I am thrilled to represent the NFF in the new Gunnison County Stewardship Coordinator position. I will be working in a shared NFF/Gunnison County role, managing the Gunnison County Stewardship Fund and bourgeoning forest management projects across the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison National Forest for the NFF, while also facilitating the County’s Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation (STOR) Committee and creating the County’s stewardship program. To keep up with the exponential growth of programming across the state in recent years, I will work with my colleagues to expand the organization’s presence across Western Colorado – while also solidifying our relationship with Gunnison County. Although I will work frequently with the Forest Service, in this unique position I will also be launching projects and partnerships with the BLM, National Park Service, and several local and state government entities.
Prior to joining the NFF in the Gunnison Valley this spring, I lived in the Pikes Peak Region for 15 years. My background is in non-profit management and environmental stewardship. After graduating with a geography degree from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs in 2008, I worked for a local mayoral campaign and an energy conservation start-up. I then spent a decade at the Rocky Mountain Field Institute as the organization’s Program Director. At RMFI, I provided leadership, administration, and management of stewardship programs, supervised a team of employees, and oversaw more than 2 dozen programs and 500 project days annually on public lands managed by federal, state, and municipal agencies. I picked up a knack for grant-writing, helped to develop strategic campaigns like Find Your Fourteener, and honed communication skills at trainings like Patagonia’s “Tools for Grassroots Activists” workshop. In addition to my work at RMFI, I volunteered with various organizations including serving as the chair of the City of Colorado Springs Trails, Open Space, and Parks citizen advisory committee where I worked with city officials to appropriate about $8 million annually of tax-payer funds to land acquisition and conservation projects. I am currently in the midst of earning a Master’s of Environmental Management degree at Western Colorado University, where I am focusing on Sustainable & Resilient Communities.
My roots are in western Pennsylvania, but it is a dream come true to call the Colorado high country home. I am eager to become a part of my new community, and to get to work protecting the treasured landscapes that are the fabric of life in the Colorado Rockies.