Conservation Leadership Series


One of the most critical jobs of a land conservation organization, especially one that is in the business of perpetual land stewardship, is to ensure a connection to the next generation. To address this need, Colorado Open Lands created the Conservation Leadership Series.

The Conservation Leadership Series engages a cohort of young professionals from diverse industries in a nine-month, immersive educational experience that weaves together a series of briefings, field experiences, and networking opportunities to learn about the issues and complexities of land and water conservation. The goal of the program is for graduates to integrate their learning into their professional and personal lives, ultimately cultivating a strong conservation ethic across the state. It simultaneously educates and inspires a new generation of conservation champions while providing Colorado Open Lands with an invaluable connection to our state’s emerging leadership.

Since 2017, 51 emerging leaders from a variety of professional occupations have graduated from the Conservation Leadership Series!

We are currently recruiting participants for the 2023 cohort! To view the program details, click here.

To express your interest in the program for 2023 or 2024, please submit your information here and we will be in contact with more information.


There is no better evaluation of the impact of the Conservation Leadership Series program than one written by first-year participant Emily Orbanek as she described her experience:

“While many kids not raised in the outdoors develop a sense of value of the land, especially in a state like Colorado, that sense does not always translate to an understanding of how the land impacts our quality of life, or why conservation is important. Colorado Open Lands’ Conservation Leadership Series is changing that paradigm by engaging young leaders from across all sectors – business, tech, law, real estate, finance – and showing them how the land enriches their lives.

Building a land and conservation ethic in the next generation of business and political leaders is critical for the future success of a state with an economy rooted in land-based activities like agriculture and outdoor recreation. Colorado Open Lands is meeting that challenge, bringing future leaders together to build a foundation of understanding and a deep love of the land that will last for generations, and ensure that Colorado will continue to be a place where people come to experience the outdoors through exploration and adventure, forever.”


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