Karen L. Henderson (Of Counsel)

Colorado Attorney Registration #39137

Professional Employment
• Bushong & Holleman PC (Of Counsel: 2021 – present).
• Porzak Browning & Bushong LLP (Of Counsel: 2018 – 2021; Law Partner: 2016 – 2018; Associate Attorney: 2008 – 2015; Law Clerk: 2007).
• Trout Unlimited (Law Clerk: 2006).
• Patrick Miller & Kropf, P.C. (Law Clerk: 2006).

Karen’s practice primarily focuses on water matters, including acquiring, selling, evaluating, adjudicating, changing, defending, protecting, and augmenting water rights, as well as water-related approvals, permits, easements, contracts, and agreements. This work also includes historical water right research, water quality, Clean Water Act compliance, wetland mitigation banks, and developing and implementing strategies to ensure a reliable water supply. Karen develops water right portfolios that incorporate maps to help clients better understand, operate, and manage their water rights. She enjoys working on the water-related components of real estate transactions, particularly large ranches, including chain of title research, due diligence analysis, and drafting the related transactional agreements and conveyance documents. Karen has also conducted extensive research into the historical agreements, negotiations, and documents related to the Colorado-Big Thompson Project, Senate Document 80, and the Blue River Decree; briefed constitutional law claims in litigation involving compact administration; and researched the title navigable status under federal law of a section of river with a complex history that included treaty negotiations with Native American tribes. While she prefers developing and implementing creative solutions, her experience also includes complex water rights litigation in the Colorado Water Courts, the Colorado Supreme Court, and the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. She has been involved with or the lead attorney in over 100 Colorado Water Court cases, including several appeals to the Colorado Supreme Court. She was also the lead attorney in a quiet title action against the U.S. Forest Service to (successfully) confirm the existence and scope of a ditch right-of-way under the Act of 1891.

Education and Bar Admissions
• Juris Doctor, Vermont Law School (2007).
• Master of Studies in Environmental Law, Vermont Law School (2008).
• Semester in New Zealand, National Outdoor Leadership School (2004).
• Bachelor of Arts (English: Creative Fiction Writing with a Journalism Minor), Colorado College (2002).
• Admitted to practice before the bar, State of Colorado (2007).
• Admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court of Colorado (2011).
• Admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit (2011).

Publications and Presentations
• Speaker, Interplay between Water & Environmental Law: Waters of the U.S. and the Endangered Species Act Going Forward, 15th Annual Colorado Water Law Conference held in Denver, CO (June 9, 2017).
• Speaker, Water Rights and Wetland Mitigation, National Mitigation & Ecosystem Banking Conference held in Denver, CO (May 7, 2014).
• “Regulating Produced Water as an Alternative Water Supply in Colorado”, Independent Research Paper (2007).
• Co-Author with Scott C. Miller, “Colorado Groundwater Management, Conjunctive Use and Water Banking,” 10 Western Water Law & Policy Reporter 125 (March, 2006).

Memberships and Honors
• Member, Colorado Water Congress, Federal Affairs Committee (2018 – present).
• Member, Colorado Water Congress, Water Quality Committee (2018 – present).
• Member, Colorado Bar Association, including the Water Law Section, (2007 – present).
• Named to the Colorado Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business (2014, 2018, and 2020).
• Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, Co-Managing Editor (2006 – 2007).
• Ruth Barton Award: Outstanding Achievement in Journalism Minor & Student Publications (2002).
• Outstanding Underclassman in Journalism (2000).