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 Program staff, on matters related to open space, trails, and parks.
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
Judy Kowalski 3 years, expires January 2014
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.
Michael Patrick is a project manager with the environmental nonprofit The Trust for Public Land. I have been working for TPL for nine years in the practice of ‘conservation real estate’ to protect lands throughout the Southwestern states. In this role, I have been responsible for the acquisition of 25+ properties (or conservation easements) from private landowners and conveying the lands to a variety of federal and state agencies, counties and cities for long-term conservation, protecting over 10,000 acres of important land with a market value in excess of $26 million. I also own (with my wife, Dr. Lynore Martinez) and manage Eden Medispa, a Santa Fe medical practice. Prior to moving to Santa Fe, I had worked for 15 years in the oil and gas industry including technical, financial and international business development assignments. I have an engineering degree from Texas A&M University and a Masters in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management. Lynore and I have lived in Santa Fe since 2000, and have two (amazing) young children.
Coleman Burnett is an Environmental Specialist with the NM Department of Transportation. Coleman has lived in New Mexico for 8 years, while working as a natural resources planner in various professional capacities. In the role as natural resources planner, Coleman has become very familiar with the need to design and construct development projects within the context of the surrounding environment and community. She has served on the federal Technical Advisory Panel for the U.S. Forest Service’s Collaborative Forest Restoration Program (CFRP), which provides funding recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture for community-based forestry restoration projects in New Mexico. Coleman is an avid user of public land in northern New Mexico, including Santa Fe County open space and trails. She is proud to be a resident of Santa Fe County because of the shared dedication to conserving open spaces held by the community and led by the County.
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.
Melissa Pardeahton Houser, Native to Santa Fe Melissa is grateful to assist the Santa Fe County Open Space and Trails program in preserving and connecting her local stomping grounds. Melissa is the Conservation and Development Coordinator for the Santa Fe Conservation Trust, a local land trust that works with private landowners to preserve their properties. In addition to the conservation and stewardship experience gained working for SFCT, Melissa has experience in the areas of financial administration, office management, database system administration, customer service and marketing. With a Master of Philosophy from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and a Bachelor of Arts from Pitzer College Melissa obtained solid training in research, writing, proofreading and analysis. Melissa's background in theatre and sales give her exceptional communication, organizational and computer skills. An avid outdoors woman, environmentalist, and vegan chef, Melissa hopes to offer an educated, young, enthusiastic voice to the committee.
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.
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.
2013 Meeting Agendas
Agenda: June 20, 2013
2012 Meeting Agendas