Laurian Unnevehr


Laurian has been a resident of the Grand Valley since 2012, when she and her husband realized a lifelong dream to retire in the west. Laurian is a retired agricultural economist and Professor Emerita of the University of Illinois. A native of California, she has lived and worked in southeast Asia, the Midwest, and Washington DC. Her research has focused on food policy, including promotion of value-added agriculture. She has been a consultant to both the private and non-profit sectors on food policy issues, including food safety management and the role of local foods in nutrition. She enjoys hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, kayaking, wine tasting, and peach pie baking opportunities in this unique region. Since moving to the Grand Valley, she has been an enthusiastic supporter of Colorado West Land Trust and their vision for a vibrant agricultural community.

Zach Eyler

Vice President

Zach is the Vice President for Ruby Canyon Engineering, Inc., specializing in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. He has worked with projects all across North America including capturing methane gas at coal mines, landfills and livestock operations as well as projects that destroy ozone depleting substance gases. He has a Master’s of Environmental Management from the Nicholas School at Duke University and a Bachelor’s from NC State University. Zach moved to Grand Junction in 2012 and fell in love with all that the Western Slope offers, including his now wife, Laken. They enjoy all of the outdoor activities that Colorado provides – hiking, mountain biking, skiing and rafting.

Larry Traubel


A successful entrepreneur and businessman, Larry has over 30 years of formal education, continuing study, and experience in agricultural business. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science from University of Arizona in Agriculture Business and Agronomy in 1979, Larry began his career in the northwest selling Ag chemicals. Then in 1981, Larry had the distinct honor and pleasure to work for and learn from an icon in the Ag world, Grady Auvil. Working at Auvil Fruit Company, Larry developed a deep love of horticulture and the management of orchard crops. In 1983, Larry moved to Wilcox, AZ where he was responsible for planting and managing a 550 acre orchard of Granny Smith and Gala apples. Larry was there for 10 years and can recall annual harvests of over 25,000 bins. In 1993, Larry moved to Cedaredge, Colorado and was exposed to the packing side of the business, where he earned the nickname of TBDFMIC! (You’ll have to ask Larry about this nickname!). As a horticulturist, Larry discovered a love of helping growers be successful by sharing his knowledge and experience. Along with the move to Colorado in 1993, came the purchase of a 10 acre orchard producing multiple varieties of peaches and apples. In 2000, Larry joined Grand Mesa Discount selling agricultural chemicals on the Western slope of Colorado. In 2006 Larry purchased Grand Mesa Discount, bringing with him a focus of continued growth through customer service and education. Larry strives to keep himself and his team on the leading edge of current agricultural methodologies, processes and technologies.

Mark Hermundstad


Mark grew up in Stoughton, Wisconsin, a small community of Norwegian heritage located near Madison. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Mark decided to venture out west. He applied to the University of Colorado for law school, and when he found out CU would admit him, he readily accepted. While in law school, he met his future wife, Sara, also a law student. Upon graduation from law school in 1980, Mark and Sara thought the Front Range of Colorado was too crowded, and so they settled on Grand Junction as a place to live, practice law and raise a family. Mark practiced with the law firm of Williams, Turner & Holmes, P.C. for over 36 years before retiring from the firm at the end of 2016. He now is working for Ute Water Conservancy District as its general counsel. Mark and Sara have two daughters, both of whom are currently living in Virginia. Mark and Sara enjoy traveling and doing anything outdoors in beautiful Western Colorado.

Brad Banulis

Brad grew up in Wyoming, Arizona, and Colorado. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University and attended the University of Wyoming for graduate school. An opportunity opened up in Montrose, Colorado for Brad to work as a Private Lands Wildlife Biologist between the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Colorado Watershed Network and the Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) in 2003, and he has resided in the Uncompahgre Valley ever since. As a Private Lands Biologist, Brad worked with landowners to enhance wildlife habitat through Farm Bill programs and provided technical assistance. Since 2004, Brad has been a Wildlife Biologist for CDOW (now Colorado Parks and Wildlife) working to monitor, study and manage a diversity of game and non-game wildlife populations across parts of Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel counties. Brad, his wife Tanya (also a wildlife biologist), and their two young children spend their spare time outdoors at youth sporting activities or fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, and traveling whenever possible.

CJ Brafford

CJ Brafford was born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, in Southwestern South Dakota, and is an enrolled tribal member of the Oglala Lakota Nation. She move to Montrose, CO, over 25 years ago to work with History Colorado at the Ute Indian Museum. Prior to her move to Colorado, CJ worked for the National Park Service at the Grand Teton Park, overseeing 8000 of the parks collections, including artifacts at the David T. Vernon Indian Arts museum. CJ has studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University, obtaining degrees in Cultural Anthropology and in Museum Studies. Over the years, CJ has served as a board member for various organizations, including: the American Association for State and Local History, the American Indian Museum Association, the Native Voices Foundation, and Friends of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. In her current role as director of the Ute Indian Museum, CJ works to provide a better understanding of the history of the Ute tribe of Native Americans.

Gwen Cameron

A second generation fruit grower, Gwen Cameron farms 38 acres of organic peaches, plums, apricots, cherries and melons at Rancho Durazno, just east of Palisade. She believes the best fruit is grown from well-tended soil and is harvested by workers with a deep connection to the land. Gwen is a graduate of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union’s Fellows Program and serves as president of the Mesa County chapter. She was named Young Grower of the Year by the Western Colorado Horticultural Society in 2018. Gwen also works with Hunger Free Colorado as a Regional Food Coordinator, connecting food pantries with local farms and ranches to build more resilient local food systems and to provide high quality, fresh food to communities who need it. When she’s not driving a tractor, she can be found mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing or rafting around the West.

