Tag Archives: Saguache Colorado

Saturday’s Symposium: Water, Water, Water!

Water, it’s the life source in Saguache Today and the entire San Luis Valley. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

Organizers of the very first “State of the Basin Symposium” announced one more heavy hitter will be added to the speaker list at this Saturday’s event: Former U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar.  

The Washington D.C. heavy hitter and former Colorado Senator will join the state’s new Attorney General Phil Weiser for a day of brim-filling water data. Looks like the Centennial State’s spotlight will be in Alamosa at the end of this week.

The inaugural Rio Grande “State of the Basin Symposium” will be held from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, on the Adams State University (ASU) campus. the event is free and open to the public.

Center stage will be the nearly 1,900 miles of a major waterway once described by western legend Will Rogers as “the only river I know of that is in need of irrigating.” And for San Luis Valley farmers and ranchers, that statement rings even truer today.

Ken Salazar

According to the Rio Grande’s official website: “From its headwaters in the San Juan Range of the Colorado Rockies to the Gulf of Mexico at Brownsville, Texas, the Rio Grande draws from 11 percent of the continental US, with much of that being drought-prone land. That vulnerability is compounded by scores of dams and irrigation diversions, which has left significant portions of the river dry in recent years. In 2001 the river failed to reach the Gulf of Mexico for the first time. In 2002, it happened again.”

That was nearly two decades ago. Today, the accelerating crisis has brought the waterway’s situation far beyond a startling quote or present day “meme.” In fact, it’s that uncertain future that will bring local stakeholders, along with ASU student leaders together with county, state and federal officials in Alamosa near the river’s headwaters in the San Juan Mountain Range for a day-long information exchange.

“As part of an emerging Water Education Initiative at Adams State, the Salazar Center aims to help ‘grow the next generation of water leaders,’” said Salazar Center Director, Linda Rio de la Vista. “We are working with the Valley’s many water partners to bring relevant and useful information to ASU’s students and faculty and the local community. The time is now to raise our level of knowledge on the critical water issues here, and to engage more people in community-based efforts for a sustainable water future. We need everyone’s help to make that possible.”

A number of knowledgeable local experts and teachers will address topics of Rio Grande Basin Water Management 101; Groundwater Management and Subdistricts; the Water Economy; Water and Land Conservation and Acequias; Water, Wildlife, and Restoration of Rivers, Streams and Wetlands; Water and Education; Water and Recreation; and Water and Soil Health.

Local water leaders will also present overviews and updates on key aspects of our current water conditions and challenges. Craig Cotten, Division 3 Engineer for the Colorado Division of Water Resources, Cleave Simpson, General Manager of the Rio Grande Water Conservation District and Chair of the ASU Board of Trustees, and Heather Dutton, Manager of the San Luis Valley Water Conservancy District (SLVWCD) and the Rio Grande Basin Representative on the Colorado Water Conservation Board will speak in the morning session in the Richardson Hall Auditorium.

Adams State University’s Salazar Rio Grande del Norte Center and the RGWCD are hosts of the event. Additional sponsors include the SLVWCD, Conejos Water Conservancy District and the San Luis Valley Irrigation District.

Parking for this free event is available in campus parking lots along Edgemont Blvd. and on the east side of McDaniel Hall. Permits are not required on Saturdays.

For more information visit State of the Basin Symposium, or contact Linda Rio de la Vista, Director of the Salazar Rio Grande del Norte Center, at 719-850-2255 or riodelavista@adams.edu.

Heat Up the New Year for Firefighters in Saguache

With snow and cold in the forecast for the last day of 2018 and into the New Year, Saguache residents may want to stay a bit closer to home. And the good news is you can do that, and help turn up the heat for a good cause as you ring in 2019!

The Annual Saguache Volunteer Firefighter Department’s annual fundraiser will be held this New Year’s Eve at the Oasis Restuarant in Saguache.

Friends and neighbors near and far are invited to this Monday’s Saguache Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD) Fundraiser Dinner and Silent Auction. Join the celebration this Monday, Dec. 31 at The Oasis Restaurant from 4 – 7 p.m. where the menu will be smoked beef brisket, salad, mashed potatoes, homemade roll and a drink. The dinner is a fundraiser for the local firefighter crews that help to keep everyone safe in Saguache Today. The cost is $20/plate. In addition, the Oasis will offer a cash bar from 5 – 7 p.m. for those looking to raise a toast of good cheer to the New Year!

In addition the SVFD will hold a Silent Auction starting at 4 p.m. Bid on your favorite items, including a Cup of Coffee a Day, donated by the Wapiti Coffee House, painted works from local cowboy and artist, Wade Collins, and Dinner and a Movie Date Night from the Village Pub and Cozy Castle Cinema to name a few. The bidding will go on until 6:45 p.m. at which time the winners will be announced and payment collected.

So if you’re staying close to home – or passing through looking for a tasty meal for a great cause, grab your checkbook and head over to the Oasis for Firefighters Fundraiser. The restaurant is located at 630 Gunnison Ave, just off Highway 285 as you drive through the town of Saguache.

After the fundraiser, the fun will continue with the Oasis’ New Year’s Eve Party. Live music starts at 9 p.m. by “The Martian Cartel” with band members Scott Alexander, Pearl Alexander, Dennis Neuhaus, Dale Hazard and Jerry Arellano renaming their group one the one-night NYE gig, just for fun! But they’ll be playing all of your old favorite tunes from Classic Rock to Country, to those danceable Oldies. The Oasis will have their bar open from 5 p. m. to 1 a.m. Cheers at midnight!

For New Year’s Eve celebrants who may want to secure lodging for the night, Saguache Today offers the following options in town and just a short walk away from the party!