Water in the West series kickoff with Dr. Len Necefer

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Wilkinson Public Library
Program Room

Event Details

Join Sheep Mountain Alliance, the Telluride Mountain Club, the library, and the San Miguel Watershed Coalition for a series featuring Water in the West. Kicking off the series is the esteemed Dr. Len Necefer sharing his presentation on Exploring the Colorado River, Drought, and Tribal Water Rights Through Outdoor Recreation.

Dr. Necefer will cover the pressing issues of water in the west and the use of outdoor recreation as a powerful tool to educate and raise awareness about the impact of climate change on the region.Our keynote speaker, Dr. Len Necefer, an expert in this field, will provide an overview of the historical and cultural significance of the Colorado River to indigenous communities and the challenges they face in securing their water rights. They will also discuss the current drought affecting the region and its impact on the river and the surrounding communities. The event will highlight the importance of collaboration between various stakeholders to find sustainable solutions to water management, including tribes, who have been fighting for their water rights for centuries. Through this talk, we hope to inspire action towards protecting this critical resource for future generations.

Dr. Len Necefer is an outdoor enthusiast, entrepreneur, and a member of the Navajo Nation. He is the CEO and founder of NativesOutdoors, a company that aims to increase representation and visibility of Indigenous people in the outdoor industry and he is also a board member of the Honnold Foundation. Previous to these roles he was a professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona and also worked for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Dr. Necefer received his PhD in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University, where he focused on the intersection of energy development and tribal sovereignty. He also holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kansas. Dr. Necefer's work focuses on advancing the interests of Indigenous communities through the lens of outdoor recreation, energy and environmental policy, entrepreneurship, and humor. His work spans academic journals, outdoor media, and film festivals alike.

In addition to his academic and entrepreneurial pursuits, Dr. Necefer is an avid outdoorsman and athlete – as a backcountry skier, bikepacker, and walking packrafts down dry tributaries of the Colorado River.

With much gratitude to our other community collaborators: the Telluride Institute, San Juan Backflow Services, and Telluride Irrigation. 

Event Type(s): WPL Programs
Age Group(s): Adult