by Randy Mandel
Dear CRA Members:
As I complete my third stint as President of the Colorado Riparian Association, I am deeply humbled by where we stand today. In the 20-or-so years that I have been a member, CRA has dwindled from an all-time high of close to 400 members to its current all-time low of approximately 100 people. What has changed? Apparently both our relevance and our out-reach. As such, it is essential that we rejuvenate as a group and return to our roots as practitioners and educators for all things riparian (or linear wetland if you prefer). To this effect, our cherished Julie Ash has been diligently compiling pain versus benefit surveys to help focus and direct our future activities. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the survey and its results, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org . While most of the feedback is not surprising, it is good to document what we need to do and how to best get there.
To this effect, a new “Riparian Q and A” button is being added to our website. With this new feature, we as a group will be positioning ourselves to stay on the relevant forefront of our field and to serve as a resource to our members and the riparian community…and, since none of us know everything, we will be tapping our most-knowledgeable membership to help answer the upcoming questions.
So, what can you do as a member? In a short sentence…..get involved. There are several major officer and board positions are coming available including Secretary, Treasurer, Academic Advisor, Private Sector Advisor, Public Sector Advisor, etc. Please remember that the group that we help to refine today is the group that we benefit from tomorrow!
What else can you do? Help us find sponsors….. please! We very much need them and every little bit helps. If everyone does their part with helping to find sponsors, we can get there from here. If not, well……..?
In addition, our Annual Joint Sustainable Watershed Conference is occurring from October 5th to October 7th at the Vail Cascade Resort in Vail. We need you to come and make a difference. Plenty of rooms are still available and there are some wonderful speakers and workshops to choose from. Please refer to http://coloradoriparian.org/ for more information.
Finally, I want to thank our dedicated board and current membership that continues to work so hard to ensure that CRA will continue into the future. As always, it is an luxury and a privilege to work with you. Thanks again for your participation and I look forward to seeing you at the Conference.