The Saguache Chamber of Commerce will hold their Annual State-of-the-Chamber Meeting on Tuesday, April 2.
All members are invited to attend. The Chamber President will read the accomplishments of the past year and give an overview of what the Chamber hopes to accomplish in 2018. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Saguache County Road & Bridge Conference room, 305 3rd Street in Saguache.
The evening’s agenda will include the introduction of the newly elected Saguache Chamber Board. Members are welcome to join the board in wishing well to the outgoing Board and helping them welcome the new Board.
In other chamber news, new officers were recently elected to office and are seated as follows: President Barry Van Sant; Vice President David Smalley; Treasurer Jean Collier; Secretary Carita Ginn; and Member-At-Large Carla Quintana.
The purpose of the Saguache Chamber is to promote the business community, to organize civic functions, to provide community services and to encourage tourism and economic development within and for the Town of Saguache, Colorado and the surrounding communities, and help promote Saguache County.
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.
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.