OLT - Items filtered by date: May 2022

OLT Is looking to the future! The OLT Board of Directors is excited to announce that we are continuing our advertising (round 2 of 2) to find a candidate to fill a newly created managerial position. This new position is titled Deputy Director and the target hire date for this position will be January 2023.

Salary range: $38,000 to $45,000

Status: Exempt, Salary

Closing Date: August 15, 2022

Benefits include: An employee may be eligible for OLT group health plan coverage the first of the month after 60 days of employment depending on the hours worked and for Paid Time Off (PTO) benefits after 120 days of employment depending on the hours worked.

Dear Valued Orient Land Trust Members and Guests

The Board of Directors is seeking candidates for the Orient Land Trust's Deputy Director position. This position will report to the Executive Director. One of the primary goals of the Deputy Director Position is to be mentored by the Executive Director, and if all goes well, within two to three years the successful candidate will be promoted to the Executive Director position for Orient Land Trust.

The Orient Land Trust Mission Statement is the following: For the education, enjoyment, and well-being of current and future generations, Orient Land Trust: promotes a positive clothing-optional experience at all properties including Valley View Hot Springs, Orient Mine and Everson Ranch;preserves the viewshed, including land acquisition; protects natural, wild, agricultural, and historic resources, in the northern San Luis Valley.

Deputy Director Position Summary: The Deputy Director works under the supervision of the Executive Director and is responsible for the successful management of OLT and its programs. OLT protects over 2,200 acres. The primary destination for visitors is Valley View Hot Springs, a clothing-optional recreational facility providing pools, camping, and cabins for land trust visitors. OLT engages in public outreach to forge a strong connection between Orient Land Trust and communities, local and wide spread; scientific and educational programs to increase visitor appreciation for and understanding of the many interrelated aspects of Orient Land Trust.

What are some of the Deputy Director Responsibilities?

· Administration/Management: Human Resources (Staff, Volunteers, Members, etc.)

· Organizational Planning: Financial Management, Regulatory Compliance and Facilities

· Outreach: Community Support, Education, Events

· Programs: Land Protection & Stewardship, Visitor Services and Educational Programs

The Deputy Director:

  • Responds as circumstances require and has flexibility regarding working hours. May be required to live on site.

  • Requires the ability to walk on rough, steep terrain at altitudes up to 10,000 feet

  • Has previous association with Orient Land Trust and clothing optional Valley View Hot Springs and/or other clothing optional resorts.

If you would like to be considered for this position please email your letter of interest, resume and references and job application to the email address here. Also, please be aware that this search process, including filling the position with the successful candidate, will take some time because of the unique nature of the position and search criteria. We do have more detailed job descriptions that we will share during the vetting process. We are looking forward to talking with appropriate candidates for this position and appreciate your interest and time. Please review the complete job description attached. And complete the job application attached as well.

Monday, 06 June 2022 16:55

Permaculture Workshop - Jun 24-26

There's still time to register. Join us for this unique experience.

Our permaculture design workshop will provide a collaborative process that allows for a diversity of perspectives and design ideas. This design workshop is intended to give participants an introduction to permaculture concepts while engaging them in the actual design process of the Everson Ranch site of Orient Land Trust. Full info at www.olt.org/perma .

Monday, 06 June 2022 16:48

Ranch Volunteer

We still have a few spots available for volunteers to come live at the ranch and help with different chores between July and October for a minimum of two weeks. Should you be interested, please email Doug Bishop. You will then receive an email with more information and an application. See you maybe this summer or fall. 

According to our 2021 summer Everson Ranch volunteer, Miriam, " I went a little OCD on the chickens." 

I thought that a two-week stint volunteering at the Everson Ranch would be a bucolic holiday filled with, yes, lots of great gardening and chicken care -- but with plenty of time left over for me to work on my writing projects. Well, I was right about the first part of it. 

It ended up that this 760-acres ranch at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountains was a turning point in my life. 

I have loved the San Luis Valley ever since I first went there in the 1990s, coming down from Boulder to Valley View Hot Springs. An ancient Pleistocene lake bed, ringed with 14,000-foot peaks, the San Luis evokes something so vast, so serene, and so mysterious in its landscape and history, that it resonates with my very soul. Thus, I was extremely excited when I thought I would be able to take a 2-week "working holiday" at the Everson Ranch. It sits at the foot of the mountains, on the shoulder of the valley, in a wonderful land trust organized by the Orient Land Trust folks. 

Sabine, the wonderful Ranch Caretaker/Garden Manager, informed me that my main duties would include the gardens and the chickens. I am an avid gardener, and also quite like chickens, though I have never kept them myself. (I have helped friends with their chickens – only 3 to 6 at a time, however.) Gardening is a passion of mine, so I thought I would be perfect for the job. I was slightly shocked when I saw the two chicken houses, both filled with chickens – 66 chickens to be precise. I was not, however, at all prepared for the chicken drama. 

