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AW Announces New Staff Position in Colorado!

Posted: 02/07/2011
by Nathan Fey

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American Whitewater is working with a coalition of conservation groups to establish legal and policy structures that meet defined flow needs for the Dolores River. In order to advance our common goals in the Dolores basin, American Whitewater and the San Juan Citizens Alliance are hiring a Dolores River Stewardship Assistant to implement specific tactics that advance our shared strategies of the environmental and recreational interests in the basin. This position will serve as a local advocate for whitewater paddling interests, and be dedicated to improving the coordination among paddlers, as well as environmental and recreational stakeholders in the Dolores River basin.

The Dolores River Stewardship Assistant will be a new half-time position with an initial term of 18 months. Possibility of additional hours-per-week and extensions are based on funding. Pay is hourly and based on experience.

Location is Cortez, Colorado.


The Dolores River Stewardship Assistant will work with American Whitewater and the San Juan Citizens Alliance as well as our conservation partners on project-related analysis and research, as well as communicating and advocating for our work to resource agencies, funders, elected officials, and other stakeholders.  This person will be expected to gather, synthesize and effectively develop outreach materials for public review, and to coordinate the open exchange of information between coalition organizations and stakeholders groups. In addition, the position will help develop outreach and education strategies, participate in on going monthly Dolores related meetings and attend events. The Stewardship Assistant will report directly to American Whitewater’s Colorado Director, and the San Juan Citizens Alliance River Programs Director.


Position Requirements

Specific requirements include:

-       Passion for rivers and their responsible enjoyment.

-       Enthusiastic self-starter with ability to work both independently and in a coalition setting

-       Knowledge of or ability to quickly understand the shared goals of environmental and recreational interests on the Lower Dolores. Specifically, the management goals shared by American Whitewater, San Juan Citizens Alliance, and The Nature Conservancy.

-       Excellent written and oral communication skills and ability to collect and analyze policy and science information from a variety of sources.

-       Ability to build strong working relationships with Dolores Water Conservancy District (DWCD), Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company (MVIC), U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR)

-       Local knowledge of the political landscape in the region and willingness to build relationships with local political leaders at county, state and federal levels of government.

-       Familiarity with word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and photo editing.

-       Ability to travel to strategically important events and meetings.

-       Willingness to work some evenings and weekends as needed.

-       Bachelor's degree or higher in science, policy, law, natural resource management, or related field, preferred.

-       Familiarity with Mac OS, network file sharing, and Google applications a plus.


Roles and Responsibilities

Represent recreational interests in Dolores River stakeholder processes.

The Dolores River Stewardship Assistant will work with lead staff from American Whitewater and San Juan Citizens Alliance to ensure recreational interests are effective in multiple on-going processes surrounding the overall management of the Lower Dolores River. This includes building relationships within and between recreational and environmental interests and increasing the overall coordination of the boating community in policy decisions and direct advocacy. Responsibilities include:

-       Working with key project staff to communicate a consistent message across multiple stakeholder processes, including

o   Dolores River Action Group (DRAG), a local forum for boaters to share information, coordinate volunteer stewardship projects, and advocate for recreational needs.

o   Southwest Basin Roundtable Non-Consumptive Needs Assessment Committee, part of the Inter-basin Compact Committee, working to identify critical recreational and environmental attributes of the Dolores basin.

o   Dolores River Dialogue, a group of stakeholders exploring opportunities to manage McPhee Reservoir to improve downstream needs.

-       Advancing best available science-based data on Dolores River flow needs.

-       Participate in stewardship activities including Dolores River Festival, club events, and others as needed


Coordinate greater public input on issues and opportunities shared by environmental and recreational interests.  

The Dolores River Stewardship Assistant will be responsible for improving public understanding of McPhee Reservoir operations and effects on recreational and environmental values in the Dolores River. This position will help implement specific tactics developed by our coalition members (SJCA, AW, TNC) and other conservation interests, such as Trout Unlimited and The Wilderness Society. Responsibilities include:

-       Building a common understanding of the issues being addressed by conservation groups in the Dolores basin,

-       Developing and facilitating a forum for collaboration between individuals and organizations interested in improving the environmental health and recreation experience on the Dolores.

-       Actively creating opportunities for on-going discussions between interest groups.

American Whitewater and San Juan Citizens Alliance will work with our Campaign organizer to participate in over 100 stakeholder and planning meetings, and recruit and coordinate volunteer alternates for these meetings, ensuring consistent and capable advocacy.

How to apply: Applications must be submitted prior to March 1st, 2011.
To apply, email a resume and cover letter to Nathan Fey, Colorado Stewardship Director (

No Phone Calls Please

Selected candidates may be asked to complete an additional sample analysis and writing project, and/or may be invited to participate in a phone or in-person interview.


About American Whitewater and the San Juan Citizens Alliance


            American Whitewater

Founded in 1954, American Whitewater is a national organization with a mission “to conserve and restore America’s whitewater resources and to enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely.” American Whitewater is a membership organization representing a broad diversity of conservation-oriented rafting, kayaking, and canoeing enthusiasts, and more than 100 local paddling club affiliates across America.  The organization is the primary advocate for the preservation and protection of whitewater rivers throughout the United States, and empowers human-powered recreational river users with ecological and science-based data to achieve the goals of our mission.


            San Juan Citizens Alliance

The San Juan Citizens Alliance (Alliance) is a grassroots organization dedicated to social, economic and environmental justice in the San Juan Basin. We organize San Juan Basin residents to protect our water and air, our public lands, our rural character, and our unique quality of life while embracing the diversity of our region’s people, economy and ecology.

Colorado Stewardship Director
Nathan Fey
1601 Longs Peak Ave.
Longmont, CO 80501
Phone: 303-859-8601

Associated Projects

Dolores River (CO)
American Whitewater is working to conserve and restore a dynamic, healthy Dolores River by leveraging recreational water needs to enhance and support in-stream flows.

Associated Rivers

Dolores CO
Dolores CO