2017 highlights

Successfully completed seventh full year of operations.

Collaborated on coverage of rivers and water with The Aspen Times, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, the Vail Daily and the Summit Daily.

Published first in-depth story in collaboration with High Country News.

Produced sustained reporting on Maroon Creek and Castle Creek reservoir rights.

Continued in-depth coverage of key Colorado River issues.

Published six in-depth stories on Aspen’s history with the Aspen Daily News.

Worked with six freelance reporters.

Saw growth in local donors through the national News Match program.

About Aspen Journalism

Aspen Journalism is an independent journalism organization founded in 2011 and based in Aspen, Colorado. We are a 501c3 nonprofit corporation and considered an educational organization by the IRS.

Our mission is to produce quality in-depth journalism, as we believe well-informed citizens make better decisions. Our approach is both investigative and collaborative.

Our coverage area radiates outward from Aspen to Snowmass Village, Pitkin, Eagle, Garfield, and Summit counties, the Western Slope, Colorado, and the West.

Since 2011, we’ve covered water, education, land-use, local government, housing, transportation, energy, wealth, real estate, the ski industry, and development.

Aspen Journalism is a recognized member of the Colorado Press Association and the Institute for Nonprofit News.

Our office is in the Benedict Building in Aspen at 1280 Ute Avenue, Suite 4.

We welcome comments, suggestions, and questions via phone at (970) 948-1930 and via email at news@aspenjournalism.org.

Our mailing and office address is:

Aspen Journalism
1280 Ute Avenue, Suite 4
Aspen, CO 81611

A view of a parcel of land next to the Woody Creek gravel pit, in background, that the city of Aspen has put under contract to buy for water storage purposes. The city has proposed moving its conditional water storage rights out of the Castle and Maroon creek valleys and storing the water on reservoirs in Woody Creek and four other locations. Credit: Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism
Our approach to reporting

In 2017, Aspen Journalism staffed one primary desk, the Water Desk. Brent Gardner-Smith served as the editor and primary reporter. Freelance reporters Sarah Tory, Heather Sackett, Lindsey Fendt and Allen Best also wrote stories for the water desk in 2017.

Sarah Tory
Sarah is an independent reporter and a correspondent for High Country News; her work has been published by Hakai, Slate, Guernica, Truthout, and OnEarth.

Heather Sackett
Heather is a freelance writer and reporter. She’s been a reporter at The Littleton Independent, The Denver Post, and the Telluride Daily Planet. She’s currently pursuing a master’s degree in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Lindsay Fendt
Lindsay is an award-winning freelance journalist and photographer. She covered health and the environment as a former staff writer and photographer for The Tico Times in San José, Costa Rica. Her work has been published in The Guardian, Al Jazeera, and Vice News among others. She’s currently a Scripps Fellow at the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Allen Best
Allen is a freelance writer and reporter and the editor of Mountain Town News, a thoughtful roundup of ski-town news from across the West.


Aspen Journalism reporters covered water and rivers near Aspen, in Colorado, and in the West, writing 43 stories (or 47 if you count the four stories published in the first week of 2018), and attending over 30 meetings around Colorado.

We published 30 stories in collaboration with The Aspen Times, 19 with the Post Independent, 11 with the Vail Daily, eight with the Summit Daily and two with the Sky-High Daily News.

We published nine water stories in collaboration with the Aspen Daily News at the beginning of the year, and published six history stories throughout the year.

All of our stories were also published on the Aspen Journalism website under a Creative Commons license, which allows any other publication or website to publish them under certain rules and guidelines.

Additionally, 27 of our water stories were also published on Coyote Gulch, a digital aggregation of water stories on Colorado River water issues.

A select number of our stories gained further exposure through a daily email list of state and regional water stories prepared by Loretta Lohrman, associated with Colorado State University, as well as other emailed roundups of aggregated water stories such as Brown and Caldwell’s daily water-news newsletter, BC Water News.

Also in 2017, Aspen Journalism reporters discussed water issues during six public affairs shows on Aspen Public Radio and four interviews on KDNK Carbondale Community Access Radio.

