Press Release Contact: (209) 588-5055
Amy Nilson, Columbia College Director of Development
Mel Kirk, Columbia College Foundation Board President
WHO: Columbia College Foundation
WHAT: “Focus on Foothill Water: Beyond the Drought” A free community event featuring the region’s leading water experts from the Tuolumne-Stanislaus Integrated Regional Watershed Management Group
WHERE: Sonora High School Auditorium
WHEN: Thursday evening March 13. Doors open at 6 p.m.; program 6:30-8:30
The public is invited to learn about the long-term issues involved in Tuolumne and Calaveras County water on Thursday, March 13, when the Columbia College Foundation kicks off a new community lecture series.
“Focus on Foothill Water: Beyond the Drought,” a two-hour evening program at the Sonora High School Auditorium, will be moderated by Columbia College Natural Resources Professor Dr. Tom Hofstra, and features leading experts representing a range of interests including local water districts, agriculture, the environment and native California tribes.
The program is free. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the evening’s program will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The evening’s keynote speaker is John Mills, a leading authority on California water and a Columbia resident. Mills, one of state’s top water advisors was just appointed to the California Emergency Drought Task Force. He will offer an overview of the twists and turns in local watershed management over the last 80 years.
Mr. Mills comments will be followed by a guided discussion among panel members, all of whom are representatives in the Tuolumne-Stanislaus Integrated Regional Watershed Management Group. To date, confirmed speakers include:
Lindsay Rosasco Mattos – Administrator, Tuolumne County Resource Conservation District Don Stump – President, Mountain Counties Water Resource Association and President, Calaveras County Water District
Patrick Koepele – Executive Director, Tuolumne River Trust
Stephanie Suess – Community and Resources Development Director for the Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians of California. Suess is also a Columbia College Foundation director
Tom Trott, General Manager, Twain Harte Community Services District
Speakers will focus on the big picture of watershed management – past and future – rather than the specifics of the immediate drought emergency. “No issue is more critical than water right now,” said Mel Kirk, Columbia College Foundation Board President. “This is a chance to learn from the region’s experts on the issues that got us here, the range of interests involved and the efforts underway to work together on long-range solutions. The Foundation is pleased to bring these key players together for an educational evening.”
The majority of the evening will include comments and a guided discussion among the panelists, with a brief opportunity for audience members to submit questions at the end. Refreshments by Columbia College Culinary Arts students will be available at an intermission and after the event.
The Columbia College Foundation is a community nonprofit established in 1972 to promote quality higher education that enriches the academic, economic, and cultural life of our community. Our mission is to promote student success by providing community resources that support and expand educational opportunities for Columbia College’s students. Learn more at www.gocolumbia.edu/foundation or call (209) 588-5055.