Crane Associates

Streamlining River Solutions



River Hydrologist
Fluvial Geomorphologist
Watershed Planner/Coordinator

Mr. Crane has over thirty years of hydrologic engineering experience with a major emphasis in habitat restoration, water resource engineering, and hydrology. He is also well versed with 18 years of experience in the organization of diverse local stakeholder coalitions and collaborative project development. He has organized and managed a wide range of diverse and various sized stream and floodplain restoration projects from conception through design, funding and construction. Mr. Crane is very familiar with Western water issues and serves on a number of local state and national committees and boards. Project and personal references are available upon request.


2004-2012 Colorado Watershed Assembly- Executive Director of the Colorado Watershed Assembly, a 501(c)(3) organization designed to support local citizen groups seeking to improve the watershed health of their communities. Responsibilities include the management of a $630,000 annual budget that serves multiple programs and a staff of 8. Mr. Crane reported to a volunteer Board of 11 from all over the State. Organizational programs include:

  • River Watch-a statewide program that trains teachers and adult volunteers to build water quality monitoring teams that monitor over 700 stations and supply important data to local and state decision-makers. It has influenced the environmental ethic of over 700,000 Colorado students.
  • Inflow Network- an electronic information and database system that compiles timely information on funding sources, conferences, training programs, events, job opportunities and important watershed news and distributes that information in weekly newsletters and monthly Water Reports to over 2,000 subscribers.
  • Measureable Results Program- scientifically documents performance targets, milestones and the overall success of stream and floodplain restoration projects.
  • Sustaining Colorado Watersheds Conference-an annual conference that networks citizen watershed groups with agencies, consultants and funders to expand cooperation and collaboration in natural resource conservation, protection and enhancement.
  • Watershed Planning-Mr. Crane personally has participated in the creation and development of dozens of local watershed groups and provides watershed planning and facilitation services.
  • Representation of Local Concerns at the State and Federal Level-Mr. Crane advocates for needs of local citizen groups and lobbies for funding initiatives and specific legislation to improve watershed health through local collaborative projects.

1996-2004 North Fork River Improvement Association:  As Executive Director and Project Coordinator for the North Fork River Improvement Association Mr. Crane has developed numerous collaborations with a wide variety of unique partners for different community projects designed to improve stream stability, riparian habitat, recreational potential and ecosystem function along the North Fork of the GunnisonRiver in west-central Colorado. He used consensus-building techniques to develop a watershed restoration action strategy designed to be acceptable to the diverse community interests related to the river including riverfront landowners, hunting and fishing groups, gravel mining companies, environmental groups, farmers and ranchers, irrigation companies, and recreational boating groups. Accomplishments include:

  • The rehabilitation of 6 miles of the river that transformed a braided river into a single-thread meandering system with revegetated floodplains new riverine wetlands and stable streambanks for the protection of agricultural lands adjacent to the river.
  • The reconstruction of 8 irrigation diversions to eliminate annual gravel push-up dams, restore fish migration and improve recreational boating safety while delivering a full decree of low-maintenance irrigation water for agriculture.
  • Negotiated the removal of two in-stream gravel mines and participated in the application and approval of new mine reclamation plans to maintain gravel operations outside of the river.
  • Negotiated the donation of 19 acres in and along the river from a gravel company for the creation of the Paonia River Park. Designed the restoration of that site from gravel mining to recreational use.
  • Removal of an abandoned 5’ high concrete roller dam
  • Development of a volunteer water quality monitoring team
  • Development of a river education program

Stream and Floodplain Restoration:  Mr. Crane has organized, negotiated, designed, funded and constructed dozens of stream and floodplain restoration projects. A list of selected projects is available upon request.


  • Steering Committee Member of America’s Great Waters Coalition, Washington, DC
  • Board Member, Clean Water Network, Washington, DC
  • Board Member, National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy & Technology (EPA)
  • Interbasin Compact Committee Public Education, Participation & Outreach Subcommittee
  • Board Member, NFRIA-WSERC Conservation Center
  • Statewide Water Supply Initiative committee member
  • Member, International Erosion Control Association
  • Member, Colorado Riparian Association
  • Member, Tamarisk Coalition
  • Past Board President, Colorado Watershed Assembly
  • Member, Club 20 – Water and Natural Resources Committee
  • Member, Colorado Water Congress


B.S. Civil Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1984

Soil Morphology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, June 1987

Wetland Delineation, SterlingCollege, Craftsbury Common, VT, July 1992

Applied Fluvial Geomorphology, Wildland Hydrology, Pagosa, CO, July 1996

River Morphology and Applications, Wildland Hydrology, August 1996

River Assessment and Monitoring, Wildland Hydrology, September 1996

River Restoration and Natural Channel Design, Wildland Hydrology, October 1996

Fluvial Sediment Transport: Measurement, Analysis & Prediction, June 1998

Erosion Control and Stormwater Management Design and Implementation, January 2006


  • University of Colorado Wirth Chair award in Environmental and Community Development Policy in 2000 for collaborative restoration work on North Fork
  • Environmental Achievement Award from the EPA in 2002 for outstanding leadership in building a watershed partnership
  • E-chievement Award from E-Town Radio Show on National Public Radio for Stream Restoration Work on North Fork of the Gunnison River 2003
  • Robert V. Menary Award for the Environment by the El Pomar Foundation for its work supporting local watershed organizations 2008
  • 2010 National River Hero award from River Network for work on the North Fork of the Gunnison and the development of the Colorado Watershed Assembly

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