The SWS Rocky Mountain Chapter includes the states of Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.
Current Chapter Board Members
President – Becky Pierce
Vice President – Heather Houston
Treasurer – Karin McShea
Secretary – Tyler Bell
Immediate Past-President – Ryan Hammons
Are you interested in hosting an event for the Rocky Mountain Chapter, such as a field trip, pub talk, or volunteer event? Contact Becky Pierce if you have any ideas for events that you would like to coordinate (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Become a Rocky Mountain Chapter Board Member!
We are always looking for new Board members for the Rocky Mountain Chapter. Being on the Board does not require a huge time commitment but allows you to get more involved with regional wetland events, help direct the activities of the chapter, and establish relationships with other wetland professionals. For more information regarding volunteering, please email Becky Pierce at email@example.com. Below is a summary of the key responsibilities for all of the Board positions (adapted from the Chapter Standing Rules):
President: Responsible for the business of the Chapter, including making appointments authorized in the Standing Rules, establishing committees required for the business of the Chapter and exercising such other responsibilities determined from time to time by action of the Chapter or the Board. The President also chairs all meetings of the Chapter and the Board. 1-year term.
Vice-President: Assists the President and performs the duties of the President when he/she is absent or unable to act. The VP also serves as chairperson of the Program Committee for the annual Chapter meeting and is responsible for Chapter publicity (as directed by the Board). 1-year term and automatically nominated for President.
Secretary: Annually obtains a list of Chapter members from SWS National, serves as the chairperson for the Membership Committee, prepares any correspondence with the Chapter at the direction of the Board, prepares and disburse information pertinent to increasing membership, maintains chapter files, records and reads minutes at all meetings and oversees development and distribution of Chapter information. 3-year term.
Treasurer: Administers the financial resources of the Chapter. Works with SWS National to authorize and pay all Chapter bills. Serves as chairperson of the Ways and Means Committee if such a committee is formed. Prepares an annual budget and presents it at the annual Chapter meeting. 3-year term.
Immediate Past-President: Chair the Nominating Committee and Bylaws Committee and performs duties of President if both the President and VP are unable to act.
** Annual Meeting **
April 6, 2022 - Thank you to all who attended, sponsored, and presented at the Society of Wetland Scientists Rocky Mountain Chapter's annual meeting. We saw nearly 100 people attend this year's meeting, and we received some fantastic feedback. It was a great success!
Below is a list of the presenters and links to presentations where applicable:
- Keynote Speaker - Patty Limerick, Center of the American West: Taking Stock of the Resource: Exercising the Mind and Soul by Thinking about Wetlands
- Elin Binck, Colorado State University: Assessing Wetland and Riparian Areas on BLM Land Across the Western United States
- Sarah Hinshaw, Colorado State University: Quantitatively Estimating Carbon Sequestration Potential in Soil and Large Wood in the Context of River Restoration
- Mindy Gottsegen, Colorado State Land Board: Colorado State Land Board Mitigation Banks
- Panel Discussion - Lucy Harrington, GEI Consultants; Jeremy Sueltenfuss, Colorado State University; Rich McEldowney, Confluence Consulting; Karen Lawrence, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District: Developing Ecologically Significant, Economically Practical, and Regulation Compliant Performance Criteria
- Andy Herb, AlpineEco: The FIT Principle: Fundamentals for the Practice of Wetland Restoration
- Jeremy Shaw, Colorado State University: Road Impacts to an Alpine Wetland Complex, Summit Lake Park, Colorado
- Brad Johnson, Johnson Environmental Consulting: Recent Advances in Mountain Fen Restoration
- Kevin Shrewsbury, Colorado Springs Utilities: Stewardship Approaches used in Compensatory Wetland Mitigation Sites
- Pat Hickey, Jacobs Engineering; Francesca Tordonato, Colorado Department of Transportation: Use of Beaver Dam Analogs to Restore Degraded Preble’s Habitat
- Maryann McGraw, New Mexico Environment Department: New Mexico Rapid Assessment Method for Confined Valley Riverine Wetlands
- Glenn Swanson, National Wildlife Research Center: Wetland Valuation and Resource Management
- John Giordanengo, AloTerra Restoration Services: Riparian Ecosystems as Models for Restoring our Economies
2019 Rocky Moutain Annual Meeting - April 10, 2019
American Mountaineering Center
710 10th Street Golden, CO 80401
The Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) Rocky Mountain Chapter, in cooperation with the Colorado Riparian Association, hosted the 2019 Annual Meeting on April 10, 2019 in Golden, Colorado at the American Mountaineering Center 710 10th Street Golden, CO.
