News

Connecting people to the land lies at the heart of the Hardscrabble Mountain Trail Run, an outreach and fundraising event for the San Isabel Land Protection Trust.

Such connections are drawing acclaimed adventure athelete, coach and author Steve Ilg and his family to this year's event. The sixth annual Hardscrabble run takes place at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 2, on Bear Basin Ranch, a 3,400-acre protected ranch just east of Westcliffe.

 

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Janet Smith

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San Isabel Land Protection Trust seeks a stewardship and outreach intern to contribute to its land conservation and stewardship mission this summer. Start date is May 5; end date is Aug. 5 (flexible). To learn more, click here.

 

Last summer's intern, Veronica Travers (third from right), on a bird outing at Music Meadows Ranch. 

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 (Photo ©2017 Greg Smith) 

 

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Janet Smith

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San Isabel Land Protection Trust, in partnership with the Coaldale Alliance, is working to complete a precedent-setting agreement in the Upper Arkansas River Basin to ensure good stewardship of the CB Ranch following dry-up.

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Janet Smith

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There are as many reasons for giving as there are people who give.

What connects you to the land? Why is protecting our land, water and wildlife important to you?

Why do you give to San Isabel Land Protection Trust?

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Janet Smith

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An important part of our mission at San Isabel Land Protection Trust is facilitating parks and trails in our communities.

Connected communities encourage new development in areas more conducive to growth, taking pressure off the agricultural and open lands that define our part of Colorado and enhance our quality of life. Protecting our scenic farm and ranch lands and open space is central to San Isabel’s overall mission.

That’s why we’re involved in the Custer County trails initiative, Trails for All.

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Janet Smith

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Great Outdoors Colorado has awarded two, $18,000 youth corps grants to San Isabel Land Protection Trust for work to be completed next summer.

Mile High Youth Corps crews will remove unhealthy trees to improve wildlife habitat and reduce wildfire risk on Music Meadows Ranch and carry out critical wildfire recovery work on a San Isabel conservation property burned in the 2016 Junkins Fire.

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Janet Smith

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Huckleberry Hills Ranch, a 500-acre agricultural property in southwestern Pueblo County outside Rye, has been protected forever by a conservation easement held by San Isabel Land Protection Trust.

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Janet Smith

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Conservation leaders Randy and Claricy Rusk talk here about their ranching lives and why conservation is important to them, our landscape and our way of life. We need your help to carry on their legacy.

Join San Isabel Land Protection Trust today! 

 

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Janet Smith

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San Isabel’s board of directors has named fellow board member Chris Skagen interim executive director.

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Janet Smith

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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.

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Janet Smith

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Kate Spinelli has been promoted to Stewardship Director at San Isabel.

The move emphasizes San Isabel’s commitment to working with landowners to protect and care for land and water in Huerfano, Custer, Fremont and Pueblo counties. The land trust aims to ensure the region remains a beautiful and wild landscape with a strong agricultural foundation and a vibrant, healthy community.

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Janet Smith

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Join our dynamic and passionate conservation organization and live and work in one of the most beautiful areas of Colorado. San Isabel Land Protection Trust is hiring an executive director.

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Janet Smith

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Here in southern Colorado, we value our wild and working open spaces, productive agricultural lands, wildlife habitat and scenic open spaces for what they bring to our quality of life. Many of us are here because of the beauty and because the valley offers a quiet escape from the rapidly developing cities of Colorado and beyond.

Colorado’s spending on land conservation returns far more than pretty views, according to a recently released study. It provides a solid foundation for the state’s economic future.

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Ben Lenth

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Art for the Sangres enters its third decade of showcasing remarkable art for a vital cause – helping to protect land, water and wildlife while there is still time.

The event will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, at A Painted View Ranch just outside Westcliffe.

The fine art show and reception is San Isabel Land Protect Trust’s largest fundraiser. The land trust has protected more than 40,000 acres of working ranches, agricultural and forest lands, water resources, wildlife habitat and scenic open spaces throughout southern Colorado.

