County Open Lands, Trails and Parks Advisory Committee (COLTPAC)

Resolution 2011-4 Creating the County Open Lands, Trails, and Parks Advisory Committee (COLTPAC)

The purpose of the Committee is to advise the BCC, acting through and with the assistance of the Open Space and Trails staff, on matters related to open space, trails, and parks.
The duties and responsibilities of the Committee are:

  • Assist with County-wide and site-specific open space, trails and parks planning
  • Evaluate applications by property owners and to recommend to the BCC property to be acquired for open space, trails, and parks
  • Advise on the funding for the Open Space and Trails Program
  • Examine and make changes to the criteria for property selection when necessary
  • Establish volunteer subcommittees to address specific concerns for open space and trails and parks
  • Work with County staff to provide public outreach

The Committee is made up of nine (9) members appointed by the BCC. All Committee members shall reside within Santa Fe County. One member shall be appointed by each Commissioner from residents of their Commission District; the remaining members shall be at- large and may reside in any area of the County and be nominated by any Commissioner.

Member and Term

Dave Dannenberg, Chair, District 4 Representative, term expires December 2016
Zach Taylor, Vice-Chair, District 2 Representative, term expires December 2015
Devin Bent, District 1 Representative, term expires December 2015
VACANT, District 3 Representative, term expires December 2016
John Parker, District 5 Representative, term expires December 2015
Ernesto Ortega, At-Large Representative, term expires December 2015
Patricia Conoway, At-Large Representative, term expires December 2016
VACANT, At-Large Representative, term expires December 2016
Judy Kowalski, At-Large Representative, term expires December 2016 (Second Term)

Member Biographies

Dave Dannenberg is founder and CTO of software startup Audible Logic. Audible Logic provides software for news media outlets that enables them to deliver news to the billions and growing market of mobile smart phones and tablets. Audible Logic has provided software and services to media companies such as The Economist and Sony, among others. Before moving to New Mexico, Dave worked at Intel Corporation in Phoenix as CTO of their networking business. He has also held roles as General Manager of Intel’s processor businesses. Dave has an Electrical Engineering degree from Georgia Institute of Technology and was honored on the Most Distinguished Alumni Roles of 2001. He began his career designing semiconductor devices and high performance microprocessor chips used in in a variety of everyday devices such as printers, cars and cash registers. Dave has lived in New Mexico for the past 13 years. He is an enthusiast for all things outdoors and regularly hikes and bikes the area's spectacular trails. Dave lives in Santa Fe County with his wife Mary Ellen, 4 kids and 1 dog.

Zach Taylor is a native to Santa Fe and has been hiking, biking and playing in the open spaces in and around Santa Fe his whole life. Currently he is a program director at The MASTERS Program Charter High School and has been actively working in public education for nine years. He co-teaches an environmental science class and creates service expeditions for his students to work with organizations like Earth Care, the Santa Fe Watershed Associations and the Santa Fe Horse shelter. Zach has experience working directly with Earth Care on a number of sustainability projects in Santa Fe. He has served on or participated with a variety of city and county policy groups including the Santa Fe Living River Task Force, The Arts in Santa Fe task force and The Agua Fria Village Association. Zach has a master’s degree in Social Justice with an emphasis on education transformation. He is also Adjunct Faculty at the Santa Fe Community College, where he teaches a Service Leadership class.

Devin Bent’s professional qualifications are in the areas of politics, policy analysis, and public administration with a Ph.D. in Public Law and Government from Columbia University. Academic honors include National Merit Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa, National Science Foundation Fellow, and National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow. Dr. Bent taught for most of his career at James Madison University where he served as Chair of the Department of the Political Science and Public Administration, Speaker of the Faculty Senate, Founding Director of the Small Business Development Center, and Founding Director of the James Madison Center. He was honored with the Outstanding Teacher Award. He took time off from teaching to serve in consulting or other roles with the Executive Office of the President of the United States, the Office of the Army Chief of Staff, the Mayor of Atlanta, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Idaho National Engineering Lab, and the Virginia Small Business Development Center. He was honored with the [Army] Commander’s Award for Civilian Service and the [Atlanta] Mayor’s Outstanding Service Award. For the last eight years, he has experimented with approaches to increased water retention, soil and indigenous vegetation restoration, and animal habitat improvement on his 5.15 acres in the Nambé Badlands. Devin’s wife Judy is a practicing psychotherapist in Nambé, and his daughter Jenny heads her own literary agency in New York City. His son John is a Senior Consulting Engineer with EMC2.