Freddie Botur walks across rocks that form the diversion structure at his headgate on Cottonwood Creek, a tributary of the Green River. Botur was paid to let water flow past these headgates and down the river system toward Lake Powell. Credit: Jim Paussa
2017 Water Desk

Jan. 2, 2017
Ten parties file statements of opposition in Maroon Creek and Castle Creek reservoir cases
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Jan. 23, 2017
Busy week as CWCB, Colorado Water Congress meet in Denver
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Jan. 24, 2017
Three directors step off the CWCB board as their terms expire
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Jan. 25, 2017
Hickenlooper talks water, and beer, at Colorado Water Congress
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Jan. 28, 2017
Sen. Gardner addresses access issue raised by protesters at Water Congress
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Jan. 30, 2017
State officials question substance of Aspen’s water rights applications tied to dams and reservoirs
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Feb. 3, 2017

City of Aspen launches ‘community-based’ study of water demands and storage option
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Feb. 21, 2017

Water court referee finds it lawful to issue a water right to grow pot
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Feb. 24, 2017
Who stole the Colorado River? Scientists say rising temperatures
By Allen Best

March 23, 2017
Colorado River reporting resources
By Brent Gardner-Smith

March 23, 2017
Colorado’s top water official leaves CWCB for law firm in Denver
By Brent Gardner-Smith

March 30, 2017
Water from Ruedi to again flow down Fryingpan for endangered fish
By Brent Gardner-Smith

The Roaring Fork River coursing down the Cascades, near the Grottos, on Independence Pass east of Aspen. The photo was taken midday on June 15, 2017, the day after the Twin Lakes Independence Pass Tunnel that delivers water to the east slope was closed. Credit: Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

April 1, 2017
E. Slope water interests seek distance from W. Slope water study
By Brent Gardner-Smith

April 18, 2017
Carbondale micro hydro project cruising to approval
By Brent Gardner-Smith

April 29, 2017
River management plan for upper Roaring Fork surfaces for public input
By Brent Gardner-Smith

June 11, 2017
The Colorado River District’s take on Aspen’s conditional storage rights
By Brent Gardner-Smith

June 13, 2017
City of Aspen rejects settlement proposal in Castle and Maroon dam cases
By Brent Gardner-Smith

June 16, 2017

Upper Roaring Fork River leaps to life after Twin Lakes diversion curtailed
By Brent Gardner-Smith

June 17, 2017
Former Grand County manager, Lurline Underbrink Curran, given award by Colorado Water Trust
By Allen Best

The Colorado River, heading past the Rock of Shock, toward Lake Powell, on July 31, 2017. Credit: Brent Gardner-Smith, Aspen Journalism

July 3, 2017
City of Aspen eyes storing water under golf course in lieu of dams, reservoirs
By Brent Gardner-Smith

July 7, 2017
Roaring Fork River flows drop in Aspen as Twin Lakes diversions resume
By Brent Gardner-Smith

July 8, 2017

New director of Colorado Water Conservation Board gets to work
By Brent Gardner-Smith

July 11, 2017
Aspen council OKs $116K to drill holes and study storing water under golf course and other sites
By Brent Gardner-Smith

July 17, 2017
Aspen changing course on conditional water rights?
By Brent Gardner-Smith

July 20, 2017
Aspen plans to transfer Castle and Maroon creeks conditional water rights to other locations
By Brent Gardner-Smith

July 25, 2017
Aspen City Council wades into water shortage scenarios
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Aug. 4, 2017
Aspen puts forward settlement proposals for Maroon and Castle creek dams
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Aug. 16, 2017
Colorado’s top water cop says ‘Don’t divert more than you need’
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Aug. 17, 2017
Aspen joins two adversaries in water court to apply for Colorado water funds
By Brent Gardner-Smith

August 23, 2017
City of Aspen hesitant to respond to court-raised issues about potential dams
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Aug. 30, 2017
Money for water: A pilot project wins over skeptical farmers and ranchers
By Sarah Tory

Sept. 20, 2017
Water managers seek certainty in Colorado Basin
By Sarah Tory

Outflow from the dam across the Colorado River that forms Windy Gap Reservoir. Photo taken during a field trip to the reservoir in September 2017. Credit: Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

Oct. 9, 2017
Eagle River management plan to take shape after community input
By Heather Sackett

Oct. 18, 2017
Rising Colorado water leaders meet with Colorado River District board
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Oct. 21, 2017
Colorado moves to dismiss complaint seeking ‘person’ status for Colorado River ecosystem
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Nov. 1, 2017
City of Aspen directs staff to develop reservoirs in Woody Creek
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Nov. 15, 2017

