Flowing Rivers: The Natural Connection
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The Colorado River Basin is characterized by majestic mountains and rivers fed primarily by snowmelt. From large cities to small mountain towns, these rivers and their associated recreation and tourism can be the economic lifeblood of a community. In addition, the river channels and associated wetlands provide multiple benefits to the community such as flood control, urban heat island mitigation, and clean water.
Some western communities have taken innovative approaches to ensure that rivers, wetlands, and waterways have sufficient water to support the natural environment under the unique legal framework known as “The Law of the River”. In recent years, the highly publicized restoration of the Colorado River Delta region has driven the burgeoning movement to ensure that water is allocated to natural areas throughout the Colorado River Basin.
To ensure success, a variety of stakeholders across numerous departments within a municipality must come together to support, plan, and implement projects that protect and restore natural areas.
You’ll learn about:
- The multiple benefits that flowing rivers provide to local communities
- The challenges associated with securing the appropriate water flows to sustain natural habitat
- The collaborations necessary to implement and sustain projects over the long term
, City of Durango
Confirmed SpeakerGreg Hoch is the Director of Community Development for the City of Durango, Colorado. Greg began his planning career in 1973 with the City of Denver Planning Office, then moved on to the Animas Regional Planning Commission in Durango/La Plata County from 1974 through 1975. After a stint as Tribal Planner for Wisconsin's Menominee Indian Tribe in 1976, he returned to Southwest Colorado in 1977, where he had his own consulting firm through 1980. From 1981 to 1987, he served as Durango City Planner, and from 1987 to the present has been the Department Director - all told, 34 years in the same department. During his tenure, Durango has adopted 3 Comprehensive Plans; 2 Unified Development Codes; a Historic Preservation Plan with associated Design Guidelines; Design Review Guidelines for the CBD, all Commercial Uses, and Multi Family Housing; an Inclusionary Housing Ordinance; and many more planning products.
, Sonoran Institute
Confirmed SpeakerSummer Waters currently works at the Sonoran Institute as the Director of the Western Lands and Communities program, a joint program with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of South Florida and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior to joining the Sonoran Institute, Summer worked for the University of Arizona as the Water Resources Extension Agent in Maricopa County. She previously spent numerous years working in planning and natural resource protection and restoration, most recently for the County of San Diego.
, Paradise Valley
Confirmed SpeakerPresent Planning Related: Representing one of the twenty five stakeholder groups as a member of the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program’s Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG) from 2010 to the present. The AMWG is the Federal Advisory Committee charged with making recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior for the operation of Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. Membership is appointed by the Secretary of Interior with representation from each of the cooperating agencies, Colorado River basin states, environmental groups, recreation interests, and contractors for federal power from Glen Canyon Dam. The advisory committee provides a forum of discussion for bringing key issues to resolution. The Secretary of Interior has been mandated to operate the dam and regulate the river to meet the many and varied statutory goals mandated by congress. The AMWG makes it possible for the Secretary to bring all these varied interests to a consensus on how to protect downstream resources and strike a wise balance on river operations. Past Planning Related: Arizona Planning Association, Board Member in the Citizen Planner position from 2001 through 2005. Moderator for a panel on Planning Commission/Staff Relationships for the November 2007 Arizona Planning Association conference. Maricopa County Planning and Zoning Commission, Member from 1984 through 1996. Maricopa County encompasses all of the metropolitan Phoenix area. Served three terms as Chairman. Participated in all area and county wide land use plans adopted during tenure on Commission. Participated in revising, amending and adopting all changes to the county zoning ordinance during that time. Participating in developing the Maricopa County 2020 Comprehensive Plan, a land use and transportation plan for all unincorporated areas of the County.
, Southern Nevada Water Authority
, Las Vegas
, The Sonoran Institute
Confirmed SpeakerDr. Francisco Zamora Arroyo has been the Director of the Colorado River Delta Legacy Program since 2002. As the Director of the Colorado River Delta program, he is responsible for integrating community stewardship, applied science, and local values in an alliance to reform water policy, conserve and restore priority areas, and build knowledge and capacity for collaboration between water managers and local leaders. Over the past seventeen years Dr. Zamora has developed close relationships with Mexican and U.S. agencies involved in water and land management, and communicates frequently with regional or national officials dealing with issues in the Colorado River Delta. He spends a good portion of his time in the field working with communities, visiting potential restoration areas, and doing field research and restoration work. He obtained his Ph.D. in Resource Geography from Oregon State University in October 2002, with a minor in natural resource economics. He also holds a master’s degree in Marine Resource Management from Oregon State University and a B.S. degree in Oceanography from Autonomous University of Baja California. He has published his work on ecological restoration, policy, and bi-national collaboration issues in the Delta.