Water and land management presentations scheduled

Two upcoming events in Grand Junction will offer information about water and land management in Western Colorado.

The Colorado River District and Water Center at Colorado Mesa University has scheduled the annual Mesa County State of the Rivers meeting for 6:30 p.m. May 2 at the University Center ballroom at CMU.

The Mesa County Conservation Forum will host a presentation on the value of public lands to Western Colorado economies at 6 p.m. May 8 at the University Center ballroom.

The May 2 State of the Rivers meetings will include a presentation by Erik Knight, a hydrologist with the Western Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation in Grand Junction. Historically low snowpacks and early runoffs could make the summer of 2012 a challenging time for water management in Mesa County in the midst of what’s forecast as moderate to severe drought conditions in local river basins.

Eric Kuhn, general manager of the Colorado River District, will detail efforts to develop a statewide water plan to deal with possible shortages. A panel discussion will follow and feature Larry Clever, general manager of Ute Water, Petrika Peters of the Colorado Environmental Coalition and Mel Rettig of Rettig Farms.

George Sibley, author of a book about the Colorado River District, will discuss the role of Mesa County in founding the district.

For additional information about the State of the Rivers meeting, log on to www.coloradomesa.edu/watercenter.

The May 8 presentation will offer a discussion of how public lands contribute to local economies and how communities make decisions about public land use.

John Redifer, director of the Redifer Research Institute at CMU, will start the discussion.

Tim Casey, a professor of political science at CMU, will moderate a panel discussion featuring Tom Kenyon, mayor of Grand Junction; Steve Gunderson, regional president of U.S. Bank; Wade Haerle of EIS Solutions; Joe Kerby, Delta city manager; and Jacque Bevan, a rancher and president of the Gateway Property Owners Association.

The Mesa County Conservation Forum also will join with the Water Center at CMU and Protect the Flows Project to host a presentation on the value of the Colorado River to Western Colorado economies. That event is set for 6 p.m. May 22 at the University Center ballroom.

For more information about the upcoming forums, visit the Web site at www.mccforum.org.