Education and Economy

Education is vital to advancing our collective understanding of and vision for land health and sustainable economic development. Through education, we can bridge traditional divides, provide opportunities for youth to engage directly with their surrounding landscape, and support local economies through rural development and poverty alleviation.

Accomplishments in 2015-2016

•Launch of the Chama Peak Land Alliance high school scholarship for Pagosa High School in Pagosa Springs, CO and Escalante High School in Tierra Amarilla, NM.

•Participation in a panel discussion at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences in April 2016 as part of a 2-part series entitled “Public-Private Partnerships: Making Conservation Work in the West.”

•Hiring of a full-time VISTA Volunteer hosted by Chama Peak Land Alliance and Bureau of Reclamation to address environmental health and poverty alleviation issues.

•Supporting the efforts of two College of the Atlantic students making a 30-minute film essay entitled “Sharing Scarcity.”

•Participation of the Chama Peak Land Alliance as a case study for CSU’s graduate program in collaborative conservation.

Accomplishments in 2011-2014

•Interviews with 30 thought leaders in Chama and Pagosa Springs to explore the Conservation and Land Institute concept in partnership with Trout Unlimited.

•Completion of a cost-benefit analysis for a Conservation and Lands Institute. The report concluded that the education concept has the potential for greatly benefitting the region, including those land areas occupied by the member ranches as well as the larger two-county, two-state region. The local market, while quite small, could be well-served by a lower cost program operated using the resources of existing educational providers in the region, such as Northern New Mexico College, Escalante High School, and San Juan Community College.

•Hosting of a summer internship program with the Center for Collaborative Conservation (CCC) that is housed at Colorado State University.

•Partnership with Center for Collaborative Conservation on a 3-minute motion story for the San Juan – Chama Watershed Partnership.

•Participation of the Chama Peak Land Alliance as a case study for CSU’s graduate program in collaborative conservation.

Hosting the first cohort of Colorado State University’s (CSU) Conservation Leadership Through Learning Master’s program at our May 2011 Board meeting.


Conservation Leadership Through Learning Masters Students at Betty Shahan’s Ranch in Chromo, Colorado (Summer 2011).