White River Alliance

Dedicated to the Conservation and Care of the White River


White River Alliance Mission 

The purpose of the White River Alliance is to promote citizen engagement surrounding the protection and conservation of the White River basin on the Western Slope of Colorado, to encourage awareness of the value of the river, and protect its water for drinking, abundance for wildlife and area farming, ranching and recreation. The Alliance shall not support or oppose any political party or any candidate.



1. Educate and inspire citizens to greater concern and understanding of the basic issues surviving the health of this important community natural resource and economic asset.

2. Hold events and encourage community discussion on best practices and activities to improve the health and benefits of the river.

3. Identify key issues such as invasive weeds and algae.

4. Encourage community awareness to safeguard natural fauna and flora, and the health of those citizens who depend on the river.



The beautiful and remote White River runs 195 miles and holds an undeniable magic. Running through northwest Colorado, within Rio Blanco County, it joins the Green River in Utah and then flows on into the Colorado River. Providing water for the towns of Meeker and Rangely, as well as numerous ranchers, outfitting and fishing operations, and oil, gas and shale operations, it is largely a free running river. It has three reservoirs: Lake Avery, Rio Blanco and Kenney Reservoir just outside of Rangely. 

The earliest inhabitants besides the prehistoric tribes, were the Ute Indians. The White River Utes lived and migrated with the seasons from the Flat Tops in the summer to Utah during the winter months. Their time in the valley ended with the Meeker Massacre in 1879 when Indian Agent Nathan Meeker and 10 of his employees were killed. (More information here about this turning point in White River history.)

Another early explorer of the area was John Wesley Powell. He travelled much of the area, built and lived in a cabin on the White River in what is now known as Powell Park, and left a large legacy in the area with his early Geographic Expedition.

With headwaters in the White River National Forest and Flattops Wilderness, the river’s preservation all started with an unsung hero. A young Arthur Carhart, 27 years old, fresh from the horrors of World War I battlefields, and bearing a degree in Landscape Design and City Planning, landed a job as a forest service reception engineer for the Rocky Mountain District. As leases for vacation homes were proving lucrative, in the summer of 1919, Carhart was assigned to conduct a survey of Trappers Lake and lay out a plan for roads, a marina and one hundred homes.

He worked diligently, but something about the place touched Carhart. Some say it was a conversation with a couple of big game hunters camped out on the Flat Tops, while others suggest an encounter with a Ute spirit, but most believe it was simply the rugged beauty of the spot that swayed him.

When he returned to Denver with the plans, he urged his superior, C.J. Stahl, to disregard them. Trappers Lake, Carhart asserted, was too great a recreational resource to turn over to a select wealthy few.

“It was kind of a radical call to make at the time,” observed Ken Coffin, district ranger for the Blanco Ranger District. “Back then the Forest Service was about cutting trees and building roads and summer homes.”

But it worked. Stahl took Carhart’s advice. The money set aside for the project was redirected and Trappers Lake was left pristine.

In 1901, Theodore Roosevelt lion hunted in the Danforth Hills and Price Creek west of Meeker, returning four years later to hunt bear and fish on the North Fork of the White on the Pot Hole Ranch.  Roosevelt was quoted as saying, “There can be no greater cause than that of conservation in this country.” His vision of managing public lands for current and future generations, for the greatest good, continues to shape the tremendous National Forest system we have. Today, the White River National Forest is one of the premier hunting and fishing areas in Colorado, a destination for those who live here and those who travel here.

Over the years, 14.2 million acres have been set aside as “primitive”, for which the definition reads, in part, “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain…”

In December 1975, Congress set aside 235,230 acres of Routt and White River national forests as the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. A thin strip of the White River National Forest along the road in was left out, but Trappers Lake itself lies wholly within the wilderness. Carhart died in 1978, but today the cradle of the White River lives on in wilderness.



“Life is like the river, sometimes it sweeps you gently along and sometimes the rapids come out of nowhere.”

Author Emma Smith


 BY-LAWS: White River Alliance

April 3, 2018




Sec.1. Name. The name of this organization shall be the White River Alliance, hereinafter referred to in these bylaws as the Alliance.  (other names included the Compact for the White River, Friends of the White River)



Purposes and Policy

Sec.1. Purposes. The purpose of the Alliance is to promote citizen engagement surrounding the protection and conservation of the White River basin on the Western Slope of Colorado, to encourage awareness of the value of the river, and protect its water for drinking, abundance for wildlife and area farming, ranching and recreation.

 Sec. 2. Political Policy. The Alliance shall not support or oppose any political party or any candidate.




Sec.1. Eligibility. Any person who subscribes to the purposes and policy of the Alliance shall be eligible for membership

 Sec.2. Types of Membership.

