Board of Directors

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Tim Haarmann, Banded Peak Ranch (Board Chair)

Tim Haarmann is the ranch manager at the Banded Peak Ranch near Chromo, Colorado. Tim has over 20 years experience in natural resources management. He has a PhD from the University of New Mexico in Biology with an emphasis in Ecosystem Ecology. Before coming to the Banded Peak Ranch, Tim worked as Ranch Manager on the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve in northern New Mexico. He also worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory and surrounding property as a resource manager responsible for projects in natural resources management and planning, wildlife management, and forest/fire management.

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Aaron Jones, Rancho del oso pardo (vice-chair)

Aaron manages approximately 28,000 acres in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado for Rancho del Oso Pardo. Aaron has an extensive background in wildlife ecology and management. He graduated from New Mexico State University and double majored in Wildlife Sciences and Fisheries Management. He has a passion for the outdoors, responsible land stewardship, and conservation.

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DAvid harris, Pinorealosa (Secretary)

David Harris is part owner of Pinorealosa Ranch in northern New Mexico. As a native New Mexican, he has a life-long appreciation of the outdoors and is committed to preserving the natural beauty and resources of the CPLA region. A second generation Designer/Builder residing in Corrales, NM, he incorporates green and solar materials in his design/build projects; combining his appreciation for the outdoors with natural building materials. David is currently serving as Vice President for Pinorealosa Corporation.

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Joel Bernstein, 262 Ranches (Treasurer)

Joel Bernstein has been a tenured college professor where he taught Native American art, a writer, bareback rider, cowboy and rancher for more than fifty years in Wyoming, Montana, Arizona, and New Mexico. He has been involved with rodeos as a contestant, college coach, producer and writer. In addition he has been the president of three major western associations and twice judged the Miss Rodeo Montana pageant. He has written non fiction books on the contemporary West and ranching and recently had a novel about the contemporary West published. He has served two elected terms on the New Mexico Veterinary Grievance Committee and was national director of "Indian Pride on the Move." He and his wife Gail own the 262 Ranch in the historic San Rafael Valley in southern Arizona and the 262 Ranch overlooking the Brazos Cliffs in northern New Mexico. They live on a smaller place just outside Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Jeb Binkley, Chamita Valley Ranch

Jeb is a fourth generation rancher in the Chama Valley. His family’s goals are to build on current natural resource and livestock management practices and make them economically and environmentally sustainable. The family believes building partnerships with organizations like CPLA and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will help the family build a legacy for future generations.

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Peter Harris, Pinorealosa

Peter Harris has been a general contractor in New Mexico for thirty years and is an avid outdoorsman. He has served on the board of the Chama Peak Land Alliance since its inception, Peter is also an active member and serves on the board of the Pecos chapter of The Back Country Horsemen. Peter has had an association with the Brazos Box Ranch for the last twenty-five years and more recently the Pinorealosa both in the Chama area. As a lifetime resident of New Mexico Peter has great interest in preserving the land and wildlife of New Mexico and the surrounding states as well as seeing sustainable economic growth that benefit’s local populations in areas such as the Alliance region.


Betty Shahan, Betty Shahan Family Ranch

Betty was born and raised in Archuleta County. She has been involved in ranching all of her life. Betty has lived and worked on her ranch since 1956 and uses Holistic Ranch Management. Betty loves the land and her cows, as well as all wildlife. She feels a responsibility for the well-being of the land and wildlife and manages her ranch for their use as well as the cows. Betty’s ultimate goal is to leave her ranch better than when she got it and she works towards that goal as long as she can. Betty was the first person to put a conservation easement on her ranch in the Navajo River Valley and she volunteers whenever she can. Read Betty's Stewardship Profile here.


Howard O. Ness

Howard has over 45 years working in resources fieldwork, research, management, and policy including 22 years of International Conservation experience. He has worked for two western state fish and game departments (Nevada and California) and four United States government departments including the Department of Interior (US National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey), US Department of Agriculture (Forest Service), US Department of Commerce (National Marine Fisheries Service) and the Department of State (Foreign Service -Fisheries Attaché). He was an adjunct professor at the University of Alaska 1974-1978 and New Mexico State University from 1991 to 2007. He is knowledgeable and experienced in matters relating to the conservation and management of fish, wildlife and water resources. He has a balance of expertise in ocean, coastal and terrestrial resource conservation. In the private sector he has owned a family operated farm and vegetable packing enterprise in Southern Arizona for over three decades. Howard has a BS in Biology from Western New Mexico University and a MS in Economics and Wildlife Management New Mexico State University.


