Chris Skagen named interim executive director

San Isabel’s board of directors has named fellow board member Chris Skagen interim executive director.

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 “I am honored to help continue the mission of the San Isabel Land Protection Trust,” Chris said. “Agriculture and open space are the backbone of what makes southern Colorado so special, and San Isabel has done amazing work to ensure future generations will experience what we do today in Custer, Fremont, Huerfano and Pueblo counties. I have been very impressed by the work of the land trust and its staff over the years and am excited to assist while we search for a permanent executive director.”

Chris, who joined the board in May, is the CEO of Strategic Resources Group, a consulting firm that specializes in nonprofit management, lobbying, strategic planning and fundraising. Chris also maintains a solo practitioner law firm that focuses on environmental, nonprofit, business and healthcare law. He is a member of the Water Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association and a member of the American Health Lawyers Association.

He received a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources Management from Colorado State University and his law degree and master’s degree in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. Chris lives in Salida with his 4-year old son Ronen and his partner, Kristie.

The appointment is part of a comprehensive plan to manage the transition to a new, permanent executive director. The board’s goal is to allow the time necessary to hire the right person for this critical job, while moving ahead with San Isabel’s important work. Board president Larry Vickerman said he was confident the land trust would find the right candidate.

San Isabel is looking for an executive director who will bring private land conservation experience and an entrepreneurial approach to the vital work facing San Isabel now and in the future. The executive director will guide the land trust with an understanding of the various roles required managing a small nonprofit organization in rural Colorado.

Janet Smith

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  • "My family put 720 acres under conservation easement in 2009. We did it to protect the integrity of the property and to help secure the water rights to the irrigated hay land in perpetuity. In this age of agricultural and economic uncertainty, conservation easements are the thing to do."

    – Larry Vickerman, executive director, Denver Botanic Gardens, Chatfield