Monday Trout Unlimited banquet honors Grand County Commissioner James Newberry | SkyHiNews.com

Monday Trout Unlimited banquet honors Grand County Commissioner James Newberry

The Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited is hosting a “Save the Fraser River” banquet on Monday, July 19, at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, where the “River Conservationist of the Year” award will be presented. Tickets are $40 per person and include dinner, a cash bar, and live and silent auctions stuffed with opportunities to bid on trout-related trips and merchandise.

Because of his tireless efforts to protect and restore our county’s rivers, lakes and streams, Trout Unlimited is awarding its highest honor to Grand County Commissioner James Newberry.

After 15 years of employment with the Winter Park Ski Resort, Newberry was elected to serve as a County Commissioner in 1996, when he also became the county’s representative on the East Grand Water Quality Board (a watershed protection group for the Fraser River watershed). It was there Newberry dove into water issues “head first.”

He presently represents the county on the Colorado River District Board (the River District represents the water interests of all 15 counties along the Colorado River, which starts here in Grand County and goes to the Utah State Line) and is chairman of the Water Quantity/Water Quality Committee of the Northwest Council of Governments.

Newberry is no stranger to the State Capitol, where many times he has lobbied for water laws that benefit Grand County and the Western Slope.

He can be credited with helping to inspire and to create the “Grand County Stream Flow Management Plan.” This $1 million document has given Grand County the scientific evidence to be able to stand up to the major water diverters and to demand mitigation to protect our most important resource.

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The lion’s share of the work that Newberry does is to negotiate the future of Grand County’s streams and rivers with the boards that represent the major water diverters. Newberry “is a dynamic negotiator who is well respected by those with whom he works,” peers say.

“To put the future of our rivers on any one person’s shoulders is daunting and unfair, but Newberry has broad shoulders and is carrying the load for all of us very well,” said Grand County Trout Unlimited Board President Kirk Klancke. “Because of his tireless efforts to protect and restore our county’s rivers, lakes and streams, Trout Unlimited is awarding him our highest honor, the River Conservationist of the Year Award. Please join us at our July 19 party to congratulate James and help TU Save the Fraser River.”

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