Kathryn Hernandez
Photo 1. Kathryn Hernandez of the EPA receives an “Excellence in Riparian Management” award from CRA President Jennifer Patterson at the October Conference in Breckenridge.

The Colorado Riparian Association (CRA) annually recognizes two individuals for “Excellence in Riparian Management”. The purpose of the award is to recognize individuals for their activism in protecting riparian zones. Typically, CRA recognizes a private landowner and a federal employee. This year, however, we recognized two outstanding federal employees for their leadership roles in our watersheds. The recipients were Kathryn Hernandez of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Jay Thompson of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Kathryn Hernandez was nominated as a result of her leadership of the Lefthand Creek watershed abandoned mine restoration work conducted over the past few years. Kathy led the Lefthand Watershed Oversight Group which was comprised of representatives from other EPA programs (Superfund, Brownfields, Emergency Response); the U.S. Forest Service; the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment; the Boulder County Open Space and Mountain Parks Program; two private landowners; and a community stakeholder group. The restoration work in the Lefthand Creek watershed, which is located in northwestern Boulder County, is focused on the removal and reduction of sources of metal contamination to the three creeks in the watershed: the Little James Creek, James Creek, and Lefthand Creek. Lefthand Creek is the main water supply for about 15,000 residents of northern and eastern Boulder County. This work has been recognized by the EPA as the premiere case study in the EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response and in the Office of Water Program Integration National Reference Manual, 2006. Kathy and the Group were also honored with a national EPA award for the “Cross-Program Land Revitalization Team Award” for 2006.

Photo 2. Jay Thompson of the BLM receiving an “Excellence in Riparian Management” award from CRA President Jennifer Patterson at the October Conference in Breckenridge.

Jay Thompson was nominated because of his continual commitment to Colorado riparian zones not only through his work but also through volunteering. Jay is the Colorado Riparian Cadre Coordinator and BLM Colorado State Office Riparian Program Manager. Jay has been teaching the Properly Functioning Conditions (PFC) workshops for seven years. PFC is a methodology for assessing the physical functioning of riparian and wetland areas. As the State Office Riparian Program Manager, he serves as the link between field offices and Washington DC. He is responsible for budget management and technical advice, while acting as an ally for the field staff. Additionally, he has donated at least seven years of service to CRA. Jay served as CRA president in 2000-2001 and was newsletter editor for almost three years. He has just been appointed treasurer for the organization because he still has more “volunteering” in him.
CRA sincerely thanks Kathy and Jay for their outstanding service to Colorado’s greenlines.
Editor’s Note: Nominations for awards and comments may be forwarded to CRA through any of the officers or Board members at any time.

Colorado Riparian Association