The meeting expected to bring together over 150 researchers, students, government scientists, private sector consultants, and other wetland practitioners. It cultivated scientific exchanges between diverse groups of professionals involved in stream and wetland stewardship around the region.
2018 SWS Annual Meeting
The 2018 Society of Wetland Scientists Annual Meeting, Wetland Science: Integrating Research, Practice and Policy – An Exchange of Expertise, was held in Denver from May 29 – June 1. The meeting focused on the intercommunication of the most recent developments in wetland science, practice and policy between the different sectors of SWS. It encouraged collaboration and partnerships among wetland researchers, practitioners, managers and policymakers, with the overall goal of improving wetland science.
Advanced Hydric Soils Class Field Session
The Wetland Training Institute hosted a field session for their Advanced Hydric Soils Class in Denver-Golden on July 17-18, 2017. This was an excellent course for wetland delineators to better understand the hydric soil indicators and how to identify them. Please note that the format of the class has changed – there is a requirement to complete the one-day online lecture portion before you attend the field course in Denver. The course is being taught by Phil Scoles of Terra Science, Inc. Due to the short notice, Phil has asked that you contact him directly if you would like to register: (503) 781-5796 (mobile); firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the course is available on the WTI website.
Rocky Mountain Association of Environmental Professionals
Brooke Davis, Senior Regulatory Project Manager from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Denver Regulatory Office, will provide an update on recent changes to Nationwide Wetland Permits issued under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, as well as the General and Regional Conditions adopted in 2017. Nationwide Permits streamline the requirements of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act when actions are necessary within streams, wetlands, and other waters of the U.S. These permits are evaluated and reauthorized every 5 years. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the regulatory authority for Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, published the revised and renewed Nationwide Permits, which took effect on March 19, 2017. Brooke’s presentation will be Thursday, July 20, 2017, from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM at
Holland & Hart LLP
555 17th St, #3200
Denver, CO, 80202.
This is a ticketed event, $15 for RMAEP members, $25 for non-members. Tickets available here.
Purple Loosestrife and Hairy Willow-Herb Control Training
CDA and CPW are hosting the annual 2017 Purple Loosestrife Control Training, this year with information on Hairy willow-herb as well. These two species are List A noxious weeds in Colorado and they are becoming more common in wetlands across the Front Range urban corridor. Keep an eye out for these problematic species in your wetland creations and at your field sites, and learn about their ecology and control. The training will be held on Thursday, July 20, 2017, from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM at
6060 Broadway, Denver, CO
Please RSVP to Patty York at email@example.com.
The 7th International Symposium for Wetland Systems for Water Pollution Control (WETPOL) was held August 22 - 26, 2017, at the Big Sky Resort in Big Sky, Montana, USA. WETPOL is the preeminent global conference that brings together scientists, engineers and practitioners, working on the use of wetlands for water quality improvement. For the first time in the U.S., this conference will create unique opportunities for collaborative exchange, so new participants are encouraged to attend. More information is available at: http://wetpol.org/.
EPA Region 8 Wetlands Conference
EPA Region 8 hosted a Wetlands Conference to convene federal, state, tribal, and local groups and NGOs to share information and best practices related to wetlands management. The conference allowed stakeholders to discuss opportunities, hurdles, strategies, and potential solutions associated with protecting aquatic resources in Region 8. The event facilitated networking, peer-to-peer learning, and collective problem-solving on specific issues, and allowed regulators to share updates and learn from stakeholders.
