Saturday, June 15th, 2019

2018 Annual Report

San Luis Valley looking North San Luis Valley looking North John Lorenz


Treasurer's Report

- Patrick Comiskey

 At the April board meeting, Wall, Smith, Bateman Inc., the new auditors presented their report and reviewed the audited statements with the board. Previously, Doug Bishop-OLT Executive Director, Scott McCumber-OLT Bookkeeper and I participated in a conference call with the auditors to review the preliminary draft.  The audit opinion was unqualified indicating that there were no material issues relative to generally accepted accounting principles. Net assets of Orient Land Trust increased by $142,192 for 2018. The increase in 2018 was $135,807 less than the previous year due to the fact that total increased expenses outweighed the increase in revenues. Comparing to 2017 results, total revenues were up by $30,266 while total expenses increased by $166,073. Employee expenses increased by $71,905. Other notable expense categories with increases over 2017 include supplies, consulting, accounting/auditing, utilities, repairs and vehicle expenses.

From this treasurer’s viewpoint, consultations with our former auditors have resulted in some exciting changes in the format of the accounting reports that the board receives monthly. It’s my belief that the changes being made will assist the board as well as the public in having a clearer picture of the activities of the organization.

Another exciting development was the creation of a board designated fund exclusively for land acquisition. While the manner of funding still needs to be determined, this aspect of land conservation, that is acquisition, becomes more of a focal point for Orient Land Trust and perhaps will result in additional donations from organizations and individuals who believe that acquiring and controlling property should be more of a focus for the organization.

Looking forward, I believe that 2019 will continue to present challenges for the board and company management. General upward pressure on staff expenses, utilities,  and maintenance coupled with the continuing challenges as the new visitor management application (handling reservations, memberships and sales) project develops will require vigilance and care in order to assure the continuing growth and success of Orient Land Trust.

Click Here to See the full 2018 Audited Financial Report or Scroll Down to the end of the Article

Notes from the Board Chair

Doug Bishop

- John Standish

 2018 saw record attendance and record income on several fronts.  Much of this was the result of mild winter weather that drew more visitors to the hot springs during what is historically viewed as the slow season, though continued increased visitation has redefined the definition of “slow” at OLT.

In mid-year, the addition of a new board-approved parking area across from the Welcome Center has significantly helped congestion near the Welcome Center and in front of Spruce Cabin. Staff, volunteers and the occasional visitor have graciously taken to parking at the new lot. Though the lot is not that big, every vehicle parked there is one fewer vehicle parked somewhere else!

 Due in large part to the increase in visitation, one priority that became unexpectedly urgent was the need for a new septic system for the Welcome Center.  OLT management quickly acted on that need to present the issue to the board and began working on resources for a suitable solution.

 If there was one project that continued to be a challenge, it was the ongoing struggle to complete work on the new reservation system known as the Visitor Management Application, or VMA, designed by OLT’s contracted software developer in early 2017.  That system was originally slated to be completed by end-of-year and functional by the beginning of 2018, but still was handicapped by enough bugs and missing functionality that the decision was made to hold off on its implementation until proven to be more reliable and complete.  Happily, the original reservation system that was updated to comply with current operating systems by its initial programmer, Chris Miller, has proven to be robust enough to keep the reservation application running reasonably well.

Throughout all the achievements as well as the challenges, our ED, management and staff have continued to work together effectively to carry on the unique and very special OLT energy that makes the organization so special.


OLT's Executive Director Message

Doug Bishop

- Doug Bishop

We can repeat it frequently and universally yet it can not be said enough: Thank You! Our gratitude goes out to the guests that make this place special, safe, and friendly. Thanks to the volunteers that tend to so many important details: from parking issues, to special messages, to finding people for whom there is an important message, and for being the friendly, helpful crew on which we rely. The board of directors has been involved and attentive. Having thoughtful people commit so much of their time to see OLT thrive makes slogging through the reports and details more pleasurable.

We started work on the new Visitor Management Software (Reservations, Admissions, and Members) in early 2017. We worked all year and did not finish. We have been testing what we did get done and looking at several potential ways to go.  We are reviewing the additional cost likely to be incurred with finishing the project and that projected cost estimate will affect our decision. Another option would be to update our heritage system. A third possibility is to look for off the shelf software that would give us the functionality we require.

We are examining our options carefully. We will keep you posted. Progress is being made! Technological improvements may be a jarring concept for those who cherish memories of Nature - the trees, birds, grass, pools and the mountains. The project, when completed, will keep the office more organized so that the process of becoming a member, checking in, and making reservations remains quick and easy.