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Janet Smith

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San Isabel Land Protection Trust this summer has enjoyed the hard work and energetic personality of stewardship intern Veronica Travers. 

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Janet Smith

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San Isabel Land Protection Trust remains engaged in western Fremont County, advocating for the agricultural use of water and ranchland preservation. Toward this end, the Gates Family Foundation has awarded San Isabel $210,000 toward purchasing water rights and a conservation easement on the Maverick Ranch, located along the Arkansas River five miles downstream from Salida.

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Ben Lenth

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San Isabel Land Protection Trust is one of six land trusts selected in the West to participate in a pilot program to develop ways to engage community members in our work and to better engage San Isabel in the community. The program is being developed by the Land Trust Alliance, a national coalition of conservation groups, and will be rolled out across the country.

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Janet Smith

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 What better way to learn about the bountiful birds in our area than an early-morning walk with local bird enthusiast Leon Bright at beautiful Music Meadows Ranch.

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Janet Smith

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Please join the Coaldale Alliance and San Isabel Land Protection Trust from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.  Tuesday, June 27, at the Coaldale community building for a summer update on the CB Ranch water court case.

A special thanks to all who have made a 2017 contribution toward our efforts. We so appreciate you; every dollar counts. You can donate here or mail to SILPT, P.O. Box 124, Westcliffe, CO 81252. Be sure to note that your donation is for the Coaldale Alliance.

 

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Janet Smith

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Randy and Claricy Rusk, Wet Mountain Valley ranchers and conservation pioneers, are this year’s winners of the Stuart P. Dodge Award for lifetime achievement.

The award, part of the Southern Colorado Conservation Awards presented by Palmer Land Trust, recognizes the Rusks’ vision, leadership and influence in the ranching community in support of land conservation. 

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Janet Smith

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San Isabel extends a big thank you to Vic Barnes for nearly two decades of service on our board of directors, most recently as vice president. Vic had served on San Isabel's board since 1998. We’re happy to report Vic will continue to serve on San Isabel’s Land Preservation Committee, keeping his expertise and experience at the table. Thanks, Vic, for 19 years of board service!

Joining the San Isabel board are Kristie Nackord, San Isabel’s former development director, and attorney Chris Skagen.

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Janet Smith

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Our fifth Hardscrabble Mountain Trail Run was a day to remember thanks to our runners and walkers, the friends and family who came out to Bear Basin Ranch to cheer them on, our wonderful volunteers and our generous sponsors.

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Janet Smith

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The 5th annual Hardscrabble Mountain Trail Run was a fabulous success thanks to our participants, volunteers, sponsors, and the friends and family who cheered on our racers at Bear Basin Ranch. We couldn't ahve asked for better weather or better folks to spend the day with. You help San Isabel Land Protection Trust protet working ranches and farms, scenic open spaces, clean water and wildlife habitat. A BIG thank you tall, and we hope to see you next year.

Top finishers:

10K Run

  • Women, Bridget Rankin, Amarillo, Texas, 55:20.1
  • Men, Taylor Stack, Salida, 41:19.9

5K Run

  • Women, Joanna McIntyre, Saida, CO, 25:23.5
  • Men, Cody Rankin, Amarillo, Texas, 21:26.6

Complete results can be found here.

 

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Janet Smith

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Wildfire changed our landscape and our community last year. As the coming rains wash over burned soils, the fire’s legacy will continue to change the landscape and waterscape for years to come. Much can be done to help alleviate negative impacts on safety, homes, roads and water supply. But we need your help.

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Kate Spinelli

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Learn how to protect your home and property at a community wildfire workshop hosted by local, state and federal officials.

The free workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 28, at the Wet Mountain Fire Protection District office, 215 Fourth St. in Westcliffe. 

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Janet Smith

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With spring here and the forest beginning to regenerate after last fall’s Junkins Fire, our local community is getting ready for what comes next.

