Jeff Crane, Principal of Crane Associates

Jeff has long been an advocate for Colorado’s rivers. Jeff began his career studying the ill effects of bulldozing and other well-intentioned but misguided attempts to direct and control the natural course of rivers. In 1996 he launched the North Fork River Improvement Association (NFRIA) with a project on the North Fork of the Gunnison River in west-central Colorado, a project which would become a template for the many other community projects that followed. Since then he has become a committed activist for restoring rivers to their natural function and integrity while meeting the social and economic needs of stakeholders.

Jeff created Crane Associates as a design-build firm for river and floodplain restoration and watershed planning projects which over the past twenty years has accomplished dozens of restoration projects and aided many communities in organizing around and planning for managing and improving their river corridors.

Recent Work

Shortly after the devastating flood of September 2013 on the Colorado Front Range, Jeff was tapped by the Colorado Water Conservation Board to assist communities in identifying local needs, developing emergency bank stabilization projects, organizing watershed master planning projects, advocating for local natural stream restoration and leading the State’s Technical Assistance Team. The team was tasked with developing eleven (11) new watershed coalitions in the flood-affected watersheds to build consensus and cooperation among diverse stakeholder groups including landowners, local government, environmental and recreational organizations, agriculture and others. In addition, the team developed criteria for master plans for each of the watersheds and designed and implemented emergency stream stabilization projects. Since the establishment of the new coalitions the team regularly assists State officials and watershed coalitions with project reviews, budget analysis and technical criteria for the implementation of $70 million worth of stream and floodplain restoration projects developed and prioritized by the stakeholder coalitions. The team provides project development assistance to the coalitions to ensure compliance with multiple federal granting requirements and advice on cost-effective restoration treatments.

Crane Associates has also contracted with the Federal Highway Administration and the Colorado Department of Transportation to design and implement stream restoration in conjunction with the reconstruction of Highway 36 and Larimer County Road 43. Crane Associates also serves as an advisor to CDOT on the reconstruction of Highway 34 in Big Thompson Canyon and several highway/river crossings in the South Platte Basin.

Jeff lives in Carbondale, Colorado and enjoys river rafting, skiing, bicycling and hiking with his family.

Jeff’s Resume


“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy; if the world were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I wake up each morning torn between a desire to save the world and a desire to savor the world. This makes it very hard to plan the day.”

E. B. White

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