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River workgroups to consider Wild and Scenic River issues

The San Juan River Workgroup will meet at the Ross Aragon Community Center at 5:30 p.m. today, Aug. 26, with members of the Vallecito Creek/Pine River Workgroup sitting in.

All attendees, including those accustomed to frequenting river workgroup meetings, should search for signs within the community center, directing them to a room other than the one normally used. The change is to accommodate a speaker who will participate by phone.

Workgroup organizers will produce a necessary number of handouts, arrange seating, and serve light snacks during the meeting. Therefore, facilitator Marsha Porter-Norton has asked that local invitees not planning to attend please notify her at 247-8306 (O and F) or (970) 759-3110 (C), or e-mail her at

Those affiliated with the Vallecito Creek/Pine River Workgroup unable to attend this joint engagement are asked to contact Tami Graham at (970) 759-9716, or e-mail her at

Most often, river workgroup meetings focus on a short and fairly precise list of proposed outcomes. At today’s rendezvous, such outcomes include:

• Hosting a panel with an eye toward various tools that promote effective river and stream protection.

• Gaining specific answers to questions about the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and how it’s implemented.

According to organizers, this assembly will not result in final recommendations for either workgroup. Nevertheless, the meeting agenda is as follows:

I. Introductions.

II. Review of the meeting ground rules and its purpose.

III. A brief overview (5 minutes) of the river protection workgroup model and its current “tool kit.”

IV. The panel on Wild and Scenic Rivers issues will include:

• Jackie Dietrich, United States Forest Service — national staff for Recreation Heritage and Volunteer Resources — Wild and Scenic Rivers section (participating by phone).

• Kay Zillich, San Juan Public Lands Center, Durango (USFS/BLM).

• Bruce Whitehead, Southwestern Water Conservation District, or Scott Brinton (retired, Colorado Division of Water Resources).

• Ted Kowalski, Colorado Water Conservation Board.

• Meghan Maloney, San Juan Citizens Alliance.

V. Wrap up.