By Michael Harrington

Bob picked a good day to do volunteer work cleaning up wire along the Arkansas River.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022, a wiry crew, crusty a few and some younger too, with nippers, snippers, cutters, a camera too. Our mission: Rusty barbed wire. Piece by piece by piece, long and short lengths, some buried, much exposed.

We split up, one group going south, the other to the north, commencing, we dislodged, dispatched, for disposal later, a couple of miles of barb wire.

Decaying posts acting as sentinels to a storied past, now wrapped in coiled strands, twisted into folds, nailed tight, still resisting with strength it was designed for. But our tools were convincing, the rusted wire resigning, it’s use over.

No nicks, no cuts, no tears of either kind, a lot of wire now in wound, landfill bound.

We beat the rain, (foothills west showed a dusting of snow.

Time and weather still in our favor, we unwind. Brats on the tailgate grill cooking by chef Bob, co-chef Lee, and setting the scene, Marji. Everything was great.

Chewing and socializing was dessert. Project: SUCCESS.

Following is our proposed election slate for 2022. Terms expire November 30 of the listed year.

Officers: (can be allowed more terms by board vote)

President: Chris Lamson Exp. 2023 (to be elected)

Vice-president: Keith Krebs Exp. 2023 (to be elected)

Secretary: Karen Dils Exp. 2023

Treasurer: Pam Simpson Exp. 2023 (may “retire” then)

Director: Dave Moore Exp 2023 (finishing Rick’s spot; former board member)
Director: Gene Milus exp. 2024 (finishing Chris’s spot; continuing member)
Director: Jim McGannon Exp. 2023 (continuing member)
Director: Kim LeTourneau Exp. 2023 (continuing member)
Director: Bob Hamel exp. 2024 (continuing member)
Director: Dave Belmont exp. 2024 (continuing member)
Director: Bryan Ward exp. 2024 (continuing member)

Newly elected in 11/22 Mark Zinkula exp 2025 (to be elected)
Newly elected in 11/22 Don Harville exp 2025 (to be elected)

A few short bio’s:

Mark Zinkula: I have been actively engaged in conservation for most of my adult life and in a variety of capacities. I have been a member or served as an adviser or on the board of various conservation and environmental organizations. I also enjoy rolling up my sleeves and getting directly involved in conservation projects. For example, I continue to own a portion of the family farm in Iowa and have converted what was formerly cleared, tillable land to its original state by planting a wide range of native trees, prairie grasses and wildflowers. Since moving to Chaffee County in 2020, I have been an active volunteer with a variety of organizations, including Trout Unlimited, on several conservation initiatives. I am especially interested in efforts to improve trout habitat in the Upper Arkansas River Valley. 

Chris Lamson: I am a lifelong conservationist and science nerd, and an avid fly angler of about 25 years. I’ve been a TU life member since 2003 and I was active in the St. Vrain chapter prior to moving to Buena Vista. I have a degree in Biology from CU with an emphasis in ecology, and a degree in Civil Engineering from CSU with an emphasis in hydrology and hydraulics. I moved to BV about a year ago. I have taken an active interest in the Upper Arkansas watershed since 2017 when I began work as a researcher for CSU and CPW, monitoring the river restoration project in Hayden Meadows and Reddy SWA. I joined the Board of Directors of the Collegiate Peaks Chapter in May 2022 and I have enjoyed volunteering on several projects this summer, including several youth education activities. I also volunteer for GARNA, Project Healing Waters, River Watch, and Ark Valley Humane Society. My goals for the chapter are to expand our community-oriented events to ensure that the Collegiate Peaks Chapter is recognized as a welcoming and inclusive group that enriches the lives of everyone in the valley, members and non-members alike. I intend to continue and expand our youth education programs and foster collaboration with other local conservation organizations. I want to identify more conservation projects through which our members and the larger community can work directly to improve the health of our watershed.

Don Harville: I am a long-time and Life Member of Trout Unlimited. One of my most memorable events was the Entomology for Fly fishermen class taken on the Mountain Fork River in southeastern Oklahoma.  This event jump-started my enthusiasm for public education of our beloved trout, their behavior and preservation of their environment. I also lived in Calgary Alberta where I spent a lot of time chasing and admiring Westslope Cutthroats.  I live on the river north of Buena Vista and am currently serving on the Citizen Task Force for the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area as a riverfront property representative.  I have also recently been trained as a Mentor to help guide trips for Project Healing Waters.  I have also completed my second year as a fly fishing guide for ArkAnglers.  Being on the water 5-6 days a week from May-October has given me an appreciation of how precious a resource we have responsibility to protect and how much enjoyment it brings to people from all backgrounds.

Dave Moore: An old man, lived in the valley for over 20 years, lots of fly fishing in the area , many years as CPTU board member, past rowing guide, bamboo rod maker, avid fly tyer, founder Salida Sunrise Rotary Club, long time Land Trust board member, co-founder, South Arkansas Watershed Coalition.