Blake Osborn offered executive director position with Upper Ark Conservancy District

With Terry Scanga retiring at the end of the year, the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District board of directors voted Thursday to offer Blake Osborn the position of executive director.

Osborn was one of five applicants for the position, and the district’s human resources committee selected three of the candidates for interviews: Osborn; hydrologist Jord Gertson, senior director of the district’s water resources facilities; and Chaffee County Commissioner Greg Felt, vice chairman of the district’s board.

Osborn currently works for the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District as a water resources specialist. In 2020, Osborn founded Corriente Environmental Solutions, a natural resources consulting firm based in Cañon City, according to his LinkedIn page.

Before accepting his current position with the Lower Ark District, Osborn worked for seven years at the Colorado Water Center at Colorado State University as a water resources specialist for the Arkansas River Basins and the Rio Grande.

Osborn also worked as a research scientist for CSU Extension and the Colorado Water Institute. He holds a master’s degree in hydrology and water resources science from the University of Wyoming and a bachelor’s degree in natural resource management and policy from Colorado State University.

Blake Osborn (courtesy photo)

The decision to offer Osborn the superintendent position represents the culmination of extensive selection and discussions by the district HR committee.

Following Thursday’s district board meeting, chairman Tim Canterbury said: “It was not an easy decision. …We felt like this entire board would never miss a step (with one of these three candidates as CEO). It came down to energy, passion – exceptional qualities that moved the needle in one direction. I can’t say enough about the quality of the candidates. This district won because we will have all three candidates in-house – provided the finalist named accepts a position with us.

The terms of Osborn’s employment as district superintendent will need to be negotiated before Osborn potentially accepts the position.

Joe Pierre
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