The Team

Dopplar Radar, West Fork Complex Wildfire

The team has formed five subcommittees:

1. The Hydrology team is locating areas that are at the highest risk from post-fire flash flooding and working with local and state officials to put in place appropriate monitoring and warning systems. 

2. The Communications committee is working to develop materials to communicate post-fire risks (flooding, debris, falling trees...) to the broader community, visitors, and people recreating in the forests. 

3. The Natural Resources committee is working with the USFS Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team to determine the severity of burned areas, prioritize need, develop restoration projects, and secure funding for project implementation.

4. The Emergency Management committee works to implement the Flood Plan Protocol for the three counties for the protection of life and safety.

5. The Economic Recovery committee is looking for short-term and long-term solutions to assist affected businesses in the  region.

RWEACT Leadership

Travis Smith, Superintendent for San Luis Valley Irrigation District & Board Member for Colorado Water Conservation Board
Stan Whinnery, Commissioner, Hinsdale County, Fiscal Agent, Colorado River District, Rio Grande Basin Roundtable, Gunnison Basin Roundtable
Karla Shriver, Rio Grande County Commissioner, Rio Grande Basin Roundtable
Ramona Weber, Mineral County Commissioner


RWEACT Administration

Program Director: Kristie Borchers

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Team Leaders

Emergency Management - Terry Weatherill, Mineral County Emergency Manager
Communications - Kristine Borchers, Hinsdale County
Economic Recovery - Karla Shriver, Rio Grande County
Natural Resources - Heather Dutton, San Luis Valley Water Conservancy District and Rio Grande Watershed Restoration Project
Hydrological - Steve Belz, Black Creek Hydrology

In response to a collaborative approach to impacts from the West Fork Complex fire, the Rio Grande Watershed Emergency Action Coordination Team (RWEACT) formally met on July 3, 2013 – two days after a community meeting identifying the need for such a consortium. Rio Grande National Forest Supervisor Dan Dallas welcomed the group with “we all should consider the jurisdiction, authority, knowledge, or experience we bring to the table as leverage not a constraint. If one of us can't do it, another of us likely can.”

RWEACT brings together local, state and federal agencies, organizations, and individuals to develop an effective, coordinated approach for immediate actions addressing fire-caused hazards resulting in the protection of human life, property, and the natural health of the Rio Grande River watershed and its environment.

Rio Grande National Forest Supervisor Dan Dallas participates with RWEACT as an ex-officio, non-voting member. 

 See a full list of our Partners