Devil’s Thumb Ranch owner honored with Trout Unlimited’s “River Conservation Award”

Special to Sky-Hi News
Devil's Thumb owner Bob Fanch accepts his River Conservation Award at the Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited annual banquet at Devil's Thumb Ranch on July 17.
Submitted by Trout Unlimited |

TABERNASH — Bob Fanch, owner of Devil’s Thumb Ranch and longtime leader in local river conservation efforts, was awarded the coveted River Conservation Award by the Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

At its annual banquet at Devil’s Thumb Ranch on July 17, Trout Unlimited honored Fanch for the years he has dedicated to keeping Grand County’s rivers and streams healthy. Fanch traveled around the state during the Colorado Wildlife Commission hearings on the two water diversion firming projects that are being proposed in Grand County. He attended the hearings to ask for fair mitigation, which addressed the impacts from both projects on the Fraser and Colorado River watersheds.

Fanch also was on the steps of the state capitol with his family when Trout Unlimited held a rally in the public arena to draw attention to the impact of Front Range diversions on the Upper Colorado River ecosystem. Fanch’s family foundation, the Sprout Foundation, has always made funding available when scientific studies could shed light on the truth about river needs and their state of health.

“Protecting the environment and our rivers is a passion for Bob,” said Kirk Klancke, President of the Colorado River Headwaters chapter. “He gives selflessly for this cause, and understands that the health of our local communities in the Fraser Valley depends on the health of our rivers. While he is a large landowner, Bob knows that rivers can’t tell private property from public property, and he is an advocate for the entire Upper Colorado River system. Bob is a true hero in our fight to save our heavily depleted rivers and a more than deserving recipient of the River Conservation Award.”

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