Janet Smith

Janet Smith

Wednesday, 29 May 2019 09:37

We're Hiring!

Conserve. Collaborate. Regenerate.

San Isabel Land Protection Trust is growing! HIRING NOW: Bluff Park Steward (1 day a week) and Land Stewardship Specialist (full-time seasonal).

To read more about San Isabel and these job opportunities, click on the links below.

Bluff Steward

Land Steward Specialist





Monday, 13 May 2019 16:09

On the Move

San Isabel Land Protection Trust welcomes to our staff hydrologist Valda Terauds, who will lead our Sustainable Water Program. Valda has 33 years’ experience in water resources and environmental management in public and private sectors. She has worked on regional water planning, water rights, water contracting, and water and wastewater reuse strategy development. She has managed hydrographic surveys to establish surface and groundwater rights in over-allocated stream systems and groundwater basins in the Southwest. Valda has a master’s degree in Hydrology from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and bachelor’s degree in Biology from Catholic University. She and her husband John live in the Wet Mountain Valley, where she gardens, rides dressage and participates in community theater.

We welcome to the San Isabel Board of Directors Annie Overlin and Steve Oswald

Annie, the sixth generation of a Bent County, Colorado, ranching family, is raising the seventh generation on a small farm in Beulah. She works for Colorado State University Extension Service, covering 39 counties as the Peaks to Plains Regional Range Management Specialist. Annie previously ran a consulting business in environmental permitting and restoration of upland and wetland systems, and she also worked as a rangeland restoration ecologist at the University of Nevada-Reno, with joint responsibilities for federal lands at the Bureau of Land Management and for private lands with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Annie has a bachelor’s degree in Botany from CSU, and a master’s degree in Animal and Rangeland Sciences from the University of Nevada-Reno.  To San Isabel, Annie brings verve, a keen mind and fierce commitment to creating a vibrant future for youth and the land.

Steve and his wife, Nancy, live on a ranch that has been in Nancy’s family for more than 70 years. After 12 years ranching in British Columbia, they returned to the family ranch in 1991. Augmenting decades of practical ranch experience, Steve is an avid learner on topics ranging from carbon ranching to creating profitable, biodiverse and beautiful landscapes through holistic principles. Steve and Nancy’s management epitomizes regenerative practices designed for resiliency to the challenges of the 21stcentury. Their innovative grazing and forestry programs, direct marketing of grass-fed beef and low-tech riparian restoration projects increase the sustainability of their operation while also demonstrating that conservation, including easements, helps ensure long-term viability of agricultural operations throughout Colorado.

And we bid farewell to board members Chris Skagen and Blake Osborn. Chris stepped up to serve as executive director while our search for a new executive director was underway, bringing thoughtful, informed guidance to San Isabel.  Blake has been instrumental in shaping our land care program, especially around forestry, fire and floods.  Thank you, Blake and Chris, for your energy, dedication and leadership while serving on San Isabel’s board.

By Valda Terauds, San Isabel Hydrologist

In response to the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District’s proposed augmentation plan, I submit that the community’s problem with this plan is not a “lack of understanding.” The problem is that the plan does not include protecting the local aquifer that provides water to many rural residents in the Wet Mountain Valley.

You make it possible to keep this region wild and beautiful, with abundant wildlife, productive agriculture, flowing water and thriving rural communities. 

Are you facing a required minimum distribution from your traditional IRA? A qualified charitable distribution could help you reduce your taxable income.

With a qualified charitable distribution, you can exclude from taxable income any IRA funds directly transferred to a qualified public charity. (San Isabel Land Protection Trust is 501(c)(3) charitable organization.)


Thanks to Greg Peterson of the Colorado Ag Water Alliance and Phil Brink of the Colorado Cattlemen's Association Ag Water Network for their information-packed presentations on community watershed planning in rural and agricultural communities in Colorado and the resources available to make it happen.

Watch the video at http://bit.ly/2IrHuQu




Learn how rural, mountain communities across Colorado are dealing with water shortages, buy-and-drys, augmentation plans and other water-related issues at a special presentation by the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association Ag Water Network and the Colorado Ag Water Alliance.

The presentation, sponsored by the San Isabel Land Protection Trust, will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at the Cliff Lanes/Rancher’s Roost community room, 25 Main Street in Westcliffe. It is free and open to the public.

Monday, 24 December 2018 00:00

Thanks to our volunteers behind the scenes

You might not notice them.

But our volunteers play a vital role for San Isabel Land Protection Trust. In 2018, they donated nearly 1,500 hours. The many ways they give to San Isabel is humbling and heartwarming.

In response to our invitation to participate in our recent strategic planning effort, Randy Woods, San Isabel's first president, sent a letter offering his insight into our organization’s history and graciously allowed us to share it with you.

In 2014, Kathi and Jack Thomas found their dream home in the Wet Mountains east of Westcliffe. But just two short years later, that dream went up in smoke in the Junkins Fire, an 18,000-acre conflagration that erupted in the early morning hours pushed by hurricane-force winds.

The fire destroyed the Thomases’ home and burned about 200 acres, much of it under a conservation easement with San Isabel Land Protection Trust. But they didn’t give up on their dream, and they didn’t give up on the land.

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