Associate State Director
Laura manages the Conservancy’s programs in the Rio Grande, Gila and San Juan basins, and leads the Rio Grande Water Fund. She has been with the Conservancy since 2005, including seven years as the Conservancy’s National Policy Advisor for fire management and forest restoration.
Laura’s prior work includes more than a decade with the USDA Forest Service as a firefighter and planner in Idaho, California, Vermont and New Hampshire. She has also worked for a State Forester and the Santa Fe-based Forest Guild.
Laura’s professional life was significantly altered by the Cerro Grande Fire in 2000, which fostered her interest in fire and forest restoration policy, and Las Conchas Fire in 2011, with its post-fire debris flows that deepened her concern for water source protection.
Laura enjoys her role building bridges that connect people to nature, including land and water managers, and urban, rural and traditional cultural communities. She has earned several awards for her work including the Society of American Foresters’ Young Forester Leadership Award in 1998, New Mexico Environmental Leader of the Year in 2015, and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Distinguished Alumna Award in 2017.