Manuel Trujillo

Manuel is a Chama native, who grew up during the 1950s and remembers when the Chama River was a series of twists and turns that harbored great fishing pools, natural habitat, and swimming holes for summertime fun; and where the mountains were the peoples’: a place to gather wood, berries, healing plants, and hunt for food. He grew up with the Land Ethos: ‘La tierra es tu madre, y el agua es su sangre. El agua es vida.’ A man of varied experiences and talents, he has served his community and state as a roughneck on a drilling rig, surveyor and materials lab tech for NMDOT, a high school history teacher, an installer/repairman-to cable splicer-to manager and lobbyist for a major telecommunications company in northern NM, a NM State Representative for District 41, member of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Water, one of initial board members of the NMAA, analyst for the chairman of the NM Senate Finance Committee, advisory Board member for Acequias Norteñas, Rio Arriba Planning and Zoning, among several others. Manuel considers himself a water activist, and he continues to work for cultural and traditional water uses, the protection and preservation of the watershed, and the acequia system, being that he is a parciante and former Mayordomo on the Acequia PorVenir. Today he’s a part time rancher and as an avid vegetable gardener, he is a preservationist of heirloom seeds. A favorite quote given to him by his friend Trudy: ‘Only when the last plant has died, the last river poisoned, and the last fish caught; will we realize we can’t eat money.’


Tom Watts

Tom resides in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. He is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and works part-time as a private lands consultant for several elk breeding operations. Tom spent 30 years as the Wildlife Biologist for the Jicarilla Apache Nation, managing their trophy hunting program and habitat restoration projects.

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Claudia Reynoso

Middle-High School Science Teacher at Escalante Middle High School in Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico

Claudia graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor's in Conservation Biology (2014) and Masters in Natural Resources (2017). Claudia has studied the effects of fire and invasive species on the native Arizona Grey squirrel in the Catalina Mountains, ecosystem services provided by the Mexican Free-tailed bat, payments for ecosystem services, wildlife and natural resource management, and the benefits of urban green spaces (e.g. parks, trees, green infrastructure etc.) on urban dwellers.

Claudia is determined to educate our youth about the importance of natural resources to promote stewardship and a conservation minded economy. Claudia’s passion for the natural world has led her to advocate for outdoor programing, as this is known to promote stewardship and have health benefits to children. Claudia’s vision is that our students will come out with a deep appreciation for the process of nature and the role science plays in understanding these processes.

Claudia once lived in Northern New Mexico and remembers playing in great fields and hay stacks. This left a lasting memory that influenced her decision to return. Claudia’s goal was to come back and tend the land her dad purchased in a beautiful pocket of the Carson National forest. After 20 years, Claudia returned to Northern New Mexico because deep down she this is where her heart has always been.


Brittany Wallace, Trout stalker ranch

All of Brittany’s passions align when it comes to her work as the ranch manager of Trout Stalker Ranch. The 1500+ acre ranch is nestled in the valley of Chama in northern New Mexico. With over 1000 acres in conservation, the ranch’s holistic goals is to steward the private land and water in a way that it may flourish. With her comprehensive background in animal husbandry and her devotion for guiding humans through growth, Trout Stalker Ranch focuses on conservation, recreation & education which allows the ranch to share this protected wild ecosystem with the public through programs or a stay.

Brittany also holds a position as the backcountry wrangler Continental Divide Trail Ambassador. She is currently creating programs and partnerships that support youth and women to adventure into the backcountry. Brittany believes the wilderness holds space for us to re-employ slow living, rewild and reignite the flame of our primitive torch. Partnering with horses and nature as the guides, Brittany facilitates personal growth through experience based education. She is taking steps towards becoming a hunting guide, so that she may teach women how to consciously & respectfully harvest their own food. Follow Brittany on Instagram: @honeymarrow


Staff and Consultants

Position Vacant, Executive Director


Scott Ishihara, Business Administrator (Independent contractor)

Scott was born in Australia to American parents, which has given him the gift of dual citizenship. Scott grew up in rural northern California and drove a tractor in the pear orchards as a summer job. He was frequently camping and fishing in the Sierra Nevada mountains with his family during his childhood. He attended UCLA and earned a degree in Communication Studies, and then helped his partner Lauri run her healing arts studio for 5 years. Scott’s interest and passion in giving back to the land and his community through stewardship and conservation has been steadily growing since moving to New Mexico. He is currently experimenting with regenerative and sustainable land practices on two acres in the small community of Chupadero, where he also serves as the treasurer on the acequia commission.


