MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Looking back on 2017, perhaps our biggest milestone was captured in a single shovel full of soil. The monumental groundbreaking of the River Center in Basalt was an exciting time for Roaring Fork Conservancy (RFC), the Roaring Fork Watershed, the western slope, and the state of Colorado. Symbolizing more than an innovative building in the heart of the Roaring Fork Watershed next to the river, it is a coming of age for us as we move to a professional and public facility dedicated to watershed education, science, and policy.
Though the wait was long, the pouring of the River Center foundation came at the most appropriate time. During 2017, RFC staff presented at watershed and education conferences around the state, sharing our expertise and experience in everything from stream management plans to citizen science, from water quality research to snow science programming. Staff participated on tours of water infrastructure projects throughout Colorado, and hosted water resource professionals, educators, and students from around the state in our own watershed. Our efforts are as diverse as water stakeholders in Colorado. Some highlights from 2017:
- Our first children’s book Dee Dee the Fryingpan River Dipper was published! It teaches elementary students how to identify healthy mountain streams by the presence of the American Dipper;
- Several education programs and materials were translated into Spanish to reach English Language Learners at local schools;
- Our targeted water quality studies are putting science into the hands of landowners and decision makers increasing their environmental stewardship and knowledge; and
- Local governments are increasingly asking for RFC’s input on local water issues.
We spent the last 21 years bringing people together to protect our rivers and we are thrilled that as we move into our next 20+ years, the River Center will provide us a home in which to bring together visionaries, researchers, policy-makers, elected officials, and academic researchers to discuss regional, state, and national water issues and share ideas with the broader community. As the demand for our science, policy, and education projects increases, the timing is perfect for growing in our capacity!
We are excited about our 2017 accomplishments and invite you to read through the successes of the year. Thank you for your continued support that makes our work possible!
We look forward to moving into our next chapter with each of you!
Pat McMahon Rick Lofaro
Board President Executive Director