Pitkin County Officials Honored for River Conservation


(ASPEN, CO) Pitkin County Attorney John Ely and County Commissioner Rachel Richards are both being honored for their efforts to protect rivers and streams locally and across the western slope.


Ely’s vision to create the Healthy Rivers and Streams Citizen’s Advisory Board recently caught the attention of the Colorado Environmental Coalition (CEC). Hewas presented with the Coalition’s “Conservation Hero” award by Governor Bill Ritter at its 45th anniversary gala in Denver last week. Ely was honored along with award-winning author and environmental activist, Terry Tempest-Williams and CEO of New Belgium Brewing Company, Kim Jordan.


“It is an honor for us to be able to recognize Mr. Ely for his Healthy Rivers and Streams vision for the group’s success in safeguarding a key part of Colorado’s natural heritage for this and future generations,” said CEC’s Executive Director, Elise Jones.


CEC marked its 45th anniversary as the state’s oldest and most preeminent conservation advocacy organization.


In related news:


Pitkin County Commissioner Rachel Richards will be named 2010 Robert Billingsley River Conservator at the 11th annual River Rendezvous sponsored by the Roaring Fork Conservancy (RFC) July 14th.


During her almost two decades of public service Richards has focused on the many water concerns facing the Roaring Fork Watershed and Western Slope, according to RFC officials. Most recently in 2008, Richards managed the successful campaign to create the Pitkin County Healthy Rivers and Streams fund, a county-wide ballot measure that collects 1/10 of one cent in sales tax for the purpose of helping augment minimum stream slows, working for riparian protection, drought preparedness, and fighting further trans-mountain diversions from our watershed, officials said.


Richards is Pitkin County’s voting representative to the Colorado River Basin “1177” roundtable. She is Vice-Chair of the Northwest Council of Governments Water Quality and Quantity Committee, is an alternate to the Ruedi Water and Power Authority board, and has participated with the “10,825” endangered fish water working group to keep the needs of the Fryingpan River and Ruedi Reservoir recreational users in the forefront.


Posted on Monday, June 14, 2010