Here’s a report about Mr. Wegner’s appointment, from Shane Benjamin writing for The Durango Herald. From the article:
“I tend to be more conservative in protecting the environment than not, because once a species is gone, it’s gone forever,” [Wegner] said. “So I inevitably side on the side of the species until the data is collected and we can accurately identify and articulate how we need to manage for that species.”
Wegner, 57, will apply that philosophy in Washington, D.C., where he has been appointed to serve as the staff director for the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on water and power. It will be his job to help shepherd legislation related to water, power and the environment while considering the effects on species and climate change. Wegner, who has lived in Durango for 12 years, was asked to serve last week by officials in D.C. He and his wife, Nancy Jacques, a local artist, teacher and columnist for the Herald, will move to Washington for at least a couple of years with plans to return in the future, they said…
The Natural Resources Committee has significant influence on development and water and climate legislation, Wegner said. “It is our moral responsibility to address these issues now so that they all don’t fall on future generations to grapple with,” he said. “Durango is the most perfect place to live, but we have a responsibility to the future generations to make sure we do the right things to manage what resources we have in this country.”[…]
Wegner is originally from Minnesota, where he earned a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Minnesota. He moved to Colorado in 1975 and obtained a master’s degree from Colorado State University in river engineering. He worked for the Interior Department for more than 20 years, 14 of those coordinating the science program in the Grand Canyon. For the last 12 years, he has run his own business, Eco Systems Management International, focusing on endangered-species issues related to dams around the world.