The 2017 conference included sessions on:
- Stream and wetland restoration
- Monitoring and assessment/mapping
- Federal, state, and local level aquatic resource protection
The conference was held at the Millennium Harvest House in Boulder from October 3-5 2017. There was no registration fee to attend. More information here.
Sustaining Colorado Watersheds Conference: Coming Together - the Confluence of Science and Society
The conference was held from October 10-12, 2017, at the Westin Riverfront Resort in Avon, Colorado. This annual conference expands cooperation and collaboration throughout Colorado for the purposes of natural resource conservation, protection, and enhancement by informing participants about new issues and innovative projects through valuable networking. Additional information is available on the Colorado Watershed Assembly website.
SWS Rocky Mountain Chapter / Colorado Native Plant Society Field Trip
We are working with our friends in the Boulder Chapter of the Colorado Native Plant Society to plan a wetland plant field trip for later this summer or early fall. This will be a great opportunity to brush up on your wetland plant ID, or just enjoy a hike and discuss wetland ecology with a laid back group of scientists. More details to come!
Please help us update this list by providing information on events throughout our region. We want to include information on activities in all the states covered by our Chapter: Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Montana. Email us information on events in your area: Heather@westerneco.com.
2017 Annual Chapter Meeting in Golden, CO - Spring 2017
The SWS Rocky Mountain Chapter Annual Meeting was held on April 12, 2017 in Golden, Colorado at the American Mountaineering Center. The meeting brought together over 150 researchers, students, government scientists, private sector consultants, and other wetland practitioners. It cultivated scientific exchanges between diverse groups of professionals involved in wetland stewardship around the region.
- Wetlands and Wildlife
- Andrew Gygli, University of Wyoming-Laramie; Enhancing detection of native Wyoming and Colorado amphibians through environmental DNA and visual surveys
- Jenny Nehring and Cary Aloia, Wetland Dynamics, LLC; Acoustic monitoring methods and utility for Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, and Northern Leopard Frog
- Joanna Harter, University of Wyoming; The influence of wetland ephemerality on bird diversity in the Plains and Prairie Potholes Region
- Regulatory Issues
- Kevin Urie, South Platte Water Related Activities Program, Inc.; PRRIP & SPWRAP – What are they and why should a wetland scientist care?
- Aaron Eilers, US Army Corps of Engineers Denver Regulatory Office; Fundamentals of geographic jurisdiction and regulatory updates
- Wetland Assessment and Restoration
- Gwen Kittel and Joanna Lemly, NatureServe and Colorado Natural Heritage Program; Wetland Ecological Integrity Assessment (EIA) for wetlands and Application of the EIA framework for Colorado wetlands
- Joanna Lemly and Sarah Marshall, Colorado Natural Heritage Program; Colorado watershed planning toolbox
- John Giordanengo, AloTerra Restoration Services, LLC; The development and application of uniform plant zonation in riparian restoration
- Jennifer Shanahan, City of Fort Collins; Developing a river health report card for the Poudre River: an innovative approach towards landscape scale assessment of the riparian corridor
- Mark Beardsley, EcoMetrics; Park County stream and wetland inventory
- Ryan Hammons, HDR, Inc.; Restoration of a high-elevation reach of South Clear Creek in Arapaho National Forest
- Joe Juergensen, Muller Engineering; Cherry Creek stream restoration - balancing engineering with ecology
High Altitude Restoration Science & Practice Conference in Fort Collins, CO - Spring 2017
The Central Rockies Chapter of the Society of Ecological Restoration and the High Altitude Revegetation Workshop will host the High Altitude Restoration Science & Practice Conference on March 7 - 9, 2017, at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.
Online Training Course in Wetland and Riparian Ecology and Management - Spring 2017
Montana State University will be offering a 15-week, online training in wetland and riparian ecology and management, January 9 - April 28, 2017. This online course, led by Dr. William Kleindl and Dr. Rebecca Deihl, will offer a thorough introduction to wetland and riparian ecology of the Rocky Mountains and inner-mountain West as well as the regulations and public mandates that guide their management, and the human and global disturbances that continue to shape these systems. The course is designed to provide an introduction to wetland and riparian technical information to educators, tribal, state and local regulatory staff, consultants and anyone interested in these ecosystems. The course costs $500.00. For course registration, curriculum questions or logistics, please click here.
