San Isabel cites volunteers, announces campaign 

San Isabel Land Protection Trust honored key volunteers and announced a special fundraising campaign for a pending merger with Colorado Open Lands at Beer & Brats, our annual member appreciation event held Aug. 22.


Greg Smith was named the Alice Proctor Outstanding Volunteer of the Year and long-time board member and volunteer Dianne Whalen was recognized for her years of service to the land trust. The event was held at Duckett Creek Ranch, one of San Isabel’s protected properties.

The Alice Proctor award is given annually in memory of San Isabel founder Alice Proctor, who contributed immeasurably to the formation of the land trust and helped build and strengthen the organization until her death in 2012.

“For the past five years, Greg has designed and produced all of our newsletters, advertising and other communications, contributing his wonderful photography to the work,” said Larry Vickerman, president of the Board of Directors. “He also has documented in pictures all of our events – Art for the Sangres, Beer and Brats and the Hardscrabble Mountain Trail Run – providing a lasting record of San Isabel and its supporters.”


Greg, a photographer, writer, editor and producer, moved to Westcliffe eight years ago. Before and since, he has steadily documented the landscape, people and wildlife of southern Colorado, much as he photographed the Lowcountry of South Carolina during the previous 27 years.

In addition to his volunteer work for San Isabel, Smith serves on the boards of the Round Mountain Water and Sanitation District and Sustainable Ways, as well as on the statewide board of the American Society of Media Photographers Colorado.

Dianne joined the board of directors in 2003. By 2004, she was its president and served in that office until 2007. In 2008 and 2009, she took on the task of national accreditation for San Isabel, which became one of the first small land trusts in the country to achieve that distinction. She left the board in 2011 but rejoined in 2016, serving as the Development Committee chair until the end of her term in May 2020.

The “Keeping the Promise” campaign is aimed at enhancing San Isabel’s stewardship funding and ensuring resources to continue robust conservation in the area. The campaign’s lead donors have pledged $200,000 toward a $325,000 goal. Supporters have generously donated an additional $45,200 since Aug. 22. Every dollar raised stays in the San Isabel service area.

San Isabel has signed a memorandum of understanding with Colorado Open Lands on a merger that would bring together two leaders in Colorado conservation. The merger is about opportunity, capacity and vitality — for San Isabel and Colorado Open Lands. COL staff and board members attended the membership event.

Janet Smith

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  • “We are situated along the Gold Belt National Scenic Byway, where several land trust organizations are involved with protection of lands. San Isabel was extremely well informed. We, and our neighbors, are very pleased with the end result, and the annual monitoring process is unobtrusive. I wish more folks would take the time to learn about the benefits San Isabel offers.”

    – Curt Sorenson, PhD, Fremont County