State gives Aspen officials until Dec. 29 to answer dam questions
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Nov. 19, 2015
Supporters seeking rights for Colorado River meet in Denver, amend complaint
By Lindsay Fendt

Dec. 4, 2017
State files again to dismiss Colorado River ‘personhood’ lawsuit, threatens to sanction lawyer
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Dec. 5, 2017
Colorado River ‘personhood’ case pulled by proponents
By Lindsay Fendt

Dec. 12, 2017
Some Colorado River District constituents challenge hiring of Zane Kessler
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Dec. 26, 2017
Aspen working to use reclaimed water on its golf course
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Dec. 27, 2017

Water leaders across Colorado stepping up efforts to educate public about resources
By Heather Sackett

We also published four stories during the first week of 2018, for which the majority of the reporting, writing, editing, and photography was done in 2017.

Jan. 2, 2018
Aspen officials say city needs to store 8,500 acre-feet of water as backup
By Brent Gardner-Smith

Jan. 2, 2018
Rancher trying to leave water in the Crystal River stalled by Pitkin County
By Sarah Tory

Jan. 4, 2018
Study provides insight into how dams affect ecology of southwestern Colorado rivers
By Heather Sackett

Jan. 5, 2018
Aspen’s proposal to move rights out of Castle and Maroon creeks well-received
By Brent Gardner-Smith

The FIS giant slalom course coming out of lower Silver Queen (today’s upper Little Nell). Note the Constam T-bar terminal (1948-’56) at the top of Schuss Gulley. Before upper Little Nell was cleared of trees and before the Kleenex Corner road was bulldozed to the top of Nell (in the early 1950s) numerous mine dumps and ramshackle debris populated the unskiable terrain to the skier’s right of lower Silver Queen. Credit: Aspen Historical Society, Ringquist Collection

History Desk

In 2017, local freelance writer and history investigator Tim Cooney wrote six stories for Aspen Journalism exploring Aspen’s historic and colorful past, and did so in collaboration with Curtis Wackerle, the editor of the Aspen Daily News. The stories, richly illustrated with rarely seen photos from the Aspen Historical Society’s archive, were run in the Sunday edition of the Daily News, as well on Aspen Journalism.

Jan. 11, 2017
Aspen’s skiing history: an evolving timeline

March 12, 2017
Aspen’s first international ski race in 1950: true grit versus miners’ mess

April 25, 2017
The rich life of Aspen Mountain miner Billy Zaugg

Aug. 26, 2017
Pitkin’s boastful gulch

Sept. 9, 2017
Murder in Victorian Aspen

Dec. 17, 2017
Big mountain ski dream: Ski-Hayden was a pre-war vision of what could have been

Members of the Colorado River basin roundtable raise their hands during a tour of the Windy Gap Reservoir in September. Water education, on both the Western Slope and the Front Range, often involves tours of water storage and transport facilities. Credit: Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism
Grading Aspen Journalism

Reporting capacity

Reporting capacity in 2017: 1 full-time editor, reporter, photographer, and digital producer; four freelance reporters; and one freelance copy editor.

News gathering efforts

Below is a list of the over 30 water meetings, events, seminars, and tours that reporters for Aspen Journalism attended in 2017.