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Kate Spinelli

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The Bluff Park is the jewel of downtown Westcliffe, and San Isabel Land Protection Trust wants to polish it with your help.

The Land Trust hopes to create a crew of volunteers – Bluff Stewards – to help with planting and maintaining gardens and landscaping. Think Friends of the Library but with a gardening twist – and a spectacular view.

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Kate Spinelli

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San Isabel Land Protection Trust  — with your help — has drafted a new three-year strategic plan that will take us to 2020. 

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Ben Lenth

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San Isabel Land Protection Trust’s efforts to enhance The Bluff Park have received a $3,000 boost from the Colorado Garden Foundation.

 

 

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Janet Smith

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Young people from across south central Colorado will work to reduce fire risk and treat invasive weeds on Duckett Creek Ranch, a protected ranch on the eastern flank of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Westcliffe.

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Ben Lenth

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A month after firefighters contained the fast-moving Junkins Fire, San Isabel Land Protection Trust is engaging with landowners and agency partners to assess damage, establish a recovery plan and connect landowners with much-needed resources.

 

 

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Ben Lenth

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San Isabel welcomes Janet Smith of Westcliffe as our new director of development.

 

 

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Ben Lenth

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The 20th annual Art for the Sangres proved one for the record books, tallying nearly $170,000 in fine art sales Sept. 23 and 24.

 

 

 

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Janet Smith

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Your support of San Isabel Land Protection Trust shows you care about land, water and wildlife. We hope you will do even more to safeguard our shared legacy. Support San Isabel tomorrow on Colorado Gives Day! Double matching funds are available to make your gift go the extra mile. 

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Ben Lenth

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San Isabel Land Protection Trust named Custer County resident Anita Welch its Alice Proctor Outstanding Volunteer of the Year at the Land Trust’s annual member appreciation event Sunday at the Bluff Park.

 

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Kristie Nackord

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We hope you will join us September 24 for our 20th annual Art for the Sangres fundraiser. The event is a celebration of beauty – art, land and community. The setting: A Painted View Ranch, three miles outside Westcliffe in the stunning Wet Mountain Valley. It could not be more aptly named for the occasion.

 

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Ben Lenth

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San Isabel Land Protection Trust is pleased to announce the appointments of Blake Osborn (Cañon City) and Dianne Whalen (Westcliffe) to their 2016 Board of Directors. They wish farewell to outgoing Directors Claricy Rusk, Mary Ellen Lesage and Claudia Cole, and Director of Development, Kristie Nackord.

 

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Kristie Nackord

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The Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Board awarded a $50,000 grant to San Isabel Land Protection Trust on Monday to conserve Huckleberry Hills Ranch in western Pueblo County.

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Janet Smith

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If you are a member of San Isabel Land Protection Trust, we invite you to join us and our hosts, Curt & Peggy Sorenson, to tour their protected land and hear the Garden Park story of public-private collaboration for land restoration.

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Kristie Nackord

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We'd like to introduce you to Michael Banz and Kathy Blaha, long-time friends and members of San Isabel Land Protection Trust and founding members of our Evergreen Giving Club. We recently asked them why they give to San Isabel. Below are there answers.

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Kristie Nackord

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San Isabel Land Protection Trust welcomes Kate Spinelli to the team as the new Stewardship Specialist, bringing the land trust to three, full-time staff members.

 

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Kristie Nackord

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Join San Isabel Land Protection Trust and the Custer County Chamber of Commerce for community coffee and light breakfast on Wednesday, April 13 from 9am - 10am.

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Kristie Nackord

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San Isabel Land Protection Trust is offering a forest health workshop on Thursday, February 18, covering topics such as local forest history, pests and diseases, and more. The workshop will be located at Second Street Café in Westcliffe and is hosted by San Isabel Land Protection Trust in partnership with Colorado State Forest Service, United States Forest Service, Colorado State University Extension and the Custer County Conservation District.

