Collaborative Restoration

Meeting Multiple Objectives

Coalition Building for the Benefit of Many

Jeff’s approach to watershed planning and project implementation is to find solutions to water issues that solve multiple objectives.

Providing technically sound means

to address water problems with economic efficiency.


Through the involvement of local stakeholders.

Addressing all beneficial uses

of the water body and criteria needed to protect the use.


To restore or prevent degradation.

Facilitating and expediting

cooperative, integrated water resource planning.

Successful Implementation

of needed resource management.

Sample Projects

The Purgatoire Watershed Plan

Reference: Rachel Theler, former Executive Director, Purgatoire Watershed Partnership;; (406) 293-1198

In November 2011 Jeff Crane, then the Executive Director of the Colorado Watershed Assembly, was invited by local citizens to help establish the Purgatoire Watershed Partnership by initiating community meetings. Jeff was responsible for coordinating stakeholders, organizing speakers (Colorado Water Conservation Board, Colorado/Kansas Compact), facilitating initial meetings, identifying and participating in grant proposals (Cooperative Watershed Management Program), contributing a VISTA volunteer for a year and researching watershed issues. In July 2012, Jeff applied for and was awarded a $100,000 Cooperative Watershed Grant through the Bureau of Reclamation. With that the Purgatoire Watershed Partnership (PWP) was formed with a mission to “proactively acquire and maintain a watershed-wide stakeholder partnership aimed at the assessment, restoration, protection, and improvement of all aspects regarding the Purgatoire River Watershed”. In early 2013 Jeff was contracted by the Purgatoire Watershed Partnership to develop a comprehensive watershed plan for the entire 3,449 square mile Purgatoire River watershed. The project was delivered on time and within budget in February 2014.

2013 Flood Recovery Watershed Master Planning

Crane Associates was contracted by the Colorado Water Conservation Board shortly after the September 2013 flood to lead 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 assisted State officials with project reviews, budget analysis and technical criteria for the implementation of $100 million worth of stream and floodplain restoration projects developed and prioritized by the stakeholder coalitions.

Reference: KC McFerson, Program Manager, Colorado Water and Land Use Planning Alliance;; (303) 864-7887

The team provides project development assistance to the coalitions to ensure compliance with multiple federal granting requirements and advice on cost-effective restoration treatments. Jeff supervised the criteria and development of eleven watershed master plans between 2014 and 2015 that delivered prioritized projects for eventual implementation by the State flood recovery program.


Jeff has an experienced and intuitive understanding of river landscapes and a true love and respect for natural river processes. He also has a genuine interest in the complex relationship between rivers and communities. This combination is a valuable asset to any community pursuing watershed health and river restoration projects.

I have worked with Jeff Crane on projects ranging from planning and design projects to large scale river construction and mine reclamation. Jeff has assisted our watershed coalition with stakeholder development, project development (including scoping and cost estimates), design reviews, construction oversight, long-term planning and monitoring and adaptive management. Jeff feels strongly that watershed protection and river restoration is best done with a collaborative, bottom-up approach that integrates the priorities of multiple stakeholders. With his guidance we have built a successful coalition of partners, implemented numerous projects and and have a community re-invigorated to invest in watershed health.

Maya MacHamer, Director , Fourmile Creek Watershed Coalition
Contact Jeff