(a)  Voting Members. Persons who give $25 (twenty-five) to join annually may vote at board meetings where plans and policies are discussed.

(b)  Non Voting Members: Interested citizens who do not pay dues, or not up to date on their dues, are welcome to attend meetings and speak, but may not vote on decisions. They may be considered as non –voting members.




Sec.1. Enumeration and Election of Officers. The officers of the Alliance shall be a president, a vice-president, a secretary and a treasurer. They shall be elected annually by the gathering of paid members and shall hold office until the conclusion of the next annual meeting until their successors have been elected and qualified. Co-officers are permissible and references herein to any officers shall include the possibility of co-officers.

Sec.2. The President. The president shall preside at all meetings of the organization and of the Board of Directors, unless the president shall designate another person to preside. The president shall be, ex-officio, a member of all committees except the Nominating Committee. The president shall have such usual powers of supervision and management as may pertain to the office of the president and perform such duties as may be designated by the Board.

Sec.3. The Vice-Presidents In the event of absence, disability, resignation or death of the president, the vice-president, shall assume the office. In the event the vice-president is unable to serve in this capacity, the Board of Directors shall elect one of its elected members to fill the vacancy. The vice-president shall perform such other duties as the president and the Board designate.

Sec.4. The Secretary. The secretary, or duly appointed assistant(s), shall keep minutes of all meetings of its Board of Directors.

Sec.5. The Treasurer. The treasurer, or duly appointed assistant(s), shall: collect, receive and disburse moneys; be custodian of these moneys; present periodic statements to the Board at its regular meetings.



Board of Directors

Sec.1. Number, Manner of Selection, and Term of Office. The Board of Directors shall consist of the Alliance officers and three elected Directors and not more than three appointed directors. The elected directors shall be elected by the paid members and shall serve until their successors have been elected and qualified. The elected members shall appoint such additional directors, not exceeding three, as they deem necessary to carry on the work of the Alliance. The term of office of the appointed directors shall expire concurrently with the term of office of the elected directors.

Sec.2. Qualifications. Any interested individual is eligible to be a member or a board director.

Sec.3. Vacancies. May be filled by a vote of the Board.

Sec.4. Powers and Duties. The Board of Directors shall have full charge of the property and business of the corporation with full power and authority to manage and conduct the same, subject to the instructions of the membership. The Board shall create and designate such special committees as it may deem necessary.

Sec.5. Regular Meetings. There shall be at least four regular meetings of the Board of Directors annually. The president shall notify each member of the Board of Directors of the time and place of all regular by email preferably two weeks before any such meeting.  The Annual Meeting shall be held to elect the board in January. There shall be no term limits.

Sec.6. Special Meetings. The president may call special meetings of the Board of Directors, and shall call a special meeting upon the written request of five members of the Board. Members of the Board shall be notified of the time, place and subject of special meetings, in writing, delivered personally or by mail, facsimile, or other electronic means, sent at least two days prior to such meetings,

Sec.7. Manner of Meetings. Meetings may be held in person or by electronic means including but not limited to telephonic conferencing, video conferencing and E-Mail. Telephonic and video conferencing meetings shall be called, noticed and conducted in the same manner as in person meetings.

Sec.8. Quorum. A majority of members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum.

Sec.9. Executive Committee. There shall be an Executive Committee composed of the four elected officers. The Executive Committee shall exercise such power and authority as may be delegated to it and shall report to the Board on all actions taken by it between regular meetings of the Board.



Financial Administration

Sec.1. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the Alliance shall commence on the first of April of each year.

Sec.2. Care of Moneys.

(a) Moneys shall be deposited in federally insured financial institutions. The treasurer and/or president shall be qualified signatories on all accounts.

(b)The financial books of the treasurer shall be reviewed by a committee annually.

Sec.4. Budget. The Board shall submit to the membership for adoption of a budget for the ensuing year.




Sec.1. Principles. The governing principles adopted by the membership of the Alliance as a whole constitute the authorization for the adoption of program.

Sec.2. Program. The program of the Alliance shall consist of: action to implement the Principles and positions of the Allliance, for  concerted study and/or action.

Sec.4. Member Action. Members may act in the name of the Alliance only when authorized to do so by the Board of Directors or the president.



Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern the organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules the Alliance may adopt.




Sec.1. Amendments. These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote at any meeting of the Board of directors and paid membership using the following procedures: Proposals for change shall be submitted to the Board of Directors at least three days prior to the meeting. All such proposed amendments together with the recommendations of the Board shall be sent to the all paid members for their review. Upon a 2/3 vote in favor at the meeting, changes may be made to these by laws.