John Parker was born in New Jersey, but came to New Mexico at the age of seven when his family moved to Los Alamos, NM where his father had taken an engineering job with Los Alamos National Laboratory. John enjoyed skiing and hiking in the mountains of northern New Mexico and Colorado. Soon other outdoor activities like river-running, rock-climbing, and cycling became favorite pastimes. (We won’t talk about motorcycles and sports cars.) John has a B.S. in Biology from UNM and an M.A. in Biology from the University of Nebraska. He is retired from the New Mexico Environment Department, where he worked beginning in 1984. John began as an environmental health specialist in Grants, and later worked in Santa Fe for the Radiation Protection Bureau, Ground Water Bureau, and Hazardous and Radioactive Materials Bureau. John was the Bureau Chief of the DOE Oversight Bureau, and the Radiation Control Bureau. John lives in Santa Fe with his wife Laurie. Their two grown children, Jessica and Ayla also live in the area. His hobbies include hiking, skiing, mountain biking and home renovation (he built most of the solar adobe where his family lives.) Newest pastime is trail building and maintenance. John volunteers with the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society, Trails Alliance and Eldorado Community Improvement Association.

Ernesto W. Ortega: A native New Mexican was born and raised in La Madera, Rio Arriba County, New Mexico. He is a graduate of New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM (B.A. 1967 History major and English/Speech minor and M.A. 1970 in History with an emphasis in the Spanish Colonial Period). Ortega taught English at East Las Vegas Junior High School (1967-1970) and English/Speech at Pojoaque High School (1970-1974). Ortega joined the National Park Service in 1974 and had assignments in New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas, South Dakota and Washington D.C. He served as chief ranger, superintendent and Associate Regional Director Park Operations during his career. Ortega was active in the National Park Service/Department of the Interior International Affairs program and served as a consultant in park management, environmental protection and heritage preservation in Costa Rica, Venezuela, El Salvador, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico and Spain. After his retirement from the National Park Service (1974) he served as deputy director and director of the Division of State Monuments in the NM Department of Cultural Affairs from October 1975 to March 1, 2010. Ortega has served as one of two advisors for New Mexico in the Board of Advisors to the National Trust for Historic Preservation for the past 8 years and is a long-time member of the NM Heritage Preservation Alliance.


Patricia Conoway arrived in Santa Fe in October 1993 with a used GMC Jimmy and five suitcases from Sheridan Wyoming, where she worked for Eaton’s Guest Ranch the prior summer. Before that, she’d lived almost four years in Sydney, Australia, working with DDB Needham Worldwide, a multinational ad agency as Vice President, Senior Account Director on Microsoft, Wrigley and new business. This followed ten years in Manhattan. She chose Santa Fe to start life over because it was unlike any other place she’d lived i.e., a small town, with no high rises, a vast, clear blue sky, easy access to the outdoors, and cultural diversity. She established an advertising and PR consulting business, managed rental properties, and realized her life-long dream of owning a horse. She is a member of Back Country Horsemen and has developed a deep appreciation of the spectacular beauty that is unique to New Mexico. Patricia is an advocate for balancing development, conservation, and public access to Santa Fe County’s open spaces and grateful for the opportunity to help in moving forward with open space planning and management.

Judy Kowalski is a New Mexico licensed landscape architect and avid outdoorswoman who has lived in New Mexico for more than 20 years. As the current landscape architect for New Mexico State Parks, she has the opportunity to travel to some of New Mexico’s most beautiful places on a regular basis. State Park projects have included designing the landscapes for the new visitor center at Eagle Nest Lake State Park and the new education building at Rio Grande Nature Center, as well as salt cedar eradication and native plant restoration at Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, and trail designs for Heron Lake and Elephant Butte Lake State Parks. As a cultural landscape architect intern for the National Park Service in Santa Fe, Judy developed a great appreciation for historic landscapes and their preservation—she completed a cultural landscape report on the Santa Fe Plaza as an employee of MRWM, Ltd., Landscape Architects, in 2006. Prior to becoming a landscape architect, Judy obtained diverse experience in the natural resources fields of mining, forestry, pollution prevention, and waste management. Previous public service work includes two years as a commissioner on the Albuquerque Environmental Planning Commission and a year as a volunteer to the Santa Fe County Open Space Program designing the San Ysidro River Park river restoration for her Master’s Thesis. Favorite outdoor activities include hiking, cross country and downhill skiing, and motorcycling. Judy has a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of New Mexico, a Master of Science degree in Mineral Economics from the University of Arizona, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and International Relations from the University of Delaware.

Committee Liaison
Maria Lohmann, Senior Planner – Open Space and Trails
Phone (505) 995-2774
melohmann@santafecountynm.gov


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2016 Meeting Documents

January

Agenda 1-6-2016
January 6, 2016: No Minutes - Meeting Canceled
Agenda 1-13-2016

February

Agenda 2-3-2016

March

Agenda 3-2-2016

May

Agenda 5-4-2016