Tribute to Chuck Wanner, a dedicated water conservationist

Earlier this year Chuck Wanner decided it was best to dedicate more time to his family and personal pursuits and, of necessity, disengage from his work on water conservation.

In light of Chuck leaving our Board, we want to recognize Chuck’s exceptional contributions towards conservation of our cold-water fisheries.

  • Chuck is largely responsible for Colorado’s only Wild & Scenic River - The Poudre.

  • Chuck developed and convened the River Protection Workgroup that ultimately resulted in the passage of the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act signed into law by Obama in 2014. The permanent protection afforded to Hermosa was a huge, huge win for TU as an organization - and here locally. This collaborative workgroup remains the gold standard for how good policy is developed and advanced. And, Chuck is largely responsible for promoting and maintaining that collaboration.

  • Chuck established many of our most important relationships with folks often seen as 'the enemy'. His reason, pragmatism and calmness opened the door and that door remains open today.

  • Chuck helped establish the Animas Watershed Partnership dealing with nutrients in the Animas River basin.

  • For the last ten years, Chuck has participated in the Animas River Stakeholders Group meetings in Silverton looking to resolve our mining-impacted water quality problems through collaboration.

  • Chuck initiated the development of an Outstanding Waters designation for Hermosa Creek which remains today as a protection against water quality impairment.

  • For two+ terms, Chuck was the 5 Rivers Chapter President. And, during that tenure taught many of us the virtue of patience and persistence.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to Chuck. You've earned this time away from the battle. You're passing the baton and we'll take it from here. Rest assured your good work is well noticed or appreciated.Colorado's rivers are certainly better for your past attention.

With grateful appreciation,
Buck Skillen, Ty Churchwell and the entire 5RTU Board.