I’ll be at the Colorado River Water Conservation District Annual Seminar today. I will post the seminar hash tag as soon as we work it out this morning. You can follow along on my Twitter feed @CoyoteGulch.
Here’s the release from Colorado State University (Catie Boehmer):
Colorado State University’s Salazar Center for North American Conservation is hosting the inaugural International Symposium on Conservation Impact, featuring former U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, CSU System Chancellor Tony Frank, and a broad range of conservation experts from Canada to Mexico.
The symposium is set for Tuesday, Sept. 24, the first day of the 2019 Biennial of the Americas Festival, at the McNichols Civic Center Building in downtown Denver. It will convene thought leaders in conservation policy, practice, and research around the theme of landscape connectivity across the continent and will establish a forum to track, incent, recognize, and reward progress on conservation challenges in North America.
The Center also will announce a significant competitive prize for conservation impact at the symposium.
“In the face of global warming, the alarming disappearance of biodiversity and healthy connected ecosystems, and a growing world population that now exceeds 7.5 billion people, the Center looks to invest in cutting-edge ideas and world-class conservation leaders to pioneer projects that address these increasingly urgent challenges. These approaches are needed today more than ever,” said Beth Conover, director of CSU’s Salazar Center for North American Conservation.
With its continent-wide focus on landscape conservation and connections across borders, the symposium will bring together a range of stakeholders from the United States, Canada, and Mexico to build bridges between academic research, on-the-ground practice, and policy in the conservation space.
Recognizing that conservation efforts must also engage the interests of a broad and inclusive set of constituencies in order to be successful, the Center aims to bring more and new voices into the conversation, including many of whom have previously been unheard or excluded.
The Salazar Center’s efforts are bolstered by its home within CSU. A land-grant institution, CSU is a respected leader in environmental and conservation research and is recognized for its preeminent conservation programs and interdisciplinary strength.
The Salazar Center has seeded partnerships with a robust community of faculty and staff who are working on conservation-related issues, and this network continues to grow. The Center will ultimately be headquartered at CSU’s complex at the National Western Center, an unprecedented space for researchers and stakeholders from various backgrounds and from around the world to collaborate on issues at the intersection of water, food, sustainability, and human and animal health.
Speakers and tickets
Keynote speakers and panelists at the symposium will include: former U.S. Interior Secretary (and Center namesake) Ken Salazar, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, CSU System Chancellor Tony Frank, CSU President Joyce McConnell, Gary Tabor (Center for Large Landscape Conservation), Cristina Mormorunni (Wildlife Conservation Society), Mark Anderson (The Nature Conservancy), Ruth Musgrave (National Council of Environmental Legislators), Loren Bird Rattler (Blackfeet Nation), Exequiel Ezcurra (University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States), Eli Enns (Iisaak Olam Foundation), and Leigh Whelpton (Conservation Finance Network), with additional speakers to be announced soon.
The symposium and incentive prize are made possible with support from the Trinchera Blanca Foundation, an affiliate of The Moore Charitable Foundation, founded by Louis Bacon; CSU; the Biennial of the Americas; the Center for Large Landscape Conservation; the Bohemian Foundation; the Kendeda Fund; Denver Parks and Recreation; New Belgium Brewing; and a number of generous individual donors.
The Pawnee Buttes Seeds grass tour met Aug. 15-16 at the Lonesome Pines Land and Cattle Company in Grover, Colo., an area firmly in grazing country. The program concentrated on what rancher Jim Sturrock has deemed the five dimensions of ranching: landscape, time, animals, forage resources and the unexpected…
Soil health, mycorrhizal fungi, the geology of the land, CO2, photosynthetic cycles, weed identification and control, and biodiversity were all on the slate. The group traveled to neighboring properties to study control methods with varying degrees of success including winter grazing and differently timed applications of herbicide. Plant encroachment discussed included Fringed Sage, Juniper, Cheat Grass, cacti, skunk bush and toad flax. The group was able to study land management in action, see the effects of grazing cycles, and soil health in action.
“When external factors act upon an ecosystem, the living relationship between all things in that environment are at risk of changing,” he said. “A change or reduction in biodiversity can have negative impacts on plants and animals, both wild and domesticated, which depend on that habitat.”
Overgrazing can cause forage to die off and be displaced by competing shrubs and ungrazed grasses at a lower nutritional value. These encroaching plants, he said, often use more water, impacting the local watershed as well as impacting soil fertility and erosion rates.
From the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College:
John Wesley Powell: Scientist, Poet and Botched Politician
presenter Gregory Hobbs, Senior Water Judge, Colorado Courts
Event date: 9/20/2019 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
On the 150th Anniversary of John Wesley Powell’s first Colorado River Run, retired Justice Gregory Hobbs of the Colorado Supreme Court will revisit Powell’s journeys into the Colorado River Plateau and his genius as a first-hand leading spokesperson of the western experience.
Friday, September 20th – 5:30 p.m. – Fort Lewis College Ballroom – Free.
The new Four Corners Water Resource Center at Fort Lewis College aims to help educate professionals and bring the community together to make good water management decisions, Director Gigi Richard said.
“(Water) is a problem that is not going to go away as the population grows, as the climate warms, as we place greater demands on our existing systems and our infrastructure ages,” she said.
Richard co-founded the water center at Colorado Mesa University and is launching a similar center at FLC that will focus on the Dolores and San Juan river watersheds.
“We have called it the Four Corners Water Center because we don’t want to stop at the state line; the rivers don’t stop at the state line,” she said.
The center expects to educate students, convene community discussions and create an online data hub collected on the Dolores and San Juan river watersheds, she said.
Richard hopes to help highlight FLC water research and connect students with water-related classes, projects, research opportunities, internships and careers, she said. Fifteen FLC faculty are involved in water-focused research…
Richard also plans to assess the college’s water-related courses over the next year and determine how the school could expand its water-related curriculum. The school could offer minors, majors or certificates related to water studies…
The center also plans to create an online hub for data on the San Juan and Dolores river watersheds, such as native fish, sediment and channel morphology. She would like some of the data to be made into graphs that could be accessible to decision-makers, she said.
The center also hopes to convene forums that could promote education and discussion, Richard said.
For example, on Sept. 13, the center will host a forum called “Burned, Buried and Flooded: Water Resources Excitement in Southwest Colorado.” Panelists will discuss water topics including how the 416 Fire may affect the watershed, reservoirs and avalanches.
The center expects to work with many of the groups already working on water issues in the region such as Mountain Studies Institute and the Water Information Program.