Linda Bassi—“Not by design”

When asked how she got in the water business, Linda Bassi, Section Chief of the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s Stream and Lake Protection Program, stated, “Not by design.” Not withstanding, in a July 2008 interview, Bassi’s passion for the protection of Colorado’s waters is infectious.

Though born and raised in Chicago, Linda has called Colorado home for more than 15 years. She received her first exposure to the state as an intern with the Attorney General’s office, Natural Resources Section in 1992. After acquiring an Environmental Law degree from IIT Chicago Kent in 1994, she moved to Colorado and worked for a stint at a small water law firm in Boulder before joining the Attorney General’s Office to work on the CWCB’s Loan Program. Linda then spent about nine years representing both the CWCB and the Division of Water Resources for water right matters, including instream flow water rights (which she confides was her favorite).  In 2004, she officially moved to the CWCB’s Stream and Lake Protection Section to work full time on instream flow issues, and in September 2007 was appointed Section Chief.

Linda says of her position, “I love it!” With a staff of six, they help shape legislation, policies, and rules, as well as education and outreach activities related to the Program. Challenges and opportunities include the instream flow acquisition program. Biggest challenge, “Balancing water protection with people’s needs.” In addition, “Growth is concerning—there’s only so much water to go around.”

Linda is an avid birdwatcher and hiker, who hopes to soon add fly-fishing to her pastime repertoire. In addition, she hopes to add the prevention of threatened and endangered species listings to her organization’s efforts. For more information on the CWCB Stream and Lake Protection Program and/or to contact Linda directly, visit their website at www.cwcb.state.co.us/streamandlake/.