Message from RFC Board President and Executive Director
Looking back, 2018 may have been the most memorable in Roaring Fork Conservancy’s (RFC) 22-year history. This year brought so many changes for our organization. Some were positive and exciting, while others were stressful and challenging.
The biggest change was our move from a small corner office to The River Center. The River Center empowers us to fulfill our mission at a higher level, with education programs in the classroom and at the river, water quality testing in our laboratory, and more space to collaborate with our partners – always with a view of the river that brings us together. At the grand opening reception in August - as Governor Hickenlooper and his staff addressed the community and celebrated the Colorado Water Plan and its impacts in the Roaring Fork Valley - we were still in awe that the vision of The River Center was truly a reality.
Now, we are seeing that vision come to fruition beyond the physical building, as we embrace and grow into the endless potential of our new home.
On the other hand, a near-record low snowpack was followed by a hot, dry summer, leading to extremely low river flows and elevated river temperatures. A week after moving into The River Center, the Lake Christine wildfire started less than a quarter mile from our front door. But as Paulo Coelho said, “You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.” So we fought our way to the surface, took a big breath, and enacted programs to raise awareness and support stressed river ecosystems. Our most successful program, the Hot Spots for Trout voluntary fishing closure, gave fish a break during the hottest part of the day by encouraging anglers to hang up the rod and waders from 2pm to midnight.
RFC has spent the past 22 years bringing people together to protect our rivers. As we move into our next 20+ years, we are inspired to continue and grow this mission. The River Center enables us to bring visionaries, researchers, policy-makers, elected officials, and community members together to discuss water issues and share ideas from the local to national level.
We hope you are excited and encouraged as your read through our 2018 accomplishments. If you have not had a chance to visit The River Center, we invite you to stop by for a tour.
Your ongoing support and engagement makes all our work possible. Thank you!
Pat McMahon, President, Board of Directors
Rick Lofaro, Executive Director