One Valley Many Voices

Richard Bratton

Richard BrattonBorn and raised in Salida, Colorado, Dick graduated from WSC in 1954.  He returned to Gunnison after CU Law School and has practiced law for more than 50 years.  Always active in the community, some of Dick’s many activities include co-founding both the Western State College Foundation and what is now the Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley.

He was instrumental in the Ruland Project, which provided open space at the south entrance of WSC and the construction of the Aspinall-Wilson Center.  He was on the Board of Trustees of the State Colleges in Colorado from 1963-1975, co-founder of the Western State College Water Workshop in 1975, and Chairman of the Water Law Section and the Agricultural Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association.  In 2002, Dick was appointed in by President Bush to be Chairman of the Upper Colorado River Commission.

He represented the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District for over 40 years, where he was involved in negotiating the terms of the original Aspinall Unit Subordination Contracts, the 1975 Taylor Park Reservoir Operation and the Storage Exchange Agreement.  He also represented the Gunnison District in successfully opposing the Union Park Reservoir litigation; and, first as an attorney and later as a witness, in a case of first impression which established the right to refill Taylor Park Reservoir for subsequent release for recreational use downstream.

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