Stacia Cannon

Stacia lives in Hotchkiss with her husband, Harrison Topp, where they run their family orchard business, Topp Fruits LLC. Stacia is the vice president of the board of directors for her local electric utility cooperative DMEA, serves on the board of directors for a local broadband company Elevate Fiber and is on Club 20’s Public Lands and Natural Resources Advisory Committee. Stacia has also volunteered her time as an ex-officio board member for her local irrigation and ditch company, has served as the secretary of the Montrose Farmer’s Union chapter, and volunteered her time in the winter to teach children how to cross-country ski on Grand Mesa. Stacia enjoys horseback riding through her orchards, fly fishing on the Gunnison River, cooking with her husband, and exploring the beautiful public lands of Colorado.

Bill Findlay

Bill was born in Montreal, Canada and moved to NC when was 12. He attended college at UNC-Chapel Hill, graduate school at MIT, medical school at Duke, pediatric residency at U of A, Tucson, and has practiced pediatrics in Grand Junction since 1977 with Western Colorado Pediatrics, a division of Primary Care Partners. Bill has 4 children and three grandchildren. His wife, Jane, is a retired Kindergarten teacher. They love western Colorado, and especially the Ouray area where they have a cabin. Bill enjoys most outdoor activities including hiking, biking, fishing, skiing, occasional golf and also gardening, reading and carpentry. He has previously been involved in the Grand Junction Parks and Recreation board, the Urban Trails Commission, the Traffic Safety Council and is currently serving on the Riverfront Commission, Riverfront Foundation and the Pathways to Nature project to get more kids outdoors and active. Bill sees CWLT as playing an increasingly important role in this arena and looks forward to helping.

Mandy Harter

Mandy was born and raised in Wisconsin but moved to Grand Junction over 24 years ago to attend Mesa State and made it her home. The people, community, climate, and endless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors make Western Colorado the place she wants to spend the rest of her life. She has worked as an independent agent for RE/MAX 4000 for 15 years and loves helping people find their dream home or next investment. She enjoys many of the outdoor activities that Western CO has to offer, including mountain and road biking, hiking, skiing, running, and camping. Above all she enjoys spending time with her 8-year-old daughter Bella and showing her all the world has to offer. She welcomed the opportunity to serve on the CWLT board and work towards protecting and improving this beautiful place that we all call home.

Hannah Holm

Hannah has been working on projects and policy to promote climate resilience for American Rivers, a national environmental organization, since April of 2022. She also serves on the board of the Mesa Conservation District. Prior to joining American Rivers, she co-founded and directed the Hutchins Water Center at Colorado Mesa University from 2011-2022. She previously facilitated a local wise water use council and advocated for stronger drinking water protections with Western Colorado Congress. Earlier in her career, she co-staffed legislative committees on the Environment, Natural Resources, Sustainable Agriculture and Smart Growth at the North Carolina General Assembly. Hannah has a joint master’s degree in Community & Regional Planning and Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and trail running and messing around in her garden.

Helen Love

Helen grew up in Davenport, Iowa, went to Massachusetts for college (Smith), then traded in trees and humidity for blue sky and red rocks in 1978, when she moved to Grand Junction. While raising two sons, she began her now 30-year career as a financial advisor. She takes joy in the outdoors and in being of useful service in the community. Once a friend told her, “You should support the Land Trust.” It made sense! Still does. Helen and her husband Arvid like to cook, dance and have parties.

Garrett Portra

Originally from northeastern Montana, Garrett spent most of his childhood on his family’s farm in central Missouri. After meeting his wife Cailin at Westminster College, the couple moved to Grand Junction. What started out as a six-month adventure quickly turned into the place where Cailin and Garrett would choose put down roots and raise their two daughters. Garrett began work in Colorado by putting his BA in Environmental Science to good use in the natural gas industry in the Piceance Basin. Soon after, Cailin went to work as an occupational therapist and then Garrett transitioned to a job at Carlson Vineyards in Palisade. The couple went on to buy the winery and vineyard in 2015, and later purchased a peach orchard in Palisade to establish their permanent residence.

Lindsey Rider

Lindsey was born and raised in Grand Junction, CO. In 2004, she obtained her Geology Degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder. During college, she worked for the Institute of Alpine Research at the Niwot Ridge Mountain Research Station in the Kiowa bio-geo-chemistry lab, analyzing air, water, and soil samples. She next worked for Colorado Groundwater Resource Services (CGRS) as a staff geologist, remediating water and soil. In 2007, she returned to the Western Slope to work for a natural gas producer. She has worked in the Piceance Basin for the last 16 years and currently works for Caerus Operating, LLC, as the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Manager. She and her family own a small peach orchard in Palisade and enjoy skiing, hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and biking.

Gary Roberts

Gary and his wife, Barb, connected with staff at the Land Trust to conserve their ranch in Ridgway, CO. He grew up on ranches around Cripple Creek, CO before entering a career in engineering and geology with federal land management agencies, and in various aspects of the oil and gas industry.

Emeritus Board Members:

Lee Ambrose

Doris Butler (1930 – 2021)

John Butler (1930 – 2023)

Barb Chamberlin

Blaine Derrick (1919 – 2012)

Elvis Guin (1928 – 2007)

Mike Mechau

Claude “Skip” Mottram (1940 – 2011)

Bill Prakken

Max Stites

Bonnie Talbott

Harry Talbott (1934 – 2021)

Ivan Wood