Colorado Water Congress Annual Convention “Aspinall Award” goes to Bill Trampe

Bill Trampe via the Colorado Water Conservation Board
Bill Trampe via the Colorado Water Conservation Board

I should have posted this last week. From the Colorado Water Congress (Fiona Smith):

Gunnison Rancher Bill Trampe awarded prestigious 2015 Aspinall Award

The Colorado Water Congress awarded Bill Trampe, a life-long Gunnison Rancher and Colorado water advocate, the 2015 Wayne N. Aspinall “Water Leader of the Year” Award.

The Aspinall Award is given annually in recognition of a career of service and contribution to Colorado’s water community. It is awarded to a person who has dedicated a significant part of his or her career to the advancement of the state and its programs to protect, develop and preserve the state’s water resources.

Trampe is a pivotal and influential advocate for water use and water quality, known for his ability to develop consensus among ranchers, farmers and other water users. His many accomplishments, including his participation in the negotiation of the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement, prove that he inspires historic cooperation among municipal, industrial, and recreational interests. He was a key negotiator at the Colorado River Water Conservation District in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison reserved federal water rights case and the Colorado River Basin Proposal on water supply solutions.

Trampe was selected for the award by the previous Aspinall Award winners and Colorado Water Congress officers. John McClow, CWC Board President said: “Bill Trampe’s leadership and original thinking in water and agriculture have had a tremendous positive impact in our community and the entire state. His modesty, wisdom and tireless commitment to achieving the best result, even when there is strong resistance, inspires everyone who has the opportunity to work with him.”

About Bill Trampe

Bill Trampe is a third generation cattle rancher from the Gunnison/Crested Butte area. He attended Colorado State University and has been managing the family ranching business from 1967 to the present. Trampe served on the Board of Directors of the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District and currently serves on the Colorado River Water Conservation District. He is a founding Director of the Gunnison Ranchland Conservation Legacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Gunnison Basin ranchlands.

About the Wayne N. Aspinall Award

The Colorado Water Congress presents the prestigious Wayne N. Aspinall Award annually to a Coloradan who has long demonstrated courage, dedication, knowledge and leadership in the development, protection and preservation of Colorado water – those attributes possessed by Mr. Aspinall. The late Wayne Aspinall, a lawyer and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, remains one of the most influential water leaders in Colorado history.

USGS: Wonder where all the wind turbines in the US are?

Water Lines: February offers water-focused education in western Colorado

Fog-filled Black Canyon via the National Park Service
Fog-filled Black Canyon via the National Park Service

From the Grand Junction Free Press (Hannah Holm):

February offers western Coloradans a wealth of opportunities to learn about agricultural irrigation and general water issues. In addition to the Water Center at Colorado Mesa University’s annual three-evening water course Feb. 11, 18 and 25, the Ditch and Reservoir Company Alliance (DARCA) will hold its annual convention Feb. 11-13 at Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction. The Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies will also hold a snow school for water managers Feb. 11-13 in Silverton.

While the Water Center’s water course will offer insights into how agricultural water use relates to other water uses, the DARCA convention will offer the opportunity to dive into technical issues irrigation water providers wrestle with, as well as the significance of the Colorado Water Plan for agriculture. The snow school in Silverton, on the other hand, will take participants upstream both conceptually and physically, as they gain an in-depth understanding of how snowpack dynamics and climate change could affect water supplies.


The Water Course will be held on consecutive Wednesdays — Feb. 11, 18 and 25 — from 6-9 p.m., in CMU’s University Center Ballroom. Presentations will also be live-streamed online. [ed. emphasis mine] Session 1, on Feb. 11, will focus on the climate and legal context for agriculture in Colorado; Session 2, on Feb. 18, will focus on current water use and the economics of agriculture; and Session 3, on Feb. 25, will focus on the future of irrigated agriculture in Colorado and the Colorado River Basin. To learn more about the water course, visit


On Feb. 11, DARCA’s pre-convention workshops will cover technological and data tools for ditch managers. On Feb. 12, speakers will discuss the California drought, water marketing, and financing tools before the focus turns to Colorado’s water plan. On Feb. 13, participants can choose from workshops on the corporate formalities of ditch companies, water court and appellate processes, and ditch rider issues and rights.

While the DARCA convention is primarily geared towards ditch company board members, staff and share-holders, anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of western water issues would be well-served by attending. Agriculture is the primary consumer of water in our region, and how ditches are managed affects the recreational and environmental values in rivers and streams, as well as our region’s ability to grow food. In addition, ditch companies increasingly provide irrigation water to subdivisions as well as farms.

To learn more about the DARCA convention, visit


Held in Silverton Feb. 11-13, this snow school will combine classroom instruction with hands-on field sessions to enhance participant understanding of snowpack processes, snowpack monitoring, and snowpack data. The Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies, which is hosting the school, monitors study sites in the Senator Beck Basin Study Area near Red Mountain Pass that capture weather, snowpack, radiation, dust-on-snow, soils, plant community and hydrologic signals of regional climate trends.

To learn more about the Snow School for Water Managers, visit

This is part of a series of articles coordinated by the Water Center at Colorado Mesa University in cooperation with the Colorado and Gunnison Basin Roundtables to raise awareness about water needs, uses and policies in our region. To learn more about the basin roundtables and statewide water planning, and to let the roundtables know what you think, go to You can also find the Water Center on Facebook at or Twitter at

More education coverage here.