Ken Neubecker, Executive Director


Ken is the immediate Past-President of Colorado Trout Unlimited (2008 – 2010). He is the Environmental Representative on the Colorado River Basin Roundtable, a member of the Water Center at Colorado Mesa University Advisory Council and served on the Governor’s Forest Health Advisory Council. Ken also served with the I-70 PEIS Mountain Corridor Advisory Council and five years on the Eagle County Planning Commission. Ken is also on the Roundtable Project Exploratory Committee as a West Slope representative looking at what role the State might have in proposed projects that could take more water from West Slope rivers to the Front Range.

Ken first became seriously involved in river conservation with the Homestake II project and the Eagle Mine disaster in the early 1990’s. He was one of the authors of the Eagle River Watershed Management Plan and a co-founder of the Eagle River Watershed Council. He helped re-organize the Eagle River Chapter and Ferdinand Hayden Chapters of TU and also volunteers with the Roaring Fork Conservancy.

He has made several trips to Washington DC over the past few years, testifying before Congressional Committees and Sub-Committees and the Forest Service Roadless Area Review Committee on energy development, the Roan Plateau and the Colorado Roadless Rule, and most recently (November, 2011) to speak with numerous representatives and agencies on Oil Shale development and water use. He has also testified several times before the Colorado General Assembly on water conservation issues and bills.

Ken has written extensively for magazines and newspapers on water and river issues. He has also given numerous talks on rivers, trans-mountain diversions and the need for a more balanced policy that protects rivers while providing water for other needs. Audiences include civic groups (Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions), TU Chapters, university classes, high school students and numerous water seminars and workshops. He also teaches classes on Colorado water law, geography, history and issues at Colorado Mountain College in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Ken is a graduate of Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin (BA, Geology) and the University of Colorado – Boulder (M.Ed., Experiential Education). He has also completed the Colorado Foundation for Water Educations Water Leaders Course. Over the past 35 years Ken has worked as a professional land surveyor, naturalist, wilderness and river guide, writer, photographer, teacher and organizer. He lives in Carbondale with his wife, Paula Fothergill and their “river schnauzer” Gus.

Awards and recognitions include the Town of Vail Mauri Nottingham Award (1998), Colorado Trout Unlimited Outstanding Volunteer (2000), Eagle County Distinguished Service (2005), Colorado Environmental Coalition 2007 Conservation Award, Colorado Trout Unlimited Distinguished Service Award (2008), the Roaring Fork Conservancy’s Conservator of the Year (2009), Colorado Trout Unlimited and Silver Trout Foundation Silver Trout Award (2012).