RIP Denzel Goodwin

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

A Howard rancher and World War II Navy veteran, Goodwin was instrumental in founding the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District in 1979 and led it for 25 years. He also was on the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District board for 16 years…

[Terry Scanga, executive director of the Upper Ark district] credited Goodwin, along with attorney Ken Baker, with founding the Upper Ark district by beginning the petition drive in the late 1970s. The district protects water rights and resources in the Arkansas River watershed west of Lake Pueblo.

More coverage from The Mountain Mail (Dick Dixon):

Without personal intention, Goodwin became a principal in evolution of water law and water rights administration. Unknowingly, he shaped thinking of nearly everyone with whom he worked, and thus the future of the river and its users.

The man who called himself “a dumb ol’ cowboy” listened to complex information couched in “lawyer language.” When talking was done, he would say slowly, “OK. But what about …?”

Experience allowed him to cut tangles of information with simple questions unraveling overlooked problems. His object was ensuring fair water use taking advantage of no user, no matter how small. His solutions were unique, frequently simple – angles seen by no one else.

More Arkansas River basin coverage here.

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