The Southern Rockies Seed Network's 3rd Annual Meeting in Loveland, CO - Winter 2016
The 3rd Annual Conference of the Southern Rockies Seen Network was held on December 7, 2016, from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., at the Ranch Events Complex in Loveland, CO. The 2016 conference included three tracks: Science, Practice, and Policy. Each track included a regional or national topic presenter, followed by 2 - 3 local experts in their field. Each track ended with a panel discussion, where participants had an opportunity to engage in in-depth discussions with the presenters.
2016 Native Orchard Conference in Benson, AZ - Summer 2016
The Native Orchard Conference was held at Cochise College in Benson, Arizona, August 1 - 4, 2016, with an opening reception on the evening of July 31. It featured two days of talks on native orchids and two days of field trips to see wild orchids in the Sky Islands of Arizona.
Advanced Hydric Soils Training in Denver, CO - Summer 2016
The Advanced Hydric Soils Training was held on July 7 - 8, 2016, in Denver, CO and led by Phil Scoles, Soil Scientist of Terra Science, Inc. The lecture discussed soil formation, landforms and attributes soil chemistry, hydric soil and redoximorphic features in soil color. The field activity involved documenting soil profiles and redox feature identification. On July 8, the lecture discussed hydric soil indicatiors of AW and WMVC and the field activity involved practicing with hydric soil indicators on mountain soils. For more information, visit www.wetlandtraining.com or call 1-877-792-6482. For curriculum questions or logistics, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-781-5796.
2016 Annual Chapter Meeting in Golden, CO - Spring 2016
The SWS Rocky Mountain Chapter Annual Meeting was held on April 13, 2016 in Golden, Colorado at the American Mountaineering Center. The meeting brought together over 150 researchers, students, government scientists, private sector consultants, and other wetland practitioners. It cultivated scientific exchanges between diverse groups of professionals involved in wetland stewardship around the region.
- Climate Change/Corps Update Session
- Gillian Davies, BSC Group and SWS President-Elect; SWS updates and Current Science on Wetlands and Climate Change Impacts, Carbon Mitigation, and Adaptation
- Brandon Marette and Joshua Schnabel, Louis Berger Group; Delineating Wetlands in an Age of Climate Change
- Nate Hough-Snee, Utah State University; How Will Climate Change Alter Riparian Ecosystems? Cases from the Upper Missouri and Interior Columbia River Basins
- Andrew Breibart, Bureau of Land Management; Wetland Meadow and Riparian Restoration for Climate Change Resiliency in the Gunnison Basin
- Kiel Downing and Aaron Eilers, US Army Corps of Engineers Denver Regulatory Office; Entering the 404 Permitting Process, A Re-Introduction (with question and answer session)
- Floodplain Wetlands/Wetland Research Session
- Michael Blazewicz, Round River Design; Fluvial Hazard Mapping and Protecting Floodplain Wetlands
- Jeremy Sueltenfuss, Colorado State University; Creating hydrologic performance standards for wetland mitigation using your hydrologic data. Yes, yours. You, right there
- Randy Mandel, Golder Associates; Developing a Bioengineering Guide for Colorado
- Jessica Doran, EcoMetrics; What To Do When the Bottom Drops Out: Floodplain Restoration in Crested Butte
- Denise Culver, Colorado Natural Heritage Program; Colorado’s Wetland Tools—Let’s Do This!
- Kate Dwire, USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station; Peat Accumulation in Mountain Fens of the Western USA
- Joanna Lemly, Colorado Natural Heritage Program; Wetlands of Colorado’s Eastern Plains
- Julia McCarthy, US EPA Region 8; Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: Using Science to Inform Case by Case Jurisdictional Determinations
New Mexico Wetlands Roundtables - Spring 2016
These events were combined government agency/non-governmental organizations roundtables, and have been organized geographically, one in the North, in Santa Fe (Monday, April 18, 2016) and one in the South, in Las Cruces (Monday, April 11, 2016). The roundtable categories included regulations, restoration and partnerships, monitoring and assessment, sustainable funding, and training topics.