Colorado River District, Glenwood Springs, Jan. 17 and 18
Pitkin County Healthy Rivers and Streams Board, Basalt, Jan. 19
Colorado Water Conservation Board, Denver, Jan. 23 and 24
Colorado Water Congress, Denver, Jan. 25 to 27
Colorado Ag Water Alliance, Glenwood Springs, Jan. 31
Aspen City Council work session, Aspen, Jan. 31
Gunnison River Basin Roundtable, Montrose, Feb. 6
Colorado Water Conservation Board, SCPP document meeting, Denver, Feb. 8
Metro Roundtable, Denver, Feb. 9
Colorado River Basin Roundtable Next Steps, Glenwood Springs, Feb. 27
Pitkin County Healthy Rivers and Streams Board, March 16
Colorado Water Conservation Board, Greeley, March 22 and 23
Colorado Basin Roundtable, Glenwood Springs, March 27
Colorado River District, Glenwood Springs, April 18
Colorado Basin Roundtable Next Steps, Glenwood Springs, April 24
CU law school water conference, Boulder, June 8 and 9
Pitkin County Healthy Rivers, Basalt, June 14
Colorado Basin Roundtable Next Steps, Glenwood Springs, June 26
Historic User Pool meeting, Grand Junction, June 28
Colorado Basin Roundtable, Glenwood Springs, July 17
Colorado Water Conservation Board, Crested Butte, July 19 and 20
City of Aspen, dam cases status conference, Aug. 2, via phone
Pitkin County Health Rivers, Basalt, Aug. 17
Colorado Water Congress, Steamboat Springs, Aug. 22 to 24
Colorado River Basin Roundtable Next Steps, Aug. 28 (via phone)
Colorado River District Seminar, Sept. 15, Grand Junction
Colorado Water Conservation Board, Sept. 19 and 20, via YouTube feed
Pitkin County Healthy Rivers, Basalt, Sept. 21
Colorado Basin Roundtable, Kremmling Sept. 25
S. Platte Basin Roundtable, Oct. 10, Longmont
Metro Roundtable, Denver, Oct. 12
Colorado River District, Glenwood Springs, Oct. 17 and 18
Colorado Basin Roundtable Next Steps, Glenwood Springs, Oct. 23
Upper Colorado River Basin Water Forum, Grand Junction, Nov. 1 and 2
City of Aspen, dam cases status conference, Nov. 9, via phone
Colorado Water Conservation Board, Nov. 15 and 16, via YouTube feed
City of Aspen Roaring Fork River Management Plan, Aspen, Nov. 7 and 8, 2017.

One of 30 stories by Aspen Journalism published in The Aspen Times in 2017. Credit: Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

Story production

Number of stories published in 2017: 43 to 47 (counting four in first week of 2018) water stories and 5 history stories, for a total of 48 to 52.


Our collaboration with four newspapers – The Aspen Times, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, the Vail Daily, and the Summit Daily – gave us our primary reach in 2017; Coyote Gulch helped us reach key water stakeholders; and our modest reach via our own website and social media channels continues to expand.

Aspen Journalism’s digital channels

Aspen Journalism’s website – according to Google Analytics, from Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017, the Aspen Journalism site saw 68,710 sessions, 58,141 users, and 85,234 page views, or 233 page views per day over the year. The AJ site had 163 active 1-day users, 1,086 active 7-day users, 1,912 active 14-day users and 3,946 active 30-day users.

Aspen Journalism’s Twitter feed: 1,135 followers, up from 1,047 in 2016.

Aspen Journalism’s Facebook page: 400 followers.

Newspaper collaboration

Aspen Journalism stories, in 2017, were featured in the following publications, and reaches a potential total audience of 2,177,000 readers.

The Aspen Daily News, distributed from Aspen to Glenwood Springs, with a daily print circulation of 14,800 and online readership of 3,500 to 5,000 unique visits a day, according to the Daily News. AJ published nine water stories and six history stories in 2017 with the Daily News, reaching a total potential audience of 222,000 print readers and 75,000 digital readers.

The Aspen Times, distributed from Aspen to Carbondale with a daily print circulation of 9,000, and an online readership of 370,000 visits a month, or approximately 12,000 a day. We published 30 stories in 2017 with The Aspen Times, reaching a total potential audience of 270,000 print readers and 360,000 digital readers.

The Glenwood Springs Post Independent, distributed from Basalt to Rifle, with a daily print circulation of 9,000 and 30-day website traffic averaging over 800,000 page views, according to the Post Independent. We published 18 stories with the Post Independent, reaching a total potential audience of 162,000 print readers and 480,000 digital readers.

The Vail Daily, distributed from Vail to Eagle, with a daily print circulation of 15,000. We published 11 stories with the Vail Daily, for a total potential audience of 165,000 print readers.

The Summit Daily, distributed from Silverthorne to Copper Mountain, with a daily print circulation of 10,000. We published 8 stories with the Summit Daily, for a total potential audience of 80,000 print readers.

Sky-High Daily News, distributed in Grand County from Winter Park to Kremmling, with a weekly circulation of 5,500. We published four stories with Sky-High, for a total potential audience of 22,000 print readers.

High Country News, distributed nationally and reaching 140,000 per issue, on average, and 208,000 online visitors per month. We published one story with High Country News.

Coyote Gulch, reaching approximately 5,000 visitors a day, mainly water professionals, including attorneys, engineers, and consultants. We published 27 stories for a potential reach of 135,000.