Last year was a good year for soaking in the pools. The weather was warm and there were very few rain storms. The fire danger was high and we had to resort to a propane firepan in the Pavilion yet dry weather made for good camping and soaking. Again, many thanks to all for another good year.

2018 Summary

Hydroelectric Maintenance: The 12-inch valve at the Hydroelectric Collection Box failed. Luckily, it failed in the closed position so we were able to function. The problem caused by the failure was that we were unable to clean out the collection box on our normal weekly schedule. After receiving the new valve, the connecting pipe, and the flanges that were needed to connect the valve, we took a few days to complete the installation. It took two attempts as we first used a piece of used pipe that was just slightly the wrong diameter. The collection box went a few months without the normal flush and clean maintenance but it did not cause any problem.

December projects:

  1. Radiant hot springs water heating units installed in Oak House. This boosted the interior temperatures to nearly 60 degrees Fahrenheit with no electric heat. The water volume from the springs decreased steadily throughout the winter due to drought through most of 2018. Decreased spring water volume results in decreased electrical production. Saving a few kilowatts in space heating gave us a little more electricity to use for laundry, showers, and the heated pools.

  2. New windows were installed for every opening in Oak House. THe new windows are insulated glass. They are tighter than the 35 year old windows they replaced.

  3. Foundation repair at Oak House was continued. This is an ongoing project. The building foundation has been stabilized with posts on concrete footers. The rock work is now being redone.

  4. Garden improved and expanded.

  5. BLM Grazing denied due to drought conditions during the spring and summer

  6. New parking area near the Welcome Center

  7. Fiber Optic cable for Welcome Center and Guest internet installed and connected.


2018 Visitation

This year showed an increase in day and overnight admission passes, adult and child visitation at the hot springs.  If we added in non-registered guests who came for the bat hike or hot springs tours, we would be well over 40,000 yearly visitations. Our staff did a great job handling all aspects of guest visitation.


2017 Adult

2017 Children

2017 Total

2018 Adult



2018 Total




























2017 - 18






+ 179






Days we reached capacity: 176


























2018 Volunteer Report


That is an increase in 40 volunteers and 1,851 hours or 18% increase.  (2017 totals: 128 volunteers donated 8,275.25 person-hours)  This was due in part to an increase in ranch volunteers who helped with the expanded garden, ranch facilities and camp host and tour guides.OLT hosted the fourth annual Volunteer Appreciation Weekend on December 7 & 8.  Forty-five volunteers attended the party, one person driving from North Carolina and one from Washington DC!  We had a great potluck at the pavilion and enjoyed two days of soaking and comradery. Many of our volunteers expressed sincere appreciation at being a part of the OLT Family and have already committed to returning for 2019. So much gratitude goes to these devoted volunteers who help us to keep this exceptional place running smoothly!










Camp Host




Discovery Host




Astronomy Host




Bat Host








Science Camp




Weed Pull





















2018 Educational Programs

Our educational programs saw a 19% increase in attendance in 2018.  We gave 674 Educational Tours to 6,098 youth, adults and seniors. That is an increase of 121 tours to an additional 1,101 people from 2017.

Astronomy, Bat and Everson Ranch tours were offered daily throughout the summer and Hydro-Electric System Tours were offered weekly or upon request. Geology tours were offered for science camp and upon request.  2017 was the first year we kept track of hot springs tours which consist of a staff or volunteer walking guests around the hot springs and telling them about our mission, community, membership, educational programs and culture.  The tallies show lower numbers in Hot Springs and Hydro tours for 2018 but I believe that it was due to poor recording. I am presenting accurate numbers as recorded but think both were higher, just not documented.

Educational Tours and Attendance



# Tours

# Guests


Science Camp

College Groups


+/- 2017









































Hot Spring























Plant Botany









2018 Kids Science Camps

In 2018 we held two weeks of Science Camp for 50 kids.  OLT’s program continues to grow, offering new workshops and educational experiences.  Science camp workshops are led by OLT staff and volunteers and was sponsored by a Saguache County Sales Tax Grant of $3,250.

1) Conejos Clean Water Adventure Program: July 24 through the 27.  Twenty kids ages 9 through 13 along with 5 adult counselors camped at the ranch.  Their group included 8 kids from the Alamosa Boys and Girls Club. They have committed to returning in 2019.


2) Kids Science Camp 2018 was held July 29 through August 2. We had a full registration of 30; ages six through 12, along with a waitlist of 20.  Another successful year with overwhelming positive experiences.


