On the Move at San Isabel

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.


blake osborne

Blake Osborn currently serves as the southern Colorado Water Resources Specialist with the Colorado Water Institute and Colorado State University Cooperative Extension. His family roots go back more than 6 generations in southern Colorado, a place he likes to call home. He started coming to the Wet Mountain Valley as a child while helping his father shoe horses on some of the ranches. Seeing first-hand how working ranches fit into the landscape has been very influential for driving his career in the field of natural resources. Blake graduated from CSU with a degree in Natural Resources Management and, after many seasonal jobs with the USFS, The Nature Conservancy, and the National Park Service, he settled at the University of Wyoming where he received a Master’s degree in Hydrology/Watershed Management. Blake and his wife live in Cañon City, CO.

dianne whalen

Dianne, and her late husband, Michael, came to the Wet Mountain Valley full-time in 2001.  She immediately became involved with Art for the Sangres and then soon joined the Board of Directors for the land trust.  Over her tenure with San Isabel Dianne has served in various capacities, including as Board President and Chairperson for Art for the Sangres. She also led the organization’s original effort to become nationally accredited, in 2009. Previously, Dianne worked as a Director of Human Resources for an independent energy company in Houston, Texas for over 18 years, with significant volunteer efforts on the side.

After leading the charge at San Isabel for fundraising, outreach and communications for the last four years, Kristie (the one on the left!) is moving on to start her own strategic communications firm. For more information on her new venture, click here.

Ben Lenth, Executive Director, said “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our outgoing directors and staff. These four ladies have given the conservation community close to four decades of combined service, and have helped San Isabel grow into the organization it is today. We wish them well, and hope they know they will always be part of the land trust family.”

“We are also very pleased to welcome Blake and Dianne to our Board, and excited for what lies ahead”.

For the last twenty-one years, San Isabel Land Protection Trust has helped to protect over 40,000 acres of important working ranches, agricultural and forest lands, water resources, wildlife habitat and scenic open spaces throughout southern Colorado. San Isabel is an accredited, non-profit, non-political conservation organization working with landowners to protect land, water, and wildlife while there is still time. To become a member or to learn more, visit sanisabel.org.

Kristie Nackord

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We have protected more than 42,000 acres through 134 conservation easements.

Conservation easements guarantee long-term protection – through generations of landowners.