Radio collaboration

Aspen Journalism interviews on public radio: Specific listening figures are not available, but Aspen Public Radio and KDNK Carbondale are among the two most-listened to stations in the Roaring Fork River valley.

Aspen Public Radio, Valley Roundup, Jan. 6, 2017

KDNK, “Managing the Roaring Fork River,” May 3, 2017

Aspen Public Radio, Valley Roundup, June 23, 2017

KDNK, interview with Raleigh Burleigh, July 12, 2017

Aspen Public Radio, Valley Roundup, July 28, 2017

KDNK, “News Brief: Is It Water Shortage or Is It Irrigation?,” Aug. 4, 2017

KDNK, “News Brief: What Would the River Say?,” Oct. 27, 2017

Aspen Public Radio, Valley Roundup, Nov. 10, 2017

Aspen Public Radio, Valley Roundup, Nov. 17, 2017

Aspen Public Radio, Valley Roundup, Nov. 24, 2017

Television collaboration

Brent Gardner-Smith conducted eight hour-long interviews in March and April 2017 on Grassroots TV in Aspen with the candidates for Aspen City Council and the mayor’s seat. In each of the interviews, water issues were discussed.

A map from a study done for the City of Aspen by Deere and Ault showing the two parcels of land in Woody Creek that the city sees as potential water storage sites. Both locations are a short walk from the Woody Creek Tavern and the Woody Creek post office. Credit: City of Aspen

We can point to three areas where our work fostered discussion and debate among citizens close to the stories:

the conditional water rights held by the city of Aspen to build dams on upper Castle and Maroon creeks;

the enforcement by the state of Colorado against the practice of over-diverting water from rivers; and

a regional pilot program to pay ranchers to fallow fields and leave water in the Colorado River system.

The Roaring Fork River on July 4, 2017, after diversions began again in the Twin Lakes Tunnel after having been closed since June 14. The re-opening of the tunnel dropped flows in the Fork by about 200 cfs. Credit: Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism
Editorial independence policy

We subscribe to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News.

Aspen Journalism is an independent news organization and retains full authority over its editorial content.

We are aware of the pitfalls that can arise when a news organization accepts any form of revenue, either in the nonprofit model in the form of donations, or in the commercial model in the form of advertising. As such, we diligently maintain a firewall between revenue and the newsroom.

Our news judgments are made independently and are not based on or influenced by donors.

Our organization accepts donations to support the coverage of particular beats, or broad coverage areas, but our organization maintains editorial control of all of the resulting coverage.

We cede no right of review or influence of any of our editorial content.

We do not accept anonymous donations.

We disclose donations on our “About & Contact” page, and we list each donation by name, the date we received the donation, and the donation amount, and do so as soon as we receive the donation.

When we deem it necessary and appropriate, we disclose our donors, and key stakeholders, in our stories or in an editor’s note.

Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services, actions, or opinions.

A group of rafters in Fruita preparing for a river trip on the Colorado River this summer. Many water professionals in Colorado are working to educate people about water, and many people Credit: Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism
2017 operations

Financial overview

Revenue in 2017: $160,128.

Expenses in 2017: $174,242.