The New Mexico Wetland Roundtables are conducted as part of a Wetlands Program Development Grant from EPA Region 6 to foster partnerships and collaboration for the restoration and protection of wetlands and riparian resources in New Mexico. The roundtables are conducted on a semi-annual schedule. For more information, contact Karen Menetrey (Karen.Menetrey@state.nm.us; 505-827-0194) for the Northern Roundtable or Emile Sawyer (Emile.Sawyer@state.nm.us; 505-827-2827) for the Southern Roundtable.
Urban Ecological Design + Restoration Symposium in Denver, CO - Spring 2016
March 31, 2016 - Mitchell Hall, Denver Botanic Gardens. Review full details on the flyer here.
Free Talk in Santa Fe, NM - Fall 2015
The Santa Fe Chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Mexico presented a free talk by Dr. Ken Heil, lead author of the incredible book, Flora of the Four Corners Region. He spoke on the plants of this region. The meeting and talk was held on October 21, 2015.
New Mexico Wetlands Roundtables - Fall 2015
The New Mexico Wetlands Roundtables were held in November 2015 in Las Cruces and Santa Fe. These events were combined government agency/non-governmental organizations roundtables. Generally, the meeting agenda is split up into categories including regulations, restoration and partnerships, monitoring and assessment, sustainable funding, and training topics. Additionally, these meetings showcased specific projects.
The New Mexico Wetland Roundtables are part of a Wetlands Program Development Grant from EPA Region 6 to foster partnerships and collaboration for the restoration and protection of wetlands and riparian resources in New Mexico. The roundtables are conducted on a semi-annual schedule.
New Mexico Rapid Wetlands Assessment in Silver City, NM - Fall 2015
The New Mexico Environment Department Surface Water Quality Bureau Wetland Program and partner, Natural Heritage New Mexico, invited individuals to participate in a Wetlands Rapid Assessment training on October 13-15, 2015, at the Nature Conservancy Lichty Ecological Research center near Silver City, NM.
The training used New Mexico Rapid Assessment Method for Lowland Riverine Wetlands, Version 1.0. The first two days of the training took place at the center with the afternoons out in the field, and the third day of the training was at another field location on the Gila River.
Stream/Wet Meadow Restoration Webinar - Fall 2015
The Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) invited individuals to attend the webinar, Stream/Wet Meadow Restoration, on September 8, 2015.
Abstract: Determining Functional Lift of Stream/Wetland Restoration Projects
Presenter: Will Harman, Owner, Stream Mechanics
As compensatory stream mitigation increases, a recognized need for debit/credit determination methods for stream/wetland combinations is also increasing. Most mitigation guidelines account for wetland and stream debits/credits separately. However, Interagency Review Teams and practitioners realize that there is value in restoring valley corridors that support riverine and wetland functions together. This presentation will illustrate how the Stream Functions Pyramid Framework can be used as one tool for describing functional lift of stream/wetland complexes. Case studies will be provided to show metrics and performance standards for showing functional lift, along with lessons learned from implementing these types of projects.
Abstract: Use of an Ecosystem-based Approach for Stream and Wetland Restoration
Presenter: Matt Daniels, Principal Engineer/Project Manager, River Design Group, Inc.
The need for stream and wetland restoration projects in the western U.S., in particular the Northern Rockies and Columbia River Basin, is often driven by different mitigation objectives than those in the eastern U.S. The effects of large hydropower dams, extensive mining in headwater streams and grazing of riparian floodplains have altered migration corridors and aquatic habitat used by native fish populations, thus contributing to the listing of several threatened and endangered fish species. Extensive research has been undertaken to improve our understanding of these species life history needs and the ecosystems in which they exist. This presentation will describe some of the restoration challenges that are unique to the western U.S. in the context of addressing stream and wetland mitigation. Example projects will be used to illustrate the use of an ecosystem-based restoration approach and to highlight some of the lessons learned.