Science Camps 2019 is scheduled for July 22 – 25 for CCW and July 28 – August 1 for our regular camp.  I currently have 77 kids on the list for advanced registration. I will be turning in the final grant report into Saguache County for 2018 mid-January along with a new grant for 2019.  I will be writing the new grant request for $3,500 for both camps. 


2018 Astronomy 

The Astronomy Program saw the greatest increase of guest visitation with an additional one thousand guests looking through the new scope and attending star tours!  Mark Cunningham trained and signed off on an additional five volunteers who can now lead tours.

OLT’s lead astronomer, Mark Cunningham has recently received the prestigious award of Solar System Ambassador by NASA’s Planetary Science Division.  “The Solar System Ambassadors program is a public engagement effort that works with motivated volunteers across the nation to communicate the science and excitement of NASA's space exploration missions and discoveries to the people in their communities.”  Through this program, NASA is encouraging volunteers like Mark, to do exactly what he does at OLT; share his knowledge, excitement and passion for Astronomy! We are all very proud of Mark and his accomplishments and grateful for his leadership in the OLT Astronomy Program.   Mark has submitted his volunteer photo in OLT t-shirt with our telescope as his “official NASA” photo.



Membership Increased in 2018 by 383 People! 

2018 4,034 +383 10%
2017 3,651 +326  
2016 3,325 +334  
2015 2,991    


2018 Member Acknowledgements

(We are only listing those members that have given us permission to acknowledge them publicly.)


David Carter
John Eiseman
Paul Engelbrecht
Robert Heiberger
Karen McLaughlin
Darrin Pyle


Ron Boyd
Frank Barron
Thomas Blomqvist
Jean Bormett
Dave Cameron
David Cherry
Ron Foster
Gary Gardner
Jeffrey Hall
John Hallinan
Martin Jolley
Phil Kirk
TJ Koehler
Robert Leach
John Redick
Edward Schrems
Gary Shannon
Bill Singer
Jonathan Smith
Nancy Stromer
Mindy Stuemke
Jim Taylor
Richard Ward
James Young


Michael Albi
Mike Allen
Adrienne Anderson
James Anhalt
Paul Betty
Greg Bond
Eric Borg
Michael Burke
Chris Calvin
Katherine Carley
Helen Chantler
Peter Chasteen
Carla Clements
Kim Denson
Julie DeWald
Scott Elliott
Ken Ellison
Ariele Erwine
Daniel Flemming
Mark Flora
Joseph Forrest
Germaine Fraley
Susan Frederick
Mariarosa Gasbarro
Marcia Goldin
Scott Gregoire
Abraham Gutmann
Ed Hall
Michele Hawley
Peter Huber
Robert Hunt
Tricia Huth
Bruce Kell
Chet Klecha
Joani Kleensang
Dave Kleensang
Katie Koski
Lily LaValley
Nancy Leibig
Ken Lindas
Jim Longwell
John Mariner
Aiko Materkowski
Mark McDowell
Leland McElhinney
Charles Meredith
Bill Moench
Michael Musialowski
Tom Nagle
Doug Neese
Cyndy Noel
Julie Norem-Hawley
Tony O'Brien
Angela O'Connor
Adrian O'Leary
Kim Pfennigs
Edward Prior
Jan Redick
Tracy Reseigh
Michael Richey
Dara Rotunno
Thomas Saunders
David Schrader
Uwe Schroeter
John Scorsine
Scott Sharot
Peter Shell
Tammie Singer
Mary Starr
Chuck Tidd
Roland Williams
Brad Wright
Rich Zizik


