#SteamboatSprings new #water resources manager excited to take on challenging, crucial role — The Steamboat Pilot & Today

Julie Baxter. Photo credit: The City of Steamboat Springs

From The Steamboat Pilot & Today (Alison Berg):

Julie Baxter, a senior planner with the city of Steamboat Springs, has accepted a new position just across the way from the planning department.

Baxter has been tapped as the new water resources manager following Kelly Romero-Heaney’s departure from the role.

“I wanted to get back into the water world, into water resources, planning for climate change, drought and wildfires and those types of issues,” Baxter said. “Those are the things that I’m more passionate about.”

Before joining the city as a senior planner, Baxter worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency based in Denver, managing six states in the Rocky Mountain region.

While in that position, Baxter worked on long-range planning to help communities reduce their risk of wildfires, earthquakes and other disasters in the region. After the 2013 floods that devastated Colorado’s Front Range, leaving nine dead and $4 billion in damages, Baxter worked closely with state and municipal governments in long-term flood recovery.

“Climate change and those impacts with drought and wildfires are really pushing us into more uncharted territory in the water resources management,” Baxter said, who noted the city has been doing long-range planning for those issues over the past few years.

The main job of the city’s water resources manager is to manage the city’s water rights portfolio and protect the city’s stretch of the Yampa River, which fuels several aspects of Routt County’s economy, including, tourism, recreation and agriculture.

Yampa River at the mouth of Cross Mountain Canyon July 24, 2021.

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