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#UGRWCD

Did You Know?

FAQ

Where does my faucet water come from?

Ultimately your water comes from the melting and dispersal of the winter snowpack, into streams and groundwater. On a more specific level, it depends on where you live in the Upper Gunnison River valleys… Read More!

Upper Gunnison River Conservancy District

our History

The Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District was established in 1959 by a vote of the taxpayers pursuant to the Water Conservancy Act to conserve, protect, and defend the waters within the Upper Gunnison River Basin. The District was originally created to act as the legal entity tasked with dealing with the US Bureau of Reclamation for the construction and operation of the Upper Gunnison Project.

The Upper Gunnison project was never constructed, but the District’s responsibilities have evolved over the past sixty years with a focus of water needs within the basin. Its activities now include financial, legal, political and engineering support for water rights litigation, legislation and other political activities, and support for a wide variety of local water users’ interests including agriculture, recreation, environmental, and municipal uses. The District’s responsibilities also include negotiations with federal, state, regional, and local entities on matters such as reservoir operations, endangered species, and many other issues.

The major accomplishments of the District include the 1975 Taylor Park Reservoir Operation and Storage Exchange Agreement; the Taylor Park Reservoir second fill decree; opposition of transbasin diversions, specifically in the Union Park Reservoir project litigation; the 2000 Aspinall Subordination Agreement; the Aspinall Unit contract plan for augmentation; Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park federal reserved water right settlement; Recreational In-Channel Diversion water right adjudication; the Meridian Lake Reservoir Project and plan for augmentation; and the Lake San Cristobal Project and plan for augmentation.

The UGRWCD is governed by a board of eleven directors who are appointed by the Chief District Judge and represent eight geographical divisions. The divisions include Hinsdale County – Michelle Pierce, Saguache County – Rebie Hazard, Tomichi Creek – Kathleen Curry, Taylor River – Julie Vlier, Crested Butte – Rosemary Carroll and Julie Nania, Ohio Creek – Stacy McPhail, Gunnison River – Andy Spann, and the City of Gunnison – Bill Nesbitt, John Perusek, and George Sibley. A Director must reside and own real property within his or her division and must be knowledgeable in water matters affecting the Upper Gunnison River Basin.

 

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The upper Gunnison River Watershed

The Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District is located in south-central Colorado in the headwaters of the Gunnison River Basin. The mainstem of the Gunnison River which forms at the confluence of the East and Taylor Rivers in Almont, picks up other tributaries on its way into Blue Mesa Reservoir. Seven tributary mountain watersheds make up most of the Upper Gunnison River Basin. These seven are Ohio Creek, East River which includes the Slate River, Taylor River, Tomichi Creek which includes Quartz Creek, Cochetopa Creek, and the Lake Fork of the Gunnison.

Approximately 82% of the lands located within the District are federal public lands. Agriculture accounts for over 97% of the current water diversions in the Upper Gunnison River Basin. The total amount of irrigated acreage in the Basin is over 66,000 acres, mostly irrigated hay and pasture. The Basin is also known for its recreational activities such as fishing, boating, skiing, hunting, and camping; and this is a continually growing part of the local economy.

our staff

Our office is located at: 210 West Spencer, Suite B, Gunnison, CO 81230.  You can reach us 9 -5 at: 970-641-6065 or by email.

Frank Kugel

FRANK KUGEL

GENERAL MANAGER

Frank Kugel is the General Manager of the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District. Frank received his civil engineering degree from the University of Colorado. He previously worked at the Colorado Division of Water Resources, first as an inspector in the Dam Safety Branch and most recently as the Division Engineer for Water Division 4 – Gunnison Basin.

jhm headshot(thumb)

JOHN McCLOW

General Counsel

John is a graduate of Colorado Law. He has represented the District since 1991, becoming full time General Counsel in 2006. His work has consisted, in part, of water court litigation, including basin-wide plans for augmentation, and legislative advocacy. John has in served on numerous boards, commissions, and organizations involving Colorado water, including the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Upper Colorado River Commission, and Colorado Water Congress.

Jill Steele

Jill Steele

Office Manager

Jill has worked for the District since 1994. She received her degree in Accounting from Western State Colorado University and is the District’s office manager and accountant.

Beverly Richards

Beverly Richards

Administrative Assistant

Beverly has been with the District since 2005. Since joining the District, she went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Environmental Management and Planning from American Public University. Beverly works as the administrative assistant for the District and handles augmentation contracts among her other duties. She is also a staff member of the Watershed Management Planning, Grant, and Education Committees.

District Board Members

The UGRWCD is governed by a board of eleven directors who are appointed by the Chief District Judge and represent eight geographical divisions. The divisions include Hinsdale County – Michelle Pierce, Saguache County – Rebie Hazard, Tomichi Creek – Joellen Fonken, Taylor River – Julie Vlier, Crested Butte – Rosemary Carroll and Julie Nania, Ohio Creek – Stacy McPhail, Gunnison River – Andy Spann, and the City of Gunnison – Bill Nesbitt, John Perusek, and George Sibley. A Director must reside and own real property within his or her division and must be knowledgeable in water matters affecting the Upper Gunnison River Basin.

Michelle Pierce

President

Division 1
Term Expires 2023

Stacy McPhail

Vice President

Division 6
Term Expires 2022

George Sibley

Secretary

Division 8
Term Expires 2022

Bill Nesbitt

Treasurer

Division 8
Term Expires 2020

Rebie Hazard

Director

Division 2
Term Expires 2023

Joellen Fonken

Director

Division 3
Term Expires 2023

Julie Vlier

Director

Division 4
Term Expires 2020

Julie Nania

Director

Division 5
Term Expires 2021

Rosemary Carroll

Director

Division 5
Term Expires 2023

Andy Spann

Director

Division 7
Term Expires 2022

John Perusek

Director

Division 8
Term Expires 2022

General Inquiries

Contact Bev Richards

STANDING COMMITTEES

2019-2020

Education Committee: Chair – Bill Nesbitt, George Sibley, Rosemary Carroll, Joellen Fonken, Stacy McPhail, Frank Kugel, Beverly Richards

Executive Committee:  Chair – Michelle Pierce – President; Stacy McPhail – Vice President; Bill Nesbitt – Treasurer; George Sibley – Secretary

Finance Committee:  Chair – Bill Nesbitt, Julie Vlier, Rebie Hazard, Michelle Pierce, John Perusek, Frank Kugel, Jill Steele

Grant Committee: Rebie Hazard, Andy Spann, Rosemary Carroll, Julie Nania, Joellen Fonken, Frank Kugel, Beverly Richards

Legislative Committee:  Chair – Michelle Pierce, Rebie Hazard, Julie Vlier, Julie Nania, Andy Spann, John McClow, Frank Kugel

Projects Committee:  Chair – Julie Vlier, Bill Nesbitt, Rosemary Carroll, George Sibley, John Perusek, John McClow, Frank Kugel

Water Administration Committee:  Julie Vlier, Joellen FonkenRebie Hazard, Andy Spann, Michelle Pierce, John McClow, Frank Kugel

Watershed Management Planning Committee – Chair – George Sibley, Andy Spann, Michelle Pierce, Frank Kugel, John McClow, Beverly Richards

UGRWCD Divisions

Job Announcement

Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District

General Manager

Start date December 1, 2019