Dolores River permit party features Afrobeatniks

Permit party set for Jan. 20

Members of the Dolores River Boating Advocates take a break on the Dolores River. A fundraiser dance party on Jan. 20 features the music group Afrobeatniks. Enlargephoto

Courtesy photo

Members of the Dolores River Boating Advocates take a break on the Dolores River. A fundraiser dance party on Jan. 20 features the music group Afrobeatniks.

The Dolores River Boating Advocates will hold their annual river permit party on Jan. 20, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Dolores Community Center.

There will be a silent auction with river and outdoor gear, artwork and guided river trips to bid on. An information booth provides instruction on signing up for river permits on the San Juan, Colorado, Yampa, Chama, Salt, and many others.

There will be food and beer for sale, free child care and activities, and a local band – The Afrobeatniks.

“The whole family is invited,” said Boating Advocates board member Jay Locshert. “The highlight of the night will be a huge dance party where we celebrate, rock out and take care of each other.”

There will be a costume contest and prizes for the best river style dress-up. Tickets are $10 at the door for adults $5 for students and kids 12 and under are free.

The event is a fundraiser for Boating Advocates to help cover operational costs. Last year, the group raised funds for a documentary on the Dolores River that included a $12,000 grant from Patagonia.

“River of Sorrows,” produced by Rig to Flip, premiered to a sold-out event and featured classic big water from before McPhee Dam.

Boating Advocates was recently recognized for their innovative fundraising efforts by the Conservation Lands Foundation at a ceremony in Las Vegas.

Since forming in 2012, the advocate group has been active in its efforts to protect the river’s ecosystem and promote whitewater boating.

They negotiated the installation of boater-friendly fences on the upper section, conduct annual tamarisk removal and campsite cleanups on the lower section, added put-ins and takeouts along the river, helped to fund a Lower Dolores river gauge, host river tours for students, and work with local agencies to advocate for improved water management and flows below the dam.

“Our goal is to continue the discussion on the future of the river and how water is managed,” Loschert said. “We want to keep the issues in the front of people’s minds.”

Boating Advocates recently hired Amber Clark as its new program coordinator. Clark has worked for San Juan Citizens Alliance and for the Dolores River Dialogue, a local stakeholder group working on water-management, recreational boating, and fish issues facing the Lower Dolores River.

“We are thrilled to bring her on board. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, and has good working relationships with all of the stakeholders,” Loschert said.

Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt applauded Boating Advocates and other conservation groups recognized at the Conservation Lands Foundation’s award ceremony.

Too often, management of public lands “is from the top down without a lot of connection to the communities that surround them,” Babbitt said. “Working from the bottom up as these groups do should be celebrated. Never lose sight of this infusion of diversity and dynamism that infiltrates the culture of land conservation so we will awaken and motivate the entire American conservation movement.”

jmimiaga@the-journal.com