Linda Poole

Executive Director
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Linda came to San Isabel from Malta, Montana, where she owned and operated a 320-acre homestead ranch while also doing consulting work for area ranchers and The Nature Conservancy. She was reared on a commercial cow-calf ranch in eastern Washington and worked her way through college doing ranch, range and wildlife work. She holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Evergreen State College in Washington and a master’s degree in wildlife ecology from Oregon State University.

Linda has 25 years’ experience in conservation, including 17 years managing ranches for The Nature Conservancy in Oregon and Montana. At the Nature Conservancy, she worked to ensure that family ranches thrived through excellent stewardship and to ensure the rural communities and wildlife that relied on the ranches would have a vibrant, sustainable future. She attributes her success to strategic partnerships based on good science, respectful collaboration and a commitment to bottom-line sustainability. 

Linda also has worked to nurture the next generation of land stewards. She and her ranch neighbors founded Montana’s Ranchers Stewardship Alliance. The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, the Land Trust Alliance and others help the rancher-led group develop and deliver diverse conservation solutions to the northern prairies. 

Kate Spinelli

Stewardship Director
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Kate Spinelli reduce

Kate joined San Isabel in 2016 to grow the new stewardship services program and manage the land trust’s portfolio of 133 conservation easements that protect over 40,000 acres.

Kate recognizes that this place not only offers solace and rejuvenation to the people who live in and visit it, but most significantly, that it is ground-proof of the ecological health of this corridor which is becoming increasingly rare in our world.

Earning a Masters of Social Work in Community Advocacy & Planning from Washington University in St Louis, Kate has worked with people of diverse backgrounds and experience as a social worker. She joins San Isabel from her previous posts with Colorado Parks and Wildlife as a Naturalist and the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association where she expanded their ecological literacy programs in the Upper Arkansas Valley. 

Janet Smith

Development Director
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Janet joined San Isabel in November 2016. As director of development, she is responsible for building and implementing San Isabel’s fundraising and outreach programs, which include Art for the Sangres and the Hardscrabble Mountain Trail Run. She’ll also coordinate all communications.

Protecting our natural and cultural resources has long been a personal and professional cause for Janet. As a newspaper editor and resident in a fast-growing coastal area, she advocated for high quality, sustainable growth management and land conservation.

Before moving to Westcliffe in 2013, Janet was managing editor and later editorial page editor at The Island Packet, a daily newspaper serving the Hilton Head Island, S.C., region. Earlier in her career, she and her husband, Greg, also helped launch and establish an independent business magazine, a city magazine and a weekly newspaper.

Janet holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and an MBA, both from the University of Kansas.


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  • “Because San Isabel is pro-agriculture, we were able to work closely with them to craft the contract we felt comfortable with. It allows us to capture revenue off the land while still living on it and maintaining full autonomy of ownership.”

    – Elin Parker Ganschow, Music Meadows Ranch and Sangres Best