Forum Examines Changes in Water and Land Use in the South Platte River Basin

The public is invited to attend the Ninth Annual South Platte Forum, "Not in my Watershed! Changes in Water and Land Use in the South Platte Basin," Oct. 28-29.

The forum will address changing water and land uses in the South Platte Basin from a variety of perspectives, including agricultural, environmental, municipal and urban viewpoints. The event will be held at the Raintree Plaza Conference Center in Longmont, and will include six themed sessions, two keynote luncheons, poster presentations, a cocktail/social hour and lengthy breaks for networking and viewing displays.

The forum will examine Colorado’s rapid growth and will show how the management of growth issues in the South Platte Basin is moving traditional water and land uses beyond historical patterns. Participants will learn about and discuss the challenges Colorado faces from downstream states, new federal and state legal requirements and changing perspectives. The forum will address the question of how changes in traditional water and land uses can be integrated to satisfy the competing demands of various interest groups.

Forum topics will include instream flows, confined animal feeding operations and endangered species. In addition, there will be a session on the use of new technologies in watershed management. The forum will conclude with a session titled "Can’t We All Just Get Along?" which will focus on cooperative efforts for water management in the South Platte Basin. Keynote speakers include Justice Gregory J. Hobbs Jr., Colorado Supreme Court; Ed Quillen, Denver Post columnist; and William Riebsame, professor of geography at the University of Colorado and author of "Atlas of the New West."

The forum is organized through a cooperative effort of academic, local, state and federal water organizations. Sponsors of this year’s forum include the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, the Colorado Water Resources Research Institute on the Colorado State University campus, Denver Water, Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey.

The South Platte River Forum was initiated in 1989 to provide an avenue for the multi-disciplinary exchange of information and ideas important to resource management in the South Platte Basin. The forum’s mandates are to "enhance the effective management of natural resources in the South Platte Basin by promoting coordination between state, federal and local resource managers, and private enterprise" and to "promote the interchange of ideas among disciplines to increase awareness and understanding of South Platte River Basin issues and public values."

Registration is $65 until Oct. 15 and $80 after Oct. 15.

For more information, call Laurie Schmidt, South Platte Forum coordinator, at (970) 491-6308.