Southwest Chapter

Gunnison River SW Chapter Trip RMS 2020
Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Utah

Our goal is to further the RMS mission by providing a regional forum for Southwest members to discuss river management issues and strategies through active participation in chapter meetings and events usually in a fun, friendly, and scenic environment.

Your Chapter Officers (below) are working hard to represent the Southwestern States by promoting regional activities, representing the southwest in national discussions and supporting an active chapter membership. Chapter Bylaws provide direction for meetings and activities of the SW Chapter.  If you work in a river management field and live in one of the SW states we invite you to join now! 

Members, if you have an activity or happening in your Southwestern state please contact one of the chapter officers to post your event!

RMS Journals with a Southwest Focus

The most recent RMS Journal with a SW focus is Spring 2023. You can view the most recent RMS Journal by clicking here. For access to back issues online, join RMS today! Past RMS Journals are archived and are available along with other Society publications on the members-only side of this website.

Chapter Officers

Any professional member is eligible to run for office. Officers serve a three (3) year term. Candidates should be informed regarding Chapter Officer Roles and be willing to be an active participant. Contact any Southwest Chapter officer to become involved in local or national RMS activities. 

Vacant – President

Stew Pappenfort SW Chapter Vice President

Stew Pappenfort – Vice President

I moved to Salida Colorado in the spring of 1977. Selling artwork was not paying the bills, so I took a job as river guide. I spent13 seasons in the outfitting sector, working my way up from rookie guide to general manager of River Runners Ltd. and during that time grew to love the Arkansas River. But as tourism increased, the resource began to show signs of pressure.
This made me a natural fit when in 1990, the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area was ready to begin operations and hire river rangers. Because of my boating skills, swiftwater rescue certification, and knowledge of the entire river I was recruited by JW Wilder, who had previously worked the Arkansas River as a Statewide River Ranger and knew the first AHRA Park Manager, Steve Reese.
I worked five summer seasons as a limited commission river ranger, during which time I obtained my instructor certification for swiftwater rescue. In 1995, I became a fully commissioned ranger and took the newly created position of River Ranger Supervisor. Supervising 4 to 6 seasonal river rangers, overseeing on-water patrols and river outfitter license compliance on the Arkansas River.
In 2003, I was promoted to the position of Senior Ranger with the responsibility of overseeing all law enforcement activities at AHRA, and remained in this position until retirement in 2018.
When asked, I share that my  greatest accomplishment was receiving the River Manager of the Year Award in 2016 from the River Management Society (RMS). I have been a member of RMS continuously since 1995 when the organization was known as the American River Management Society. I have helped organize, facilitate and host several River Ranger Rendezvous events as well as chapter river trips.
One of my fondest memories was chatting with then Governor Hickenlooper while boating him down Browns Canyon during the National Monument dedication.
Stuart Schneider SW Secretary

Stuart Schneider – Secretary


I worked for the National Park Service from 1979 to 2012. My first park was Ozark National Scenic Riverways, and I served RMS as a Midwest Chapter officer during the time  I was in the position of Chief Ranger for the Niobrara National Scenic River.
I moved to Colorado to serve as the Associate Field Manager for the BLM 2013-2019 at the Gunnison Field Office before retiring at the end of 2019.
I have been floating rivers since I was a kid in Missouri and active in RMS for 20 years.  I live in Gunnison, Colorado and float the Taylor & Gunnison Rivers.

Ericka Pilcher SW Trip Coordinator

Ericka Pilcher – Events Coordinator


I am excited to rally members of the Southwest Chapter for some river fun, hopefully for an in-person trip in 2021. I live in Golden, CO and enjoy spending as much time as possible outside on adventures with  my family! I currently work for the National Park Service as a program manager for the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program based in Denver, CO. Previously, I worked for Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, the NPS Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division, for Bryce Canyon National Park conducting acoustical research and monitoring, and for the NPS Denver Service Center as a community planner on the Visitor Use Management Team. While at DSC, I served on a variety of project teams to support our national parks with emphasis on visitor use management, wilderness stewardship, wild and scenic river planning. I have an M.S. in Parks and Protected Areas Management and a B.S. in Conservation Biology.

Past SW Chapter Trips

  • October 9-11, 2020: Gunnison River, Colorado Float Trip
  • July 28-30, 2017: Gunnison River, Colorado Float Trip
  • July 30-31, 2016: Browns Canyon National Monument Float Trip
  • August 16-18, 2016: River Ranger Rendezvous, Green River, Dinosaur National Monument Utah

Articles of Chapter Interest