CMC president tapped for national river conservation board | SteamboatToday.com

CMC president tapped for national river conservation board

Carrie Besnette Hauser

— Colorado Mountain College President Carrie Besnette Hauser has been named to the board of directors of American Rivers, a non-profit focusing on river conservation.

Other new members appointed to the board in July were television personality Jimmy Kimmel and marketing group CEO David Solomon.

"I think they were looking for someone from the higher ed sector," Besnette Hauser said. "It's great that I happen to have a passion for rivers, but I think what's really great is the opportunity for the college."

Besnette Hauser grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona, and spent time as a child hiking in on trails to the Grand Canyon with her dad.

When she was 12, she was taken on her first rafting trip down the Colorado River through the canyon.

"I was hooked," Besnette Hauser said. "I remember watching the crew people and absolutely catching the bug and the romance of the river."

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She returned during graduate school and was part of a river guiding crew during summers for several years, she said.

Now in Colorado, Besnette Hauser said she has a standup paddleboard and is interested in continuing to pursue river activities.

"From my office, I can almost see the confluence of the Roaring Fork and the Colorado," she said.

Besnette Hauser said she was initially approached to join the board last year, but wanted to focus on her new presidency at CMC at the time.

Board members for American Rivers are sought out by the non-profit to serve, rather than applying or being elected, according to Amy Kober, senior communications director for the Washington D.C.-based organization.

"It's a diverse board," Kober said. "We have different kinds of people, but they share in common a love for rivers and a passion for making sure we do the best work possible."

The board has three in-person meetings per year, in addition to remote correspondence.

"It's a very engaged, active board," Kober said.

Besnette Hauser said she was surprised to see Kimmel listed as a fellow board member.

"I think it's terrific; you've got all types of folks that are on this board," she said.

Founded in 1973, American Rivers works to repair and protect rivers through advocacy campaigns, according to the organization website, americanrivers.org.

"Out mission is to protect healthy rivers, restore damaged rivers and protect clean water for people and nature," Kober said. "We're doing a lot of work there in Colorado."

Kober said the organization is looking forward to having Besnette Hauser as part of its board.

"We're thrilled to have her," Kober said. "She's passionate about rivers, and she's a terrific leader. I know she'll bring a lot to the board."

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow