November 24, 2011--Keeping the dialogue flowing (Durango Telegraph)

After what seems like years of being stuck in the same recirculating eddy, river runners are finally reporting progress on the Lower Dolores River. “Exciting things are happening after what has seemed like years of stalling,” said Jay Loschert, Dolores River Stewardship assistant for American Whitewater in a recent letter to local boaters. “Whitewater boating opportunities are gaining the importance they’ve always deserved in the discussions; boaters are being heard.” The voice of boaters is among almost 40 that came together to create the Dolores River Dialogue nearly a decade ago. This group has been working since 2004 to manage releases from McPhee Dam so all the diverse interests, including river running, can be served. Represented by the Dolores River Action Group, or DRAG, river runners have recently taken on a new ally in the conversation: American Whitewater. DRAG has also taken on a new name, Lower Dolores Boating Advocates, which is hoping to build on the solid work done by DRAG. “I have been hired by American Whitewater to organize the local boating community, so we can speak clearly and effectively in the various stakeholder meetings that shape water management decisions for the Dolores River,” continued Loschert.

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