Arkansas Basin Water Forum Bob Appel Friend of the Arkansas Award winner, Lorenz Sutherland

Arkansas River Basin -- Graphic via the Colorado Geological Survey
Arkansas River Basin — Graphic via the Colorado Geological Survey

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

A retired federal researcher whose expertise in agriculture, natural resources and water management has helped landowners up and down the Arkansas River was honored Wednesday.

The Arkansas River Basin Water Forum presented the Bob Appel Friend of the Arkansas Award to Lorenz Sutherland, who spent 30 years with the Colorado State University Research and Extension, U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. He retired in 2013.

“This is a humbling experience,” Sutherland said.

He talked about working with the late Bob Appel, who worked for the Southeast Colorado Resource Conservation and Development Council. Appel, along with Sutherland and others, set up the annual Arkansas River basin forums 21 years ago.

Sutherland is still on the board of directors for the forum and still active in research. Last week, he presented a report on salinity studies in the Lower Arkansas River basin to the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservation District board.

His earlier work included irrigated crop research, focusing on conservation in the Ogallala Aquifer; wind erosion prediction models; field drainage mapping; and soil management techniques related to crops. He helped establish and maintain the Colorado Agricultural Meteorological Network, which links weather stations in the Lower and Upper Arkansas Valley.

Besides his work along the Arkansas River, Sutherland also contributed to projects involving mountain meadow rehabilitation in Custer County and coal bed methane water quality in Huerfano County. He provided technical assistance to the Arkansas River Watershed Plan, State Engineer’s office and to Farm Bill Programs.

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