Land Trust Gives First Lifetime Achievement Award

The big tents were up on The Bluff this past weekend, this time to celebrate San Isabel Land Protection Trust’s 20th Anniversary.


Jewel Heisig Photography photo credit required

Photo courtesy of Jewel Heisig Photography

Nearly 200 people gathered from all over Colorado to enjoy beer and brats, live music by Barb Wire and the Fence Posts, and to listen to presentations by the land trust which included the first-ever lifetime achievement award.

On Sunday, during his acceptance speech for the Lifetime Achievement Award from San Isabel, Charles Proctor, 89, of Westcliffe, shared that he was a little taken aback. "Maybe I should be receiving the award for oldest living survivor," he quipped. “I want people to know, I didn’t do any of this alone. There were so many people that I have worked alongside all of these years. But I appreciate the award. My wife Alice would think it was partly funny, and she would think it was special”.

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Photo courtesy of Jewel Heisig Photography

Proctor's life for the past 20 years has been dedicated in great part to the land trust, along with his late wife, Alice. Proctor helped found San Isabel twenty-years ago, and served as a board member until 2007. Today, Proctor is still active with the land trust as a member of the Land Preservation committee, and helping with the land trust’s largest fundraiser, Art for the Sangres. In 2005, Charles, along with other family members, protected their land with a conservation easement held by San Isabel. Given all he's done, it seemed to fitting to bestow upon him the land trust's first lifetime achievement award.

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Photo courtesy of Jan Lee

"The land trust has never done anything like this before," said Dianne Whalen, past board president and 2014 recipient of San Isabel’s Volunteer of the Year Award. "Charles Proctor has been a volunteer with our organization for two decades. We think he’s an amazing person and he has touched every part of what the land trust does, as well as everyone in our organization. We offer our profound respect and appreciation to Charles Proctor."

The Land Trust was founded in 1995 by a local group of volunteers including the Proctor Family, Randy and Sarah Woods, Pari Morse, and many others, who were concerned about growth issues and threats to agricultural lands and waters in the region. Today, San Isabel has grown to four full-time staff, with two of those positions funded by short-term grants, as well as over 50 volunteers who work year-round to fulfill the organization’s mission of working with landowners to protect ranches, farms and forest lands, water, wildlife habitat, and scenic views. 

In June 2014, San Isabel Land Protection Trust received ownership of the Bluff Park parcels at the west end of Main Street. They have plans to place a conservation easement on it to prevent any type of future development so that it remains open and available to the public. The property was donated to the land trust by Richard and Audrey Stermer and is operated in partnership with the Town of Westcliffe. The Bluff Park was a fitting location to celebrate the important milestone of a 20th anniversary.

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With nearly 40,000 acres protected with 128 conservation easements, San Isabel is continuing its important land and water protection work, while there is still time. The land trust has a new membership program, and wants all landowners to know their conservation options and the financial incentives associated with them. To learn more, or to join San Isabel Land Protection Trust, please visit: or call Kristie Nackord, Development Director, at 719.783.3018.

Kristie Nackord

Posted in News


We have protected more than 42,000 acres through 134 conservation easements.

Conservation easements guarantee long-term protection – through generations of landowners.