Adams State’s Salazar Center gets funding support to hire director
THE Salazar Rio Grande del Norte Center at Adams State got a boost in funding Tuesday through the Rio Grande Water Conservation District board.
Focused on water and land conservation issues of the Upper Rio Grande, the Salazar Center received $35,000 to help it hire a new director following the retirement of Rio de la Vista. The center was launched in 2018 by Valley native Ken Salazar and the Salazar family to honor their parents, Emma and Henry (Enrique) Salazar.
Ken Salazar is currently serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico under the Biden Administration. His brother, LeRoy, was recently appointed to the Adams State Board of Trustees.
Adams State Interim President David Tandberg said a new director will be focused on fundraising and expanding programming.
Under De la Vista’s leadership, the Salazar Center has hosted an annual Rio Grande State of the Basin Symposium to bring greater awareness of and a focus on the drying of the Upper Rio Grande, and the accompanying problems tied to irrigated agriculture and the Valley’s natural ecosystem.
De la Vista also was able to push through a new water minor degree at Adams State during her time as director. She was the choice of the Salazar family to run the Salazar Center and help them realize their vision for it. She officially retired in 2022 but continues to support the center to help with continuity until a new director is selected.
The $35,000 from the Rio Grande Water Conservation District pooled with other money will help cover a director’s salary. Board members said they didn’t want to fund the director’s salary every year but would assist to get a new director hired.
“It’s money well spent, I think,” said board member Mike Kruse. “The interactions between all the entities in the Valley, Adams State and the Salazar Center I think are invaluable.”