The Leghorns were the predominant breed. Pure white, tall and stately, with bright red combs, they arrogantly strutted around the field. "They tend to go in the chicken coop first, at night," Sabine guessed that this might be because they were more visible to predators at night. The other, darker-feathered chickens -- Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks – were generally more complacent, but would stay out pecking and scratching until late in the day – until almost dark, when dusk had pushed itself past a comfortable boundary. One evening a big storm was coming and I wanted to hustle all the chickens back into their coop. But no! The last two would not cooperate until it was almost completely dark, and kept obstinately running around scratching for one last bug. Finally, grudgingly and somewhat peevishly, they hopped into their coop. I shut the door. 

My other job was gathering weeds out of the garden. There were lots of weeds – wheelbarrows full of weeds. It was gratifying to haul wheelbarrows overflowing with weeds over to the chicken coop where the chickens would greedily run up to the gate, crowding around and clucking, waiting for me to empty the wheelbarrow so they could see if there were any delicious goodies in it. I would strew the weeds around their pen and watch with fascination as the chickens raced around, gluttonously gobbling ragweed and lamb's quarters and excess dill and pigweed from the garden. "Even the ragweed!" I marveled. "How convenient that ragweed can be converted into eggs!" 

But this ragweed-to-egg conversion was not so simple and straightforward. A few of the Leghorns, in particular, had developed a penchant for eating eggs – delicious, farm-fresh eggs, right out of the nest. My concern was that they would teach all the other chickens how to do this, and it would create total chaos in the henhouse. The problem was I had to collect eggs twice a day, anyway, but if I waited too late in the morning to pick up the nice, warm eggs out of the nest, the Leghorns would have cracked several and be hungrily guzzling up egg innards that were now running in a yellow spew all over the insides of the nesting boxes. All the other eggs in the nest would be coated with a near-impermeable, yellow egg-yolk slime. It was a mess to clean up, and not a good habit for the chickens to get into. 

Now, I had another problem. I had to now gather -- or at least check on -- the eggs three times a day, or even four, to try and constantly spy on who was eating what eggs, and which hens were the instigators, and try to forestall the chicken pecking. In the case of the cracked eggs, however, it was always the chickens first, in terms of "who came first, the chicken or the egg." So we know the answer to that question! 

Still, in spite of the chicken chaos, getting to go out every morning to the chicken coop and let the birds out of their quarters, listening to their soft clucking, and watching the sun rise magnificently over the Sangre de Cristos, was a delight in and of itself. The refreshing mountain air swooped down from the high peaks and there were no sounds (other than the chickens) to disturb my morning reverie. I bonded with those chickens, even though I had to spy on them; I learned how to pick them up and pet their funny little combs, and stroke their feathers, and I even tried to tie a string around the leg of the egg-eating boss hen so we could sequester her. (It didn't really help.) The Mountain shadows stretched elegantly and timelessly over the Valley. It was breathtaking. 

It was a great gift to get to be in the silence of the majestic Sangre de Cristo mountains, the vastness, the wide-open spaces. I felt honored to have the opportunity to stay on the Everson Ranch, amazed at the beauty of the land and the amount of work that needed to be done there, yet with lots of educational opportunities and community outreach; I ended up, in fact, giving a small experiential seminar on Edible Weeds. And even more amazing, I learned to love chickens – lots of chickens. But I don't believe I will ever keep them myself – and I really don't care to eat eggs that much anymore. 

By Miriam C. 

 - Sabine Borchers  - Sabine Borchers

Monday, 06 June 2022 16:01

Mini Workshop about Bees - July 30th

Bonita Bock will present ways in which our bee population is being challenged as well as ways we can be helpful human allies to these important pollinators on Saturday July 30, 2022 at the Everson Ranch from 10 am-12 Noon

There are 900 different varieties of bees in Colorado. Far more than only the honey bee. Bees pollinate 1/3 of our diet. These complex creatures are having trouble in our environment today and we will discuss several reasons for this situation as well as efforts at mitigating their decline.

Bonita is a retired college professor in an entirely different discipline, but with a love for life-long learning, she comes to these presentations having gleaned a wealth of knowledge on a wide range of topics as a lecturer currently for Active Minds in Denver, Colorado. She has enjoyed soaking in the Valley View Hot Springs for many years.

Should you be interested, this free workshop would also be an opportunity to ask her about her experience of volunteering at the Everson Ranch for two weeks last year. You might like to bring your lunch and enjoy a tour of the Ranch after the workshop.

Bees on Sunflower - Sabine Borchers Bees on Sunflower - Sabine Borchers

For the education, enjoyment, and well-being of current and future generations, Orient Land Trust: 
promotes a positive clothing-optional experience at all properties including Valley View Hot Springs, Orient Mine and Everson Ranch;
preserves the viewshed, including land acquisition; 
protects natural, wild, agricultural, and historic resources, in the northern San Luis Valley.