Donations made to Aspen Journalism in 2017

Brent Gardner-Smith, 2.23.17, $200
Walton Family Foundation, 3.3.17, $100,000
Katie Dahl, 3.16.17, $10
Tim Cooney, 3.13.17, $20
John Masters, 3.28.17, $100
Mark Harvey, 4.26.17, $2,000
Harry Teague, 5.30.17, $1,000
Tim McFlynn, 6.7.17 $100
Maggie and Nick DeWolf Foundation, 6.7.17, $5,000
John McBride, 7.3.17, $1,000
Edgar Boyles, 7.11.17, $100
Mary Dominick-Coomer and Sven Coomer, 7.17.17, $150
Maggie and Nick DeWolfe Foundation, 8.8.17, $5,000
Brent Gardner-Smith, 10.5.17, $100
Mark Harvey, 10.11.17, $3,000
John Orr, 10.20.17, $5
Sara Ransford, Arches Foundation, 11.10.17, $250
Catena Foundation, 11.11.17, $15,000
John Orr, 11.20.17, $5
Kay Lima, 10.20.17, $1
Brent Gardner-Smith, 11.21.17, $51
Gavin Dahl, 11.21.17, $25
Mark Harvey, 11.21.17, $200
Brent Gardner-Smith, 11.22.17, $11
Harry Teague, 11.28.17, $51
Loretta Lohman, 11.28.17, $26
Marcella Larsen, 11.28.17, $511
Austin Gardner-Smith, 11.28.17, $103
Paul Menter, 11.28.17, $103
Caroline Bradford, 11.28.17, $103
Jim Pokrandt, 11.28.17, $103
Tim Cooney, 11.28.17, $26
Dave Danforth, 11.28.17, $256
Tim McFlynn, 11.28.17 $256
Catherine Lutz, 11.28.17, $41
Brent Gardner-Smith, 11.29.17 $11
David Hyman, 11.30.17, $103
John McBride, 12.4.17, $1,000
Art Burrows, 12.5.17, $30
Patrick Hunter, 12.5.17, $103
Linda Conger Moore, 12.5.17, $103
Bill Jochems, 12.5.17, $100
Claudia Potamkin, 12.8.17, $100
Bill Spence, 12.6.17, $250
Sara Ransford (Arches Fnd), 12.8.17, $500
Frank Peters, 12.9.17, $500
Sue Cross, 12.9.17, $10
Brent Gardner-Smith, 12.12.17, $11
John Keheler, 12.12.17, $26
Kay Lima, 12.12.17, $2
Stan Bialek, 12.12.17, $50
John Sarpa, 12.12.17, $52
Simon Pinniger, 12.12.17, $105
Ken Ransford, 12.12.17, $250
Harry Teague, 12.12.17, $950
Barbara Reese, 12.12.17, $250
Michael McVoy, 12.12.17, $1,000
Edgar Boyles, 12.13.17, $100
Cristal Logan, 12.13.17, $50
Amory Lovins, 12.14.17, $150
Bruce Berger, 12.14.17, $500
Carol Craig, 12.14.17, $1,000
Peter Looram, 12.14.17, $1,000
Barbara Reese, 12.14.17, $2,563
Robert Pew, 12.16.17, $1,000
Michal Brimm, 12.17.17, $3,000
George Stranahan, 1.18.17, $1,000
Patti Stranahan, 1.18.17, $1,000
Sloan Shoemaker, 12.19.17, $103
Mike Webb, 12.19.17, $103
Joel Scott, 12.19.17, $103
John Orr, 12.20.17, 45
Chuck Ogilby, 12.28.17, $200
Tom Hirsch, 12.20.17, $25
Curtis Robinson, 12.21.17, $1,000
Nina Eisenstat, 12.21.17, $50
Rick Heede, 12.21.17, $52
Miranda Chapman, 12.21.17, $105
Jim DeFrancia, 12.21.17, $103
Toni Zurcher, 12.21.17, $50
George Sibley, 12.21.17, $25
Jon Banks, 12.21.17, $200
Lorenzo Semple, 12.21.17, $25
John and Janie Bennett, 12.22.17, $100
Bob Harris, 12.22.17, $150
Bob Bowden, 12.22.17, $100
Bob Purvis, 12.26.$1,000
Brent Gardner-Smith, 12.26.17, $30
Paulina VanderNoorda, 12.26.17, $75
Marci and Robert Musser, 12.27.17, $500
Gary Wockner, 12.27.17, $26
Phyllis Bronson, 12.27.17, $52
Michael Owsley, 12.27.17, $26
Skip Berhorst, 12.27.17, $155
Glenn Horn, 12.27.17, $100
John Masters, 12.28.17, $50
John McBride, Jr., 12.28,17, $1,000
Kate McBride, 12.28,17, $1,000
Lauri McBride, 12.28.17, $1,000
Pete McBride, 12.28.17, $1,000
Randy Gold, 12.28.17, $25
James and Hensley Peterson, 12.29.17, $258
Mike Otte, 12.29.17, $100
Torie Jarvis, 12.29.17, $26
Andy Stone, 12.30.17, $52
James Campbell, 12.30.17, $100
Tim Westerbeck, 12.30.17, $103
Mark Harvey, 12.30.17, $500
Lynda Lynch, 12.30.17, $100
Steve Skinner, 12.31.17, $50
Lisa Tasker, 12.30.17, $25
Rhett Armstrong, 12.31.17, $75
Chip Comins, 12.31.17, $100
Sara Garton, 12.31.17, $50
Michael Hassig, 12.31.17, $100
Brent Gardner-Smith, 12.31.17, $100
Ann Knight, 12.31.17, $500
Tim McFlynn, 12.31.17, $100
Dave Nixa, 12.31.17, $25
Ruth and Bob Wade, 12.31.17, $100
Judith Barnard and Michael Fain, year-end, $500
Richard Fallin (Kaye Foundation), year-end, $1,500

