New leadership for Friends of the Lower Blue River
summit daily news
SILVERTHORNE – Marty Richardson has a love for Western landscapes, and now she’s putting that love to work with Friends of the Lower Blue River (FLBR).
Richardson took over as the local conservation organization’s executive director on March 30. In her new role, she will represent the nonprofit’s 150 dues-paying members in their efforts to protect the rural character and environmental values of the Lower Blue Valley, which stretches from Dillon Reservoir to the Colorado River near Kremmling.
Richardson has spent most of her adult life in the West, having lived in Colorado, Montana, Alaska and Idaho. She grew up in rural Indiana, and her interest in environmental protection “comes from a whole life spent outdoors, enjoying outdoor activities, being aware of land-use issues, preservation and conservation.”
During the summers, the 14-year Summit County resident teaches wildflower identification classes at Colorado Mountain College, and she monitors the eastern ridge of Hoosier Pass for threatened plant species.
“This job as executive director is one in which I promote the objectives of Friends of the Lower Blue – they’re very similar to my own,” Richardson said.
Now among FLBR’s top issues is a proposal for improvements to Green Mountain Reservoir’s campground and boating facilities by the U.S. Forest Service.
“We are really wanting to watch that whatever improvements are made at the reservoir are consistent with the Lower Blue Planning Commission and Friends of the Lower Blue objectives to preserve the rural character of the valley,” Richardson said.
Another item on the list is the Hidden Gems wilderness proposal, which would extend wilderness designation to several parcels of U.S. Forest Service land in the Lower Blue Valley. The organization came out publicly in support of the proposal in January.
The organization is also keeping a close eye on Denver Water’s proposed Moffat Project, which would divert more water from the Blue River to the Front Range to increase municipal water supplies.
“Water issues are extremely important,” Richardson said.
And Richardson’s extensive knowledge of Colorado plant life will come in handy as she leads the organization in its efforts to combat noxious weeds throughout the valley.
Richardson said her goals as executive director include broadening FLBR’s visibility and expanding its membership beyond the valley.
“People need to be aware of the conservation concerns of having a rural ranching area that’s visually beautiful and recreationally important. Everyone needs to be aware of these issues – not just the people who live there, but all of us who appreciate it,” Richardson said.
Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-4630 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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