Paul Bruchez picked to replace Gail Schwartz on @CWCB_DNR — @AspenJournalism

Paul Bruchez speaking from his ranch in Grand County to the Colorado River Water Users Association Annual Convention December 16, 2021. Governor Polis has nominated Bruchez to the Colorado Water Conservation Board as the mainstem Colorado River representative.

Click on the link to read the article at Aspen Journalism (Heather Sackett):

Gov. Jared Polis has appointed a Kremmling rancher to replace former state Sen. Gail Schwartz on the state’s top water board.

Paul Bruchez will now represent the main stem of the Colorado River on the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Bruchez, 40, currently serves as the agriculture representative and vice chair of the Colorado Basin Roundtable.

Rancher and fly fishing guide Paul Bruchez’s daughter and nephew sit in a hay field at the family ranch near Kremmling. Bruchez is helping spearhead a study among local ranchers, which could inform a potential statewide demand management program. Photo credit: Paul Bruchez via Aspen Journalism

Along with his family, Bruchez runs Reeder Creek Ranch, a 6,000-acre cattle and hay operation, about five miles east of Kremmling, which is irrigated with water from the headwaters of the Colorado River. Bruchez is also a fly-fishing guide and has been active since about 2012 in state-level water management discussions. He is a governor appointee to the Inter-Basin Compact Committee and is on the board of the Colorado Water Trust.

“For the last 23 years, everything Colorado River and water has touched and impacted my life substantially, as well as my entire family,” he said. “We all live and breathe Colorado River issues.”

This mowed hay field is part of Reeder Creek Ranch, owned by the Bruchez family near Kremmling. Little data exists on the impacts of reducing irrigation water on higher elevation pastures like this one, but Paul Bruchez and a group of local ranchers have volunteered their fields for a study that will help scientists learn more about what happens to pastures that receive less irrigation water. Photo credit: Paul Bruchez via Aspen Journalism

Bruchez is also spearheading a project with other neighboring irrigators to see what happens when water is temporarily removed from high-elevation hay meadows. The results of the state grant-funded study could have implications for demand management, a program state officials are exploring, designed to save water by paying irrigators to temporarily fallow fields.

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