on river restoration and improvement projects for the Yampa River
boating park in Steamboat Springs. Kent was a member of the Colorado State Water Supply Initiative phase I and II and is currently an at
large member of the Yampa/White Basin's roundtable for the Colorado Water for the 21st Century Act. He is
an active member of the Steamboat Springs Water Commission and a member of the Steamboat Springs based
advocacy group the Friends of the Yampa.
Pam Hyde has been involved with rivers in the Southwest for over sixteen years, and her expertise lies in the legal and policy arenas of river conservation. In the early 1990s, as the Arizona Streams and Wetlands Coordinator at Arizona State Parks, she conducted a statewide rivers assessment for the state of Arizona. She worked on river protection issues in the Southwest for over four years at the Southwest Regional Office of American Rivers, serving two and a half years as Southwest Regional Director. She was appointed by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group, a federal advisory committee, and developed significant expertise in the Law of the River, the body of federal law governing the Colorado River. In 1999 she joined the Glen Canyon Institute, where she served as that organization’s first Executive Director for over a year before leaving to form Southwest Rivers and serve as its Executive Director for three years, working to protect and restore the river ecosystems of the Colorado River Watershed. Pam was reappointed twice to the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group, representing Southwest Rivers and later the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council. She taught a class at Northern Arizona University on the future of Glen Canyon Dam in 2006, and serves as a graduate advisor at Prescott College. She also advises a consortium of nonprofit organizations working on Colorado River issues.
Pam received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Amherst College in 1985. She received her J.D. from Duke University School of Law and her M.A. in Natural Resource Economics and Policy from Duke University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, both in 1989. She is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, and an enthusiastic river runner.
Justin Zimmerman has been an Assistant Professor of Cinema, the School-Based Programs Coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Athens County, and has directed Bricker-Down Productions™ for six years. He was the youngest, and most recognized, independent artist by the Ohio Arts Council during the 2002 - 2003 cycle, and his films have won multiple awards, including best documentary at the Chicago/IFP film festival and two international Telly awards. His films have been aired on public television and are distributed nationally. Zimmerman, almost 30, has taught film in three colleges and was lead writer on five drafts of a feature-length script for Stephen King. More information about Zimmerman can be found at his website, www.brickerdown.com.
Western State College of ColoradoEd.D. University of Northern Colorado (Outdoor Physical Education, Pedagogy); M.S. Colorado State University (Recreation Resources Management); B.A. Eastern Washington University (Outdoor Recreation).
I conducted my dissertation research in Dinosaur National Monument on the Yampa and Green rivers: A Qualitative Investigation of River Rafting Expeditions: The Guide’s Perspectives. I teach courses in Outdoor Leadership and Instruction at Western State College of Colorado, including advanced skill courses, and core courses. I have worked in the recreation field for over 15 years and have held a variety of related positions: Professional River Guide Training Instructor in Colorado and Utah; Swift Water Rescue Instructor for Rescue III International; Whitewater Kayak Instructor for the American Canoe Association; Facilitator and Builder of Challenge Courses; Stuntman for Walker Texas Ranger; Coach for the Special Olympics; and an Outdoor Recreation Specialist. I was instrumental in the design and development of the Gunnison White Water Park and testified on behalf of the Upper Gunnison Water Conservancy District to secure a Recreation In-channel diversion for “recreational beneficial use.”
My passion is to take students to wild places, such as the Yampa River, to show them places where they can experience the raw beauty of the natural world and unlock their passion for high adventure outdoor pursuits. I also enjoy facilitating recreational music making with percussion instruments while deep in the canyons along wild rivers!
Lisa MacPherson: document the significant potential losses and costs, and help us to keep the Yampa River Free Flowing for future generations!
B.A. Outdoor Leadership
Yampa Project Coordinator
Lisa MacPherson has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Outdoor Leadership from Western State College. While pursuing her degree, she was awarded with the Eastman Scholarship for academic achievement, and she served as a Senator on the Student Government Association. Also, she helped to organize the 2005 Colorado Adventure Sports Festival, participated in three separate Tamarisk removal projects with the “Weed Warrior Program” out of Dinosaur National Monument, and attended the Peter Terbush Memorial Tope-rope Summit Program as well as the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Expedition (C.O.R.E).
After raft guiding for 2 years, on the class IV and V Rivers of Maine, she became a student Instructor for Wilderness Pursuits and began working as an Instructor for Outward Bound Wilderness out of Utah, instructing backpacking, canyoneering, rock and ice climbing, and rafting. Lisa also holds current CPR, and Wilderness First Responder certifications.
The River is Lisa’s passion! She has spent two summers on the big muddy rivers of the west, including 18 days through the Grand Canyon and multiple 15-day trips on the Green River, and has fallen in love! She hopes to preserve these rivers for future generations and protect them from becoming further dammed. She hopes that this Yampa River Project will help to educate many others about the wonderful ecosystem of the Yampa River that must be preserved and protected.
BA Outdoor Leadership
Yampa Project Coordinator
Bill McGrath is heavily involved in the outdoors. He has been a part of several expeditions, including Alaskan backpacking and climbing Aconcagua in Argentina. While in school he worked as a theater technician and a guide for the Western State College Wilderness Pursuits program (rock and ice climbing, hiking, rafting, whitewater kayaking, and sea kayaking). In the summers Bill is a rafting and climbing guide for Scenic River Tours in Gunnison Colorado.
In 2005 Bill worked as sponsorship coordinator for the Western State Aconcagua expedition, and in 2006 held the same title with the Colorado Adventure Sports Festival.
Bill says that saving the Yampa is important because, “at this point damming a free river for its water is just putting a band-aid on. It is time that we take a look at the bigger and harder issues like unsustainable growth and over consumption of natural resources.”