Paul Aaker
Kristi Anderson
Hill Baker
Ellen Barnett
Brad Bartlett
Latania Be 'Lubell
Dave Beal
Christine Belka
Laura Berg
Erica Besen
Milton Bixler
Shelley Blessing
Michael Blevins
Michael Bonamer
Steve Brown
Brett Burbridge
Randy Canney
Lenka Cech
Corine Clark
Karen Cochran
Kent Cooper
Joanne Coupe
Art Cowen
Blaine Crowther
Sandra Dancer
Alice Davis
Julia Davis
Peter Davis
Jackie Dayton
Tom Decker
Kell Delaney
Brian Dewitt
Andy Dieringer
Aaron Dix
Steve Duker
Diane Dula
Lindsey Dunlap
David Edmonds
Beth Enson
Erick Essen
Randy Estes
Amber Fasick
Janette Fetter
Jeremiah Gallagher
Sheila Gentry
Lani Gordon
Heather Gray
Leslie Green
Markus Groner
Tim Groonell
Edward Groth
Caitlin Hall
Kenda Hallinan
Rick Harbin
Dale Hargrave
Rhett Hatfield
Rolf Hebenstreit
John Hendry
Kerrin Hoot
Diane Hopkins
Aaron Howell
Harriet Ivker
Nancy Johnson
Helen Johnson
Hannah Joss
Eric Kallgren
Rick Kane
Karen Karnuta
Kathleen Kelleher
Brad Klafehn
Wally Knight
Kitty Koch
Paul Koppana
Jess Koski
Joel Kostyrka
Lee Lambert
John Lampe
Jim Landes
Bruce LaRue
Amanda Laverdiere
Maureen Lawrence
Dean Levi
Diane Levi
Ron Lezon
Daniel Lindsey
Paul Logan
Brian Lubell
Rachelle Luna
McKenzie Lyle
Larry Lyon
Joanie MacCallum
Jaz Mannion
Abby Martin
Neal McBurnett
D'Ann McElhinney
Jeff McElroy
Suzanne McKinley
Hans Meyer
Burke Miles
Mark Miller
John Miller
Michael Millner
Christie Moran
Michael Moravan
Diane Mueller
Margo Musante
Claire Nafziger
Michael Nelson
Lisa Nelson
Jean Nichols
Aaron Nickamin
William Nixon
Carrie Odom
David Pastor
Kelsey Perkins
Penelope Powell
James Power
Jeff Prystupa
Frank Puett
Ray Purdy
David Randall
Adam Richards
D Ripple
Pati Rowland
Bruce Russell
Milan Sefcik
Grant Shangreaux
Conner Shepherd
Ken Simko
Audrey Siow
Jim Skvorc
Lori Stephenson
Tibor Sulyak
John Sutjak
George Sylvester
Cheryl Sylvester
Bret Taylor
Shelley Terrill
Bryan Thayer
Julie Thornton
Ruth Thurston
Barb Tidd
Carolyn Vaclavik
Gabrielle Waters
Ed Watson
Brad Weismann
Lisa Wheeler
John Wise
Sarah Wise
Walt Young
Jon Zadra
Tom Zieber


