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February 21, 2013
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LETTER: Tribute to the late Dave Soker

Dave Soker loved rivers.

In working for the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, he helped create fish habitat from abandoned gravel pits and riverbanks by constructing new wetlands and ponds to replace those that had been lost over the years. Conservation easements were obtained, wetlands were re-established. Openings to the river allowed spring flooding to reach low lying areas where fish could spawn and grow.

In serving on the Riverfront Commission, he was a strong advocate for more wildlife areas and interpretive signage, recognizing that the Riverfront Project is more than just a trail. It is a series of parks, wildlife sanctuaries, wetlands, ponds and natural floodplains.

As a resident of Palisade, he promoted the installation of interpretive signs in Riverbend Park, describing the history of this area which had included a Civilian Conservation Corps camp during the Depression of the 1930s, a prisoner of war camp in World War II, and an ill-conceived subdivision.

In broadening the perception of the Riverfront Project, he opened our eyes to the economic, environmental, cultural and historic importance of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers to the lives of our people.

Bennett Boeschenstein

Grand Junction

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The Post Independent Updated Feb 21, 2013 02:18PM Published Feb 21, 2013 02:17PM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.