Vic Barnes named Alice Proctor Volunteer of Year

San Isabel Land Protection Trust named Vic Barnes its Alice Proctor Outstanding Volunteer of the Year at the land trust’s annual member appreciation event Aug. 27 at the Harold G. Vickerman Ranch.

Vic, who until earlier this year had served on San Isabel’s board of directors since 1999, helped lead the land trust through major growth during its first two decades.

San Isabel was formed in 1995 by a group of residents concerned about the impact of rapid growth on the Wet Mountain Valley landscape and its ranching heritage. Today, the land trust holds 132 conservation easements, totaling more than 40,000 acres in four counties. In Custer County, San Isabel has 74 conservation easements totaling 27,746 acres. The land trust also holds easements in Fremont, Huerfano and Pueblo counties totaling 12,564 acres.

Vic continues to lead the land trust’s Land Preservation Committee, which reviews and approves all conservation easements.

“Vic has played a key role in almost every San Isabel conservation easement,” said Larry Vickerman, board president. “His eye for detail and his experience and background have proved invaluable to our work. We greatly appreciate his 18 years of unselfish service on the board and his continued involvement.”

Sunday’s Beer and Brats barbecue brought together  about 140 people, who celebrated the Land Trust’s 22 years of conservation work, as well as 100 years of operation at the Harold G. Vickerman Ranch. Four generations of the Vickerman family attended the event.

Also at Sunday’s event, San Isabel said good-bye to Ben Lenth, who is leaving San Isabel for a new job at Colorado Open Lands.  Ben thanked the board of directors and land trust supporters and volunteers for all their help over the years. He also noted that the Vickerman ranch was the first conservation easement he worked on when he joined San Isabel in 2009.

Vic moved to the Wet Mountain Valley in 1998 after retiring from 32 years as a wildlife research biologist, which included 16 years studying brown bears on Kodiak Island, Alaska. His family owns the Walker Ranch, an 882-acre protected property on the west side of the valley. He joined the San Isabel board in 1999 and became vice president in 2000. He served in that capacity until he left the board this spring.

In addition to his work at San Isabel, Vic is chairman of the Wet Mountain Valley Community Foundation and the Custer County Planning Commission. He also also serves on the boards of the Historic Willows School Society and the High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival.

Janet Smith

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