Honoring Our Friend and Mentor

We mourn the passing of our dear friend, Paul Snyder, on January 12, 2014. Paul was a long time supporter of land conservation and a tremendous friend to San Isabel Land Protection Trust.  He was passionate about conservation, about people, and about the land, and his distinguished career left the world a better place in more ways than any of us know. We echo the words of one of our own founders, Bill Jack "I've seldom met anyone who had the combination of great intelligence, grace, warmth, and general wisdom as (Paul) did."

Paul practiced law in Boulder from 1968-1998 and during that time helped forge many of Boulder’s defining environmental and social policies and institutions. He served as a legal and political adviser to many local elected officials and political leaders in the 1970s and 1980s. Paul served as the City of Boulder’s special counsel for land use matters in 1978 and helped transform the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan into a legally binding intergovernmental agreement between the City of Boulder and Boulder County. The plan went on to become a template for many other Colorado communities. In 1993, the 2,000 member Boulder Bar Association awarded him its Award of Merit, the association’s highest honor.

In 1998, Paul moved to Custer County with his wife Marty, and for 10 years served as the town attorney of Westcliffe and was an ardent supporter of smart growth and open governance. Paul joined the board of San Isabel Land Protection Trust in 1999, when it was known as the San Isabel Foundation. He served for 8 years, guiding the organization through maturation and chairing its Land Preservation Committee. Then, recognizing that private landowners are the heart of our work, Paul left the board to focus his practice on representing landowners. His love of this work was evident in his care of his clients, and he was in high demand by a number of land trusts around the state. He worked with Colorado Cattleman's Agricultural Land Trust, Palmer Land Trust, Colorado Open Lands, Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas, Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust, and the Trust for Public Land, contributing greatly to the protection of Colorado’s treasured landscapes. In all, we estimate that Paul had his hand in on about 200 conservation easements protecting nearly 100,000 acres.

The designation of the Paul Snyder Fund

We are humbled by the generosity of Marty Frick, Paul’s wife, to direct memorial donations to San Isabel. There has been an outpouring of love and support and as of the writing of this newsletter we have received over $10,000.

To honor Paul’s legacy of helping landowners with their conservation goals, the Board of Directors created the Paul Snyder Fund which will be utilized as a revolving loan program to assist families who wish to donate a conservation easement, but are unable to do so because of the significant upfront expenses. With a short term goal of raising $15,000 in 2014, our ultimate goal is to raise $50,000 by 2016. This initiative will directly assist landowners protect their lands and will allow San Isabel to increase the pace of our conservation work in this region. We feel this is an important and meaningful way to honor Paul’s legacy.

With his wisdom and confidence, creativity and humor, Paul was always a few steps ahead of the rest of us.  And so he precedes us to what's next -- and with him still guiding us, may we all feel comfort and grace.

Contributions to the Paul Snyder Fund may be made to San Isabel Land Protection Trust either online at www.sanisabel.org or by mail: PO Box 124, Westcliffe, CO 81252

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