Garfield County commissioners appoint Beckley to Colorado River District board |

Garfield County commissioners appoint Beckley to Colorado River District board

Steve Beckley is the new Garfield County representative on the Colorado River District Board. Photo by Ian Wagreich / © U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The Garfield County commissioners have appointed Glenwood Springs tourism entrepreneur Steve Beckley as the county’s new representative on the Colorado River District Board for a three-year term.

The appointment came on Monday, and was announced in a Thursday news release from the county.

The River District board seat opened late last year after former board President Dave Merritt resigned from the role after several decades working with the Glenwood Springs-based River District to try to keep water on Colorado’s Western Slope.

Beckley, who owns Iron Mountain Hot Springs and Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, told the commissioners in his recent interview that he was interested in representing Garfield County on the river board to help protect water rights in the region.

“I think that there is such a need in the future for western Colorado to take our water issues more seriously, and I’m a businessman who can help get the best for the West Slope,” he said. “This is the most valuable board for our county, and I think there are so many things that are going to happen over the next 20 years with water and usage, that it’s very important to have a good mind on the board to help weed through the issues.”

Beckley has also previously served on several other volunteer boards, including the Glenwood Springs Tourism Promotion Board.

He added that the top issue he sees before the district at this time is balancing the current declining water supply with increased demand.

“Our communities, businesses, ranchers and agriculture, everything we have in western Colorado, requires water and our supplies are diminishing,” he said. “It’s going to be a real challenge to make sure those needs are met.”

Local engineer Dean Gordon, an owner of SGM, Inc., also applied for the position. Beckley was appointed unanimously by the county commissioners, 3-0.

“I believe both are well-qualified, and it was a hard decision,” Commissioner Mike Samson said before making the motion to appoint Beckley.

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