Janet Smith

Janet Smith

Tuesday, 20 August 2019 17:15

Cathy Griffin named Volunteer of the Year

San Isabel Land Protection Trust named Cathy Griffin its Alice Proctor Outstanding Volunteer of the Year at the land trust’s annual member and volunteer appreciation event Aug. 18 at Mile 66 Ranch near Westcliffe.




A key component of San Isabel Land Protection Trust’s Sustainable Water Program is finding and sharing the best available science and information with the people who live or own property in the region.

Staff hydrologist Valda Terauds shared what she had learned about how water works in Custer County in a June 27, 2019, special presentation: “Hydrogeology in Custer County – a Tale of Many Aquifers.” 

The presentation is part of a series of ongoing community conversations initiated by San Isabel’s Sustainable Water Program. Through the program, San Isabel seeks to strengthen our environment, community and economy; foster regenerative land practices; and focus on the long term.

Hydrogeology in Custer County – a Tale of Many Aquifers


Friday, 19 July 2019 16:45

Help plan the Bluff Park’s future

Envisioning the future of the Bluff Park is the focus of an $8,000 grant San Isabel Land Protection Trust has received from the Laura Jane Musser Fund.

The grant will provide resources for "open park" events and community meetings to develop a shared vision and management plan for the park. That will include identifying partners and ways to pay for sustaining the park in perpetuity. The park events and meetings are planned for this fall and winter.

Friday, 19 July 2019 16:34

San Isabel's team is growing!

We are excited to announce three new members on our San Isabel team.

The U.S. Forest Service Fisheries Program needs your help stocking a unique strain of cutthroat trout in Cottonwood Creek near Westcliffe. The cutthroats were rescued from Hayden Creek during the Hayden Pass fire in 2016. On July 1, they hope to introduce 3,000 fish into Cottonwood Creek.

The cutthroat trout in Hayden Creek are unique and contain genes matching museum specimens collected by early explorers, Colorado Trout Unlimited reports. In 1889, ichthyologist David Starr Jordan collected a pair of trout specimens from Twin Lakes, near Leadville. Today those specimens reside at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. The Hayden Creek cutthroat trout are the only known modern fish to share their genetics.


Join us Thursday, June 27, for an informative presentation on how water works in Custer County.

For many property owners in the county, a critical question is, “Do I have water?”

If the answer is yes, the next question is, “Will I have water when my neighbor drills their well?”

Unfortunately, getting accurate answers to those questions is difficult due to a lack of up-to-date information about how water works in the Wet Mountain Valley, particularly in the fractured rock areas away from the valley floor. As water use in Custer County increases and the demand for water from other parts of the state grows, answering questions like these becomes more and more important.


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 at San Isabel

San Isabel welcomes staff hydrologist Valda Terauds and new board members Annie Overlin and Steve Oswald.

Valda, who will lead our Sustainable Water Program, 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.


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. 

Page 1 of 6

More than 40,000 acres protected. Help us do more.

Private lands are important to our health, wealth and heritage. We help Colorado land conservation by working with landowners to protect and preserve the precious resources that define our region.

  • “Open space does not keep our cities apart; it holds our country together.”

    – Claricy Rusk, fourth-generation rancher

San Isabel News & Events