Rebie Hazard was appointed to the UGRWCD Board of Directors in June 2003 representing Division 2, Saguache County. Her current term expires in 2023. She is also a Board member of the Saguache County Planning Commission and serves on the Advisory Board for the Saguache County Master Plan. She has also served on the Colorado River Water Conservation District Board of Directors since 2005.
Rebie owns and operates the Flying M Ranch on Cochetopa Creek. In addition to being a working cattle ranch, the ranch also accommodates hunting and fishing enthusiasts. It has been in the Hazard family since 1916. Rebie’s great great grandfather settled with his family in the area in 1868 and Rebie’s grandfather was instrumental in the economic development of Saguache and an active player in the history of the area. Saguache is a Ute word that means “blue earth” or “water at blue earth” which is appropriate considering Saguache County is located in a high alpine valley with the second largest aquifer in the nation. Saguache prides itself on its fresh, clean water that they say rivals any bottled water since no chlorine or fluoride is added to their drinking water supply.
Rebie is the longest-serving member on the current UGRWCD Board of Directors. As such, she has seen a lot of changes in her 19 years of service. “I am very proud to see all that the District has accomplished during my tenure,” Rebie said. “Huge strides have been made in the Watershed Management Planning process as over 200 potential water improvement projects have been identified and prioritized and dozens of these have already been completed or are underway.”
Rebie is a member of the District’s Water Administration Committee, Grant Committee and the Finance Committee and has also witnessed the growth of resources in the District. “When I was appointed to the Board in 2003, the District had revenues of less than three quarters of a million dollars,” said Rebie. “Now, less than 20 years later, our revenues have almost tripled to nearly two and a quarter million dollars. I’m especially pleased how much of this has been leveraged to receive matching funds from other grantors and government agencies for improvement projects in our watershed.”
As a member of the Planning Commission for Saguache, Rebie understands the challenge of meeting the needs of our growing populations with limited water resources. “For the future, we have to figure out how to accommodate more people living and playing in this basin with less water than we have now,” said Rebie. “I believe with the proper amount of conservation and cooperation, we can responsibly use our limited water supply, but the District will have to be the leader in educating our population about changes to our way of life to make this possible.”
UGRWCD General Manager Sonja Chavez said she is very grateful for Rebie’s many years of service to the District. “Rebie has such a great understanding of the needs of the rural agricultural water users since she manages a working ranch,” said Sonja. “This coupled with the fact that she has such a long history with the Upper Gunnison District, the Colorado River District and with Saguache County is such an asset to our Board and the decisions we make. We are so appreciative of her knowledge and experience.”
When Rebie has a spare moment from her ranching responsibilities and her service to the various Boards she’s involved with, she enjoys collecting antiques and treasures from the Old West, fishing, hunting and spending time with her children and grandchildren.