Brendan Boepple joined the CCALT team as a Conservation Manager in January. Brendan’s focus at CCALT will be on managing conservation projects and developing new opportunities for landowners to conserve and steward their lands. Prior to joining CCALT and returning to Colorado, Brendan worked in the Housatonic Valley in New England coordinating conservation transactions with local land trusts and state and federal agencies. Brendan is the former director of the State of the Rockies Project at Colorado College. We hope you enjoy getting to know CCALT’s newest team member!
Where are you originally from?
I grew up in Connecticut, so living and working in the Northeast for the past few years was an opportunity to give back to a landscape that was formative to me in many ways, but particularly as a conservationist.
Where did you study conservation?
I completed my undergraduate degree in Political Science at Colorado College and was then fortunate to work for the college for six years, coordinating CC’s State of the Rockies Project. After that incredible experience engaging with stakeholders and experts across the Mountain West, I returned to school to receive a Masters of Environmental Management degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. My master’s project was completed in collaboration with the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust and I remain grateful for that opportunity to work in the San Luis Valley.
What inspires you?
People’s connections to land and place continues to inspire me every day. I was fortunate to observe these connections for many years working in conservation research and its part of what attracted me to the land trust world. CCALT is uniquely positioned to work with ranching families to protect these multi-generational connections to land while also supporting Colorado’s rural communities and conserving the state’s natural resources.
What is something you are proud of?
When I worked at Colorado College, I was part of a team researching and raising awareness around issues in the Colorado River Basin. We were fortunate to present this work to then Governor Hickenlooper and Secretary of the Interior Salazar. The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy was impressed by our efforts and they recognized us as Conservation Catalysts at the 2014 IUCN Congress in Sydney, Australia. More importantly, the work was later cited by the Secretary as helpful to the Department of Interior’s efforts to return water to the Colorado River Delta.
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?
I get out and fly fish whenever I can. My grandfather taught me to fish on streams he grew up fishing in Vermont. One one of my favorite memories is from when we fished the South Platte together and got run off the river by an unexpected May snowstorm.
What aspect of CCALT’s work are you most excited to be a part of?
The people. There’s a great team working for CCALT and I’m excited to be a part of that committed and dynamic staff. Equally exciting is the opportunity to work with the landowners that CCALT serves to achieve lasting conservation outcomes.
I recently finished Down from the Mountain by Bryce Andrews. It was a really well-written and thoroughly researched story about agricultural producers and grizzly bears in western Montana. A great read for anyone thinking about the changing West and the coexistence between working lands and wildlife.