 

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Kristie Nackord

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In June of this year, I accepted the position as Board President of San Isabel Land Protection Trust. I am honored to work with a group of talented individuals and consider myself very fortunate to have this opportunity to be part of furthering Colorado land and water conservation. I would like to extend a special thanks to our board members, staff, members and volunteers, for their hard work and commitment over the last 20 years.

 

 

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Kristie Nackord

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Help San Isabel attract a buyer for the Claret Canyon Ranch, a beautiful 335-acre protected property in southern Fremont County. The sellers of this gorgeous ranch have offered San Isabel a generous finder’s fee if we find a buyer. Will YOU help us?

 

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Kristie Nackord

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Congratulations to Dr. Curt Sorenson for winning the 2015 Southern Colorado Conservation Award for Stewardship! We applaud your efforts for spearheading the largest collaborative forest restoration project in the region.

 

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Kristie Nackord

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San Isabel Land Protection Trust invites the community to a private viewing of The Great Divide, a feature length documentary film from the Emmy award-winning team of Havey Productions.

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Kristie Nackord

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Nearly 300 guests over the course of two days enjoyed fine art, food and wine during the 19th annual Art for the Sangres at A Painted View Ranch. Over $147,000 in art was sold during the event, 40% of which supports conservation efforts in Southern Colorado.

 

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Kristie Nackord

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For 10 days out on the Bluff Park in Westcliffe residents and visitors alike might’ve seen a crew wearing yellow hard hats. Those belonged to the Southwest Conservation Corps who were working to fix erosion issues at the Park.

 

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A team of artists from across the country and beyond will help paint a brighter future for land conservation this Saturday during the 19th Annual Art for the Sangres at A Painted View Ranch near Westcliffe.

 

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Kristie Nackord

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San Isabel Land Protection Trust (San Isabel) was recently awarded a $382,700 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO). The money will go toward the purchase of a conservation easement on 2,051 acres of Redwing Ranch in Huerfano County.

 

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Kristie Nackord

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Once slated as the site for a high rise hotel, The Bluff Park is now protected forever thanks to a conservation easement donated by San Isabel Land Protection Trust to Colorado Open Lands.

 

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Kristie Nackord

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The big tents were up on The Bluff this past weekend, this time to celebrate San Isabel Land Protection Trust’s 20th Anniversary.

 

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Kristie Nackord

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San Isabel believes an important premise of private land conservation is that private landowners are the best stewards. That’s why the land is productive, full of wildlife, beautiful and worth protecting. However, over time, we suffer droughts, invasions by different weeds, forest pests, and other challenges. San Isabel would like to support our landowners in facing these challenges.

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Kristie Nackord

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San Isabel is pleased to announce the appointment of Larry Vickerman as Board President. Also joining the board of directors in 2015 is Woody Beardsley.

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Kristie Nackord

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Henry Watson has joined the San Isabel team as our summer intern. He is responsible for monitoring many of our conservation easements as well as working on special assignments.

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Kristie Nackord

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This morning, Governor Hickenlooper signed Colorado Senate Bill 206 into law, providing greater financial return to landowners who wish to protect their land and water with a conservation easement.


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Kristie Nackord

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Spring is in the air and San Isabel is gearing up to beautify the Bluff Park for the summer season. Volunteers are needed to dig holes, plant shrubs & flowers, rake, mulch, water plants, disperse seed & pull weeds.

 

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Kristie Nackord

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Poet and conservationist Gary Snyder once said: “Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”

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Hal Walter

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The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, a program promoting public trust and ensuring permanence in the conservation of American lands, announced last week that Westcliffe-based San Isabel Land Protection Trust has received renewed Accreditation status. In 2009, San Isabel was one of the first land trusts in the nation to receive their initial accreditation.

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Kristie Nackord

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It seems to me extraordinary luck that my daughters’ early years are taking place here in an aspen grove on a protected ranch in the Wet Mountain Valley.

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Ben Lenth

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