Colorado Water Trust Opens a New Office in Southwest Colorado

Howdy! For those who don’t know me, my name is Blake Mamich. I live outside Ignacio, Colorado, and I am a Water Resources Specialist for the Colorado Water Trust. In my role at the Water Trust, I manage our “Request for Water Process”, which entails intake and screening of potential streamflow restoration projects, and I steward our reservoir release program on the Yampa River.

Over the last five years, the Colorado Water Trust returned from the pandemic work from home period, and experienced a staffing transition that brought with it a shift in how we view the organization geographically. While the Water Trust has always worked programmatically statewide, historically the majority of staff lived and worked in the Denver/Boulder area. Now, a majority of staff work outside of the Denver/Boulder area in Buena Vista, Salida, Durango, and Ignacio. It’s a slim majority, as our leadership and legal teams are still located in Boulder and we are still a very small organization, but as a staff, we now both live and work statewide. This feels appropriate and exciting as we continue to work on and expand our projects throughout the state.

Even with this geographic spread, Water Trust staff are a tight-knit team that seriously value in-person collaboration. So, when we hired Danielle Snyder, another southwest Colorado resident, as our Water Transactions Coordinator it made sense to open an office where the two of us could work together.

With that, I am excited to introduce and welcome you to our Durango office in southwest Colorado! We are super fortunate to have our new office in the historic Smiley Building in downtown Durango. Culturally, it’s an excellent fit. It’s a vibrant, creative space that hosts, among other tenants, several other environmental non-profits that we collaborate with often.

While Danielle and I will continue to work statewide and have exciting projects in the pipeline outside of southwest Colorado, we are determined to do some good work in our neck of the woods as well. A 2024 update to Colorado State University’s Climate Change in Colorado Report notes that in southwest Colorado, springtime precipitation has decreased by 22% as compared to the 50-year period from 1951 to 2000. It’s the largest decrease in the state. Streamflow in our area over the last 20 or so years has reflected that decrease in precipitation. We’ve been able to see those reductions in streamflow in person, whether recreating in and around the rivers and streams in southwest Colorado or turning down headgates and figuring out how to best to run a stretch of gated pipe to irrigate a hayfield with a reduced diversion. We know these rivers, and we know the people that depend on them.

Part of the beauty of the Water Trust’s work is that we get to make a measurable, tangible difference to streams and rivers around the state. You can’t help but want to do that in your own “backyard.”

So, if you’ve got an idea about how to help the rivers and streams in southwest Colorado, or just want to nerd out about the wonderfully weird world of water in Colorado, pop into office 113 in the Smiley Building and let’s chat. We’ll even buy you coffee at the Smiley Café.

Blake Mamich
Water Resources Specialist
720.570.2897 ext 2