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Christine Canaly

Bachelor of Science 

Writing and Production Planning

Ohio University 

Chris joined SLVEC in June 2000.  She mobilized key local and regional constituencies to support legislation for the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve Act 0f 2000 and received congressional recognition for her efforts. In coordination with the EPA Region 8, she enjoined with SLV community leaders to prioritize environmental health protocols which have since engaged over 1,000 households in educational forums for protecting their indoor air and water quality through mitigation and regular household maintenance. Chris developed a solar/transmission working group in 2009 that had a tremendous impact on renewable energy awareness and continues in pursuit of strategy for distributed solar generation. She has participated with core teams to develop other SLV conservation organizations including: Citizens for San Luis Valley Water, which opposed a trans-basin water diversion; EPA TAG Summitville mine oversight and clean up; Rio Grande Headwaters Landtrust: Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area and is currently collaborating with Conejos Clean Water to structure a USDA RUS Solid Waste Management and EPA Recycling Plan for the SLV. Before moving to the SLV in 1988, she worked as an engineer with CNN Headlines in Atlanta, Georgia and NBC News in New York City.

Christine is the recipient of several awards: 

  • EPA Environmental Stewardship Award, 2008.

  • The Jasper Carlton "Activist in the Trenches" Award, presented by the Rocky Mountain Wild BOD, 2015

  • Fund For Wild Nature Grassroots Activist of the Year, 2017

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Anna Lee Vargas
Project Manager

Anna Lee Vargas is a sixth generation San Luis Valley (SLV) Native born and raised in Manassa, Colorado. She attended Adams State University where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Welfare and Spