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Papers of Richard D. MacRavey

Identifier: WRDM

Scope and Contents

The Papers of Richard D. MacRavey consists of six books, two VHS tapes, seven plaques and certificates, two large paintings, and a plush hat dated 1968 to 2011. Subjects represented include Colorado water development, lobbying and legislation, and Colorado water leaders. MacRavey generated very little of this collection, since most of it consists of awards conferred on him by the Colorado Water Congress (CWC) and other government and non-government organizations. Four biographies of men who shaped Colorado water policy are inscribed to MacRavey. VHS video cassettes--a 2006 oral history interview with MacRavey and footage from a 2006 Colorado Water Congress (CWC) retirement banquet for MacRavey--provide the most information about MacRavey's life and work.


  • Creation: 1968-2011


Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.


Richard D. "Dick" MacRavey served the Colorado Water Congress (CWC) for 26 years, after becoming the organization's executive director in 1979. During his long career in Colorado water politics he played a large role in shaping state water law.

Richard MacRavey was born on March 2, 1931, in Toledo, Ohio, and grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1950 and worked on an aircraft carrier for four years during the Korean conflict. In 1958, he earned his B.S. in political science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He then attended the University of Colorado, Boulder, and earned a master's degree in public administration in 1959.

MacRavey began his political career in his early twenties working for the League of Wisconsin Municipalities. He worked for multiple municipal water organizations in Colorado as well as in Arizona, Oregon, Texas, and Kansas in the 1960s and 1970s. In Colorado, he worked for the Colorado Municipal League and the Larimer-Weld Counties Council of Government--helping to develop the Larimer-Weld "208" Water Quality Management Planning effort in its early stages.

MacRavey chaired the Colorado Good Government Committee in 1970 and served as a member of Colorado Vision 2000 in 1988. In 1989 he was appointed to the state Legislative Council subcommittee on long-range planning.

A gifted networker, MacRavey took over as executive director of the Colorado Water Congress in 1980, bringing the organization out of debt and increasing its membership and stature in state politics. Under his leadership, the lobbying organization supported 419 water bills and saw 350 successfully enacted. The CWC also opposed 123 bills, of which only one passed the legislature. MacRavey retired from the CWC in 2005.

For his work, MacRavey received several awards, including a commendation for distinctive service from the CWC in 1993. In 1999, the CWC awarded MacRavey with the Wayne N. Aspinall Water Leader of the Year Award.

Dick MacRavey married Mary M. Stirling on May 18, 1991. They worked together at the Colorado Water Congress on water legislation and various campaigns, including "No On #15 and #16" for the San Luis Valley. Mary worked on several political campaigns. MacRavey had two sons, Michael and Mark, and a daughter, Pam from an earlier marriage. He died February 28, 2011.


3.5 linear feet (1 document box, 2 flat boxes, 1 artifact box, 2 oversize items)

Language of Materials



Richard D. "Dick" MacRavey (1931-2011) served the Colorado Water Congress for 26 years, after becoming the organization's executive director in 1979. He greatly influenced state water politics throughout his career, championing certain initiatives while working to defeat those with which he disagreed. MacRavey was involved in legislation affecting a range of Colorado water issues, including water quality, storage, administration, and municipal supply. This collection consists of commemorative paintings, inscribed books, plaques, certificates, VHS tapes, and one item of apparel. A portion of the collection is digitized and online.


The materials in the collection arrived in no particular order and were arranged into one series.

The collection consists of 1 series in 4 boxes and 2 oversize items:

Series 1: Papers, 1968-2011


The Papers of Richard D. MacRavey was donated to the Water Resources Archive by Mr. MacRavey in November 2007 and by Mary Stirling in November 2011.

Online Materials

One videotape has been digitized and is available through the Colorado State University Libraries website. In the electronic version of this document, a direct link appears in context.

Related Collections

The Colorado Water Congress Collection contains materials related to this collection.


Processing was completed in May 2013. Books were arranged alphabetically. VHS videocassettes were inspected and found to have minor damage that did not prevent viewing; they were rehoused in plastic cases. One page of correspondence was separated from the oral history VHS and placed in an acid-free folder. The two paintings were placed in oversize storage. Plaques and certificates were placed together in oversize archives boxes, with unframed certificates housed in acid-free oversize folders in Box 2. Preservation staff created a specially made archives box for the hat.

Inventory Note

Note: Title information supplied by the archivist is bracketed. Authored books are listed in bibliographic form.

Guide to the Papers of Richard D. MacRavey
Edited Full Draft
Prepared by Clarissa J. Trapp and Patricia J. Rettig
Copyright 2013
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA