By: Kai Miranda
I have spent a lot of time over the past few days contemplating how to explain my year and a half as a CCALT and CCA fellow. I mean, how do I go describing everything I have learned and been exposed to in one of the most historical years of my life? To describe the learning curve we all faced in 2020-2021, would be an understatement.
Despite the circumstances the pandemic presented, my time with CCALT was nothing short of educational and formative. Despite most of the CCALT staff working remotely throughout 2020, I developed strong working relationships with all of them. Through the multitudes of projects, I worked on alongside them, I was really given the full scope of the important conservation work CCALT pioneers and leads.
External Relations: Working with the External Relations team provided learning experiences in a field that I am not necessarily well-versed in. I have learned more about event planning and press releases than I ever thought possible. More importantly, I gained valuable insight into the immense importance of donor relations, and how maintaining strong, personal lines of communications with supporters is integral to the success of an organization.
“Despite the circumstances the pandemic presented, my time with CCALT was nothing short of educational and formative.”
Stewardship & Conservation: As we all know, conservation in Colorado is becoming a key component to sustaining agriculture and protecting the open lands we all know and love. My work with the Conservation Team only made the vitality of conservation more apparent. Working in this area has given me an in-depth knowledge of the thorough process that conservation easements take, from the documentation and due diligence required, to the development and stewardship of relationships with landowners. This process is not a “one size fits all” and CCALT works to make each conservation process a beneficial experience. Opportunities to further experience and explore Colorado were offered through this area of the fellowship as well.
Legal: I also had the opportunity to learn more about a variety of legal processes related to conservation easement work. Molly Fales, Director of Transactions, was always willing to explain various tax documents, walk me through the terms of a deed and even putting me in touch with various attorneys for networking opportunities.
My fellowship with CCALT has been a truly impactful experience. This team is made up of a group of individuals dedicated to conservation and protecting working land in Colorado. And a round of applause also goes to landowners – I only had the chance to meet most of you virtually or over the phone, but you are truly the backbone to stewardship and conservation in our state. As I move on to my new role with the Red Angus Association of America, I will take the knowledge and experiences gained at CCALT with me. I look forward to finding new ways to be involved with this hard-working organization and the important work that you all do!