Tom Abbott
Justin Adam
Cynthia Allred-Jackson
Paul Ammon
Brian Anderson
Sue Angel
Heather Anthony
Christine Armitage
John B. Armstrong
Costen Aytes
Robert Bachicha
Larry Bacon
Susan Baker
Chuck Baker
Ted Ballard
Tracy Ballard
Brian Bartel
Laura Bassett
Nicole Beaudoin
Dawn Beck
Lisa Benner
Francis Bessler
Elizabeth Betwixt
Andy Beyer
Mary-Frances Bigoney
David Bisenius
Doug Blondin
Bill Boro
Joseph Boyle
Senia Bozova
Finn Bramlett
Sugandha Brooks
Sarah Brubaker
Richard Buchanan
Cyndi Buck
Kim Buehre
Sam Bullington
David Busch
Nichole Calagias
Melanie Carlone
Georgia Carr
Cary Carter
Jordan Carter
Jessica Catinella
Mike Catura
Bill Chandler
Jessica Chernila
Gordon Chu
Paul Clark
Julie Cool
Jerry Cooper
Anthony Corino
Gabby Cortes
Max Cottingham
Scott Creevy
Chuck Cummings
Asa Darnell
Julie Dauer
Brenda Davies
Houston Davis
Ian Davis
Andre Dayley
Alex Decarli
Crystal Delrios
Josh Denbaum
Allen Denoyer
Stuart Dimson
Curt Dodson
Bonnie Doman
Trish Donahue
Penny Drucker
David Drucker
Bridget Dvorak
Sarah Eisenbud
Sandra Ely
Madeline Estin
James Evans
Trisha Evans
Jeannine Falcon
Jesse Falcon-Musik
Sundara Fawn
Debra Fazekas
Jeff Felton
Matt Fernandez
Barbara Fix
Dan Floom
Brian Flores
Cory Forrester
Angela Galik
Kaitlin Ganoung
Ronald Garchar
Jason Garvin
Kaiya Gates
Jessica George
Sarah Gershuny
William Roy Glaser
Cindy Goins
Nathan Good
John Graham
Andrew Granville
Justin Grinwis
Kristin Gushurst
Steven Gustafson
Gary Hall
Kevin Hammond
Henry Harding
Dan Hare
Diane Harris
Scott Harvey
Tim Hawkins
Ruth Heal
Sandrine Heine
Carrie Henrichs
Mark Herzog
Jennifer Hickman
Collin Hiew
Pam Hill
Jennifer Himelick
Jim Hinde
David Hinojosa
Terry Hirschlieb
Chris Holloway
Sharon Holte
Miles Horn
Robin Howell
Jim Huff
Lee Hurter
Seth Jacob
Robert Jacques
Jason Johns
Florence Jones
Brittany Jones
Tres Jones
John Jones
Melissa Joss
Jennifer Kaercher
Dave Kaiser
Tammy Kaiser
Elizabeth Karras
Cynthia Keith-Schosid
Ian Kelly
Tom Kilijanek
Rick Kingston
Kristin Kinseth
Nathan Knecht
Cele Knight
Bob Knous
Jeff Krueger
Erik Lang
Andrew Larkin
Ryan Laverdiere
Kathleen Lawler
Mindy Leary
A.C. Lee
Buffy Lenth
Nityamo Lian
Andrew Lipman
Christine Lowry
Matt Loy
Ric Lum
Helen Lyon
Silvino Lyra
Ruth Malman
Curtis Manning
Jetha Marek
Daniel Martin
Leon Mazeika
Scott McCurdy
Sean McDonald
Loretta McEhiney
Layle McFatridge
Andy McKean
Jillian McNeilly
Martha McPherson
David Meens
Dan Meyers
Richard Mietz
Jennifer Miles
Nick Mondragon
Barbara Monroe
Jim Monroe
Jason Montoya
Krista Moore
Barbara Moriarty
Dave Moross
Larissa Morris
George Mossman
Todd Muchow
Gregg Mugele
David Musante
Edith Musselwhite
Angela Myers
Mike Nagle
Theresa Nazzal
Christopher Neal
Nikesha Nelson
Mike Nelson
Lindsay Nerad
Noel Newnam
Khanh Nguyen
Dusti Nichols
Bruce Nusbaum
Amie Oakley
Karin Olsen
Candice Orlando
Norma Ortiz
Annie Pace
Tom Page
Morgan Pagliuca
Baitsar Papazian
Dave Peake
Steven Penn
Mick Perry
Kate Pino
Mike Plotnick
Debbie Plotnick
Demetrios Politopoulos
Sarah Poston
Ryan Powanda
Russ Preister
Lucy Queeney
Pamela Ramadei
Suzanne Real
Montie Reese
Kayleen Reeve
David Reilly
Joe Reininger
Nick Rennie
Ralph Reschke
Ashley Risinger
Alan Robbins
Alastair Robertson
Diana Roddy
Lauri Rogers
Jennifer Rolley
Andrew Romero
Miriam Rosenblum
Caitlin Roth
Suzanne Rouge
Wojciech Rychlik
Jane Sampson
Anjaneya Sardonicus
Peter Satrun
Susan Schmidt
Randy Schultz
Chanel Scott
Ruby Seaton
Daniel Segard
Art Seyller
Jeff Shaw
Patrick Shea
Laura Shill
Sara Shiver
Bob Siles
Jamie Slusser
Wayne Smart
Randall Snodgrass
Valerie Soraci
Devin Stallings
Kirtan Starkweather
Jane Steinberg
Ginger Stolmar
Bill Stone
Mya Strasser
Sharon Sucharski
Wesley Swartz
Malaya Swartz
Randy Sweat
Mandy Szakacs
Lauren Taylor
Lauren Tejeda
Malachi Tharp
Jeff Thompson
Bonnie Thompson
George Thornton
Fred Todd
Therese Tran
Nolan Tredway
Raymond Turner
Derek Van Atta
Hannah Van Eendenburg
Laura Vance
Brent Vandever
Skylar VanSteemburg
Rodolfo Vasquez
Mary Verhoeven
Suzanne VerSchure
Meghan Vesely
Beverly Wadman
Evelyn Waggoner
Royce Waggoner
Allison Wallace
Greg Walljasper
Debbie Watkins
Dan Wayne
John Webb
Page Weil
Paul Weppler
Tommy West
Erica West
Laura Wetendorf
Mark Wier
Rhea Wiersema
Kerry Wilke
Tim Williams
Shelly Wilson
Amber Wilson
Kevin Wilson
Alison Wilson
Everett Wilson
Brenna Witt
Jonathan Wolfe
Erich Wonsavage
Anthony Wright
David Yokiel
Matt Zakrajsek
Julie Zavage

Last modified on Sunday, 16 June 2019 17:15

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.