Present Clean Water Rule Webinar - Summer 2015
A webinar was held on August 27, 2015, to present the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and U.S. Department of the Army’s (Army) final Clean Water Rule. This webinar provided a review of the final rule, answered commonly asked questions, and discussed what to expect as the rule is implemented.
In a historic step for the protection of clean water, EPA and the Army signed the Clean Water Rule on May 27, 2015, to protect the streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources from pollution and degradation. The final rule was effective on August 28, 2015. For more information visit: www.epa.gov/cleanwaterrule and http://www.army.mil/asacw.
Rocky Mountain Stream Restoration Conference in Breckenridge, CO - Summer 2015
The Rocky Mountain Stream Restoration Conference was held July 21-23, 2015 in Breckenridge, Colorado. To learn more about the conference, visit the conference website.
2015 Annual Chapter Meeting in Goldon, CO - Spring 2015
The 2015 Rocky Mountain Annual Meeting was held on April 15 in Golden, Colorado at the American Mountaineering Center. It was a huge success with over 100 attendees and 10 great speakers. Thanks to everyone who participated and a special thanks to all the sponsors and volunteers. For more information about this meeting, see the meeting program.
Congratulations to our travel grant winner, Steve Carpenedo from the Montana DEQ. Thank you to all who submitted a proposal.
SWS Speaker Series in Denver, CO - Winter 2014
The 11th event of the SWS Denver Speaker Series was held on December 17, 2014. The goal of this series was to provide thought-provoking presentations and a discussion forum for wetland issues and projects that are relevant to those working, studying or otherwise interested in wetlands.
Montana Wetland Council Meeting in Missoula, MT - Spring 2014
Ecology and Management of Forested Wetlands was held on March 26, 2014 as part of the 85th Annual Conference of NW Scientific Association held at University of Montana in Missoula, MT.
2014 Annual Chapter Meeting - Spring 2014
For more information on the meeting, please click here.
Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Portland, OR - Spring 2014
"Bridging Genes to Ecosystems: Aquatic Science at a Time of Rapid Change" joined four of the leading aquatic scientific societies: Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), Phycological Society of America (PSA), Society for Freshwater Science (SFS), and Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS).
Student Research Grants
The Rocky Mountain Chapter offered three, $500 Student Research Grants to graduate or undergraduate students conducting research in wetland science and who were enrolled in an accredited college or university in the Rocky Mountain Region (Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming). Recipients of the SWS Research Grant will be recognized at the Annual Meeting. Please visit the SWS Student Research Grants page to learn more.
Colorado Native Plant Society http://www.conps.org/
Colorado Natural Heritage Program http://www.cnhp.colostate.edu/
United States Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District Denver Regulatory Office http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/RegulatoryProgram/Colorado.aspx
Montana Native Plant Society http://www.mtnativeplants.org/Home
Montana Natural Heritage Program http://mtnhp.org/
Montana Department of Environmental Quality Wetlands Program https://deq.mt.gov/water/Programs/sw
United States Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District Montana Regulatory Office http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/RegulatoryProgram/Montana.aspx
New Mexico Native Plant Society http://www.npsnm.org/
New Mexico Natural Heritage Program http://nhnm.unm.edu/
New Mexico Environment Department Wetlands Program http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/swqb/Wetlands/
United States Army Corps of Engineers Albuquerque Regulatory Office http://www.spa.usace.army.mil/Missions/RegulatoryProgramandPermits.aspx
Utah Native Plant Society http://www.unps.org/index.html
Utah Conservation Data Center http://dwrcdc.nr.utah.gov/ucdc/
Utah Geological Survey https://geology.utah.gov/water/wetlands/wetlands-in-utah/
Wyoming Native Plant Society http://www.wynps.org/
Wyoming Natural Diversity Database http://www.uwyo.edu/wyndd/
United States Army Corps of Engineers Wyoming Regulatory Office http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/RegulatoryProgram/Wyoming.aspx