Protesters advocating for Credit: Lindsay Fendt/Aspen Journalism
Journalism Advisory Board

Roger Adams
Roger is the former news director at Aspen Public Radio. He’s also served as news director at WDET, Detroit Public Radio and as program director for Wyoming Public Radio.

Dave Danforth
Dave is the former owner of the Aspen Daily News, and remains a columnist at the paper.

Charles Davis
Charles is dean of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia and is the co-author of “Principles of American Journalism.”

Charlie Firestone
Charlie is the executive director of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program and previously was director of the communications law program at UCLA.

Laura Frank
Laura is the chief content officer at Rocky Mountain PBS in Denver and a former investigative reporter at the Rocky Mountain News.

Sarah Gilman
Sarah is a contributing editor at High Country News and a former reporter at the Aspen Daily News.

John Masters
John is the executive director GrassRoots Community Network.

Mike McPhee
Mike is an author and a former reporter The Denver Post, where he shared in a Pulitzer Prize in 2000.

Rem Rieder
Rem served as an editor-at-large and the media columnist at USA Today and previously was the editor of American Journalism Review.

Curtis Robinson
Curtis is the co-founder of Roaring Fork Sunday and a former editor of the Aspen Daily News. He remains at-large.

Carolyn Sackariason
Carolyn is a reporter at The Aspen Times. She’s also served as news director at Aspen Public Radio and editor at the Aspen Daily News and the Snowmass Sun.

Steve Skinner
Steve is a columnist at the Aspen Daily News, served as general manager at KDNK, and is now guiding KFFR, a public radio station in Grand County.

Andy Stone
Andy is the former editor of The Aspen Times, where he also wrote a column for years. He’s the author of “Aspen Drift.”

Mike Webb
Mike is a vice president at the public relations firm BerlinRosen. Previously, he was the sales and marketing director at Civil Beat and the vice president of communications at ProPublica.

One of several large irrigation canals in Mesa County that divert water from the Colorado River. Credit: Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism
Professional Support

Denise Jurgens
Denise is a CPA and partner at Reese Henry and Company with deep expertise in auditing and accounting services. Denise has overseen preparation of Aspen Journalism’s annual tax filings since 2011.

Mike Marolt
Mike is a CPA and a KPMG Peat Marwick alumni.

Ken Ransford
Ken is an attorney, investment adviser, and CPA specializing in income tax and estate tax law for small businesses, individuals, and nonprofit organizations. Ken prepared and filed Aspen Journalism’s application in 2011 to obtain 501c3 status for Aspen Journalism.

A fine ride parked in front of the Rathbun cabin, in the upper Lincoln Creek basin, in 2017. Credit: Tim Cooney
Board of Directors

Harry Teague, chair
Harry is the founder and principal designer at Harry Teague Architects. He has lived in the Aspen area since 1972, when he received his M. Arch. from the Yale School of Architecture. Teague’s work, which includes the Benedict Music Tent in Aspen, has been widely recognized and appreciated.

Edgar Boyles
Edgar is an Emmy-winning cameraman and director of photography at Wildwood Films in Aspen. Edgar has 40 years of experience filming in mountainous and remote locations.

Mark Harvey
Mark is a rancher, writer, filmmaker, and photographer. He is the author of “The NOLS Wilderness Guide” and the producer and director of the documentary “A Land Out of Time.” Mark is the current president of the board of EcoFlight and has served on the boards of High Country News, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, and Public Counsel of the Rockies.

Tim McFlynn
Tim is the executive director of Public Counsel of the Rockies, the chair of Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board, and a Manaus Fund board member.

Michael McVoy
Michael is an Aspen-based investment adviser, the former co-publisher of The Aspen Times, and a Manaus Fund board member.

Brent Gardner-Smith, the founder of Aspen Journalism, and who served as AJ’s executive director until August 2021 and as editor from 2011-2020, is the news director at Aspen Public Radio. He's also been...