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 general manager.

Osborn was one of five applicants for the job, and the District Human Resources Committee selected three of the candidates for interviews: Osborn; hydrologist Jord Gertson, senior water resources facilities manager for the District; and Chaffee County Commissioner Greg Felt, vice chair of the District board of directors.

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.

Prior to accepting his current position with the Lower Ark District, Osborn worked for seven years at Colorado State University’s Colorado Water Center as a water resources specialist for the Arkansas and Rio Grande river basins.

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

Blake Osborn (courtesy photo)

The decision to offer the general manager position to Osborn represents the culmination of extensive screening and discussions by the District HR Committee.

At the conclusion of Thursday’s District board meeting, Board Chairman Tim Canterbury said, “The decision was not easy. … We felt like this whole board would never miss a step (with any one of these three candidates as GM). It came down to energy, passion – some outstanding 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 – that’s if the finalist named accepts a position with us.”

The terms of Osborn’s employment as District general manager will need to be negotiated prior to Osborn potentially accepting the position.