Betty Shahan, Field Representative

Betty serves as the Field Representative for CPLA in Chromo, CO. Betty was born and raised in Archuleta County. She has been involved in ranching all of her life. Betty has lived and worked on her ranch since 1956 and uses Holistic Ranch Management. Betty loves the land and her cows, as well as all wildlife. She feels a responsibility for the well-being of the land and wildlife and manages her ranch for their use as well as the cows. Betty’s ultimate goal is to leave her ranch better than when she got it and she works towards that goal as long as she can.

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Jared Daniels, Americorps vista volunteer

Jared Daniels is the 2019-2020 AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer for Chama Peak Land Alliance and the Bureau of Reclamation. He is from West Nyack, New York and has an Associates of Science in Environmental Science from Hudson Valley Community College and a Bachelors of Science in Geology from SUNY New Paltz. Jared has an interest in developing beneficial relationships between humans and their natural surroundings and views the goals of the CPLA and Bureau of Reclamation with the San Juan-Chama Watershed Partnership as a great fit. Having took part in a ten day geology field excursion of North New Mexico in 2015, he grew to love the natural beauty of the state. He jumped at the opportunity to be here for a year and perform good works for the community towards sustainability and responsible land stewardship.


Honorary Board Members

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Jeremy Gingerich, Vermejo Ranch

Jeremy has over 15 years of experience working on and managing progressive cattle and bison ranches in Colorado and Montana, including some of the most diverse and critical wildlife habitat in the Northern Rockies. A B.S. in Natural Resources Recreation and Tourism, an M.S. in Ranch Management, and the study and practice of Holistic Management provide the foundation of his approach to ranch management and management consulting. Throughout his career, he has used a landscape-scale approach that recognizes the dynamics among livestock, wildlife, fisheries, riparian systems, and healthy rangelands. Jeremy was the former manager of Banded Peak Ranch and currently manages the Vermejo Ranch and cooperates on ranch management consulting projects through Ranch Advisory Partners based in Bozeman, MT.

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Dick Ray

Dick Ray has owned and managed ranch property in the Chama Peak Land Alliance area of operation since 1970. The bio-politics of wildlife has been his obsession for the past 5 decades while operating as an outfitter in Colorado, New Mexico and British Columbia, Canada. Recent experience as a past Colorado Wildlife Commissioner and President of Colorado Outfitters Association has provided him with valuable insight.


Richard "Doc" Gooding, Chromo Mountain Ranch

Doc is a retired plastic surgeon and he and his wife, Sue, have been in the ranching business most of their life. Their family-owned ranch, Chromo Mountain Ranch, is located across the Colorado - New Mexico border and has a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) conservation easement on it. They are dedicated to conserving habitat and managing the ranch in an equitable manner for long-term results. Read Doc's Stewardship Profile here.

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Dan Perry, Trout Stalker Ranch

Dan C. Perry has practiced law for 30 years in Texas and New Mexico, specializing in the exclusive representation of oil, gas and mineral owners in their dealings with oil and gas exploration and pipeline companies. In the past two years, Dan and his wife, Ashlyn, acquired the Troutstalker Ranch immediately south of the Village of Chama, which is the location of the confluence of the Rio Chama and Rio Chamita. Their dream is to restore these waters to gold medal fisheries, and to preserve the ranch for wildlife in perpetuity. Dan and Ashlyn have also recently formed the Dan and Ashlyn Perry Charitable Foundation, which supports children’s charities, the arts and conservation efforts. Dan is also a Board Member of The Santa Fe Opera and Silver Bullet Productions. Dan markets available oil, gas and mineral acreage for lease, negotiates and closes the leases, monitors and enforces lease compliance and audits royalty payments on over 300,000 acres of minerals in three states.


Frank Simms, Brazos Limited Partnership

Frank Simms is the president/treasurer and general manager of Running Elk Corporation, a Section 17 federal corporation wholly owned by the Jicarilla Apache Nation. Running Elk Corporation operates the 36,000-acre, multiple use, multi resource land management enterprise known as "The Lodge and Ranch at Chama Land & Cattle Company". Frank co-wrote the "statutory authority" for the landowner elk permit system currently in use in New Mexico today. He was also appointed by Governor Bill Richardson to sit on the state of NM's "Environmental Improvement Board". He grew up on family farms and ranches in NM and CO and is managing general partner of a family owned ranch adjoining Chama Land & Cattle Company. He is a life long commercial rancher and outfitter.