UWP Board & Staff

Board President Dennis Murphy

Dennis had a 32-year career as a hydrologist for the Bureau of Land Management, including assessing a wide variety of issues including oil and gas activities, powerline and pipeline rights of way, livestock grazing, hard rock mining, and recreation activities. His work covered a very diverse landscape, from alpine tundra high in the San Juan’s to red rock canyon country along the Utah border. Both his employment with the BLM and his wife’s employment as an elementary school teacher are the primary reasons they landed in the Montrose area in 1978. Read more…

Board Member Amanda Clements

Amanda has been developing a small, nature-interpretation business. She and husband Tony spend their free time in the great outdoors, enjoying the local mountains, deserts, and rivers when they’re not busy tending the garden, pets, and their own patch of pinyon-juniper woodland and cactus here in the Uncompahgre Watershed. They have lived on the outskirts of Montrose since 1993, when Amanda began working with the BLM Field Office in Montrose. Once in western Colorado, they realized it was an unbeatable location, and were here to stay. Read more…

Board Secretary: Mary Menz

A career writer since 1986, Mary is the author of Common Wildflowers of the San Juan Mountains (2019). She earned Colorado Native Plant Master® certification in 2014 and is on the teaching team for CSU Extension’s Western Slope NPM courses. She loves when she can combine her passions of flora, writing and teaching. She is a member of the Ouray County Weed Board and is a volunteer at the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose as part of the team renovating its native plant garden. Read more…

Board Treasurer Scott Williams

Scott is retired from a 32-year career in law, all in California, which included founding a law firm in 1974. He specialized in trusts and estates, land use and environmental law, and local government law, including representation of municipalities and local special districts, citizen groups, and private developers. Read more…

Board Member Arlen Huggins

Arlen and his wife Vicki moved to Ridgway (Loghill) in 2014, shortly after he retired as a research meteorologist and she as a school counselor. The move was inspired by a small Huggins family reunion on Loghill in 2010, when Arlen and Vicki fell in love with the beauty, quiet and hiking opportunities of the region. Vicki is the real hiker; about finished with the Pacific Crest Trail. We pushed and dragged our kids around the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail, hoping our love for the outdoors would catch on. Arlen and Vicki currently live here with their crazy Springer Spaniel, Nutmeg, and one daughter, Sheri, who works at the Ouray pool and is finishing a degree in early childhood education. Read more…

Board Member Michael Johnson

Michael and his wife, Vicki, divide their time between homes in Ouray and in Evergreen, Colorado with two dogs and, on occasion, their grand-cat. Michael’s ties to Ouray go back to his grandparents who moved to the Camp Bird Mine in 1936. He was 1 years old when his dad took over from his father-in-law as the superintendent of the Camp Bird Limited in 1946. The family lived there until 1958 in what can only be described as a very unique childhood. Read more…

Board Member Jay Montgomery

Jay joined the Boulder, Colorado law firm of Moses, Wittemyer, Harrison and Woodruff, P.C. in 1980 with a law degree from the University of Colorado (1980) and a bachelor of arts degree from the Athenaeum of Ohio (1973).  Jay is mostly retired and has returned with his wife Kathy to Ouray County, where they lived before relocating to Boulder in the late 1970s to attend law school and to begin his water law practice. Read more…

UWP Board President Anthony RamseyBoard Member Anthony Ramsey

Anthony has spent most of professional career working in and around water, largely out of doors. His primary focus these days is the management of small drinking water systems in southwest Colorado. Water treatment requires immense dedication, an understanding of a multi-faceted field, a real passion for the unexpected, in a working environment that is filled with solitude. There is an entire journey before the tap. Read more…

Board Vice President Gary Roberts

After living in some of the most beautiful areas in the West, Gary and his wife chose a ranch between Ridgway and Ouray as the final stop. The area has outdoor activities, scenery, community, great folks and only one stoplight. The ranch (some locals call it The Wolfpaw Ranch) requires a lot of time, as the couple saved it from development and it had been somewhat neglected over the years. Other than ranch work,most of their time is taken up by skiing, hiking, biking, paddle boarding, tennis, golf, art work, family and just trying to be good folks. Read more…


UWP Communications Director Tanya Ishikawa

Tanya founded BT Multimedia Communications in 2005 to serve a variety of clients with writing, editing, video production, event coordination, and other journalism and public relations services. She has worked for UWP since October 2015, focused on engaging diverse stakeholders in the watershed activities that fit their interests, skills and availability. She also oversees fundraising and most grant writing. Her clients include the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce, Shelter magazine, and Denver Urban Spectrum.

UWP Technical Coordinator Ashley Bembenek

Ashley is the principal scientist and owner of Alpine Environmental Consultants, a firm that specializes is watershed planning. Ashley graduated with honors from Montana State University with a degree in environmental science that focused on soil and water. She has 13 years professional experience and has worked in western Colorado for the past nine years to help organizations understand water quality and prioritize projects to improve water quality and watershed health. Ashley loves to ski, mountain bike, climb, and is slowly learning to kayak.

Fundraising & Administrative Assistant Coordinator Pamela Cannalte

After decades of working for both technical and creative corporations all over the U.S., including Alaska, she has returned to writing and substitute teaching in the Ouray and Ridgway, Colorado school districts. Her background includes 26+ years in public relations, television sales, advertising (including direct response), and administration. She has published five children’s books and is working on several novels, and also has a passion for photography and the outdoors. Pamela is involved in her community, her favorite being RiverFest Assistant Coordinator to Tanya Ishikawa for Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership, which is dedicated to preserving our environment. She and her husband live just outside of Ridgway with their two golden retrievers, Bear and Grace.  

UWP Sustainable Recreation Coordinator

Dan Chehayl is a lifelong paddler, and loves to be out on the river whether rafting, canoeing or surfing on his standup paddle board. He brings to his role with UWP degrees in outdoor education and leadership and resource management. Previous to UWP, he worked as executive director of the Ouray Ice Park, where he had also been director of operations. As coordinator of sustainable recreation activities, he is engaging stakeholders in activities aimed at fostering a strong stewardship ethic among river users and identifying impediments and opportunities to recreation and public resource access.

Employment Opportunities

UWP currently has no openings for staff or contractors. We will be hiring a contractor for our Governor Basin project in 2021. If you have questions, please contact us at partnership@uncompahgrewatershed.org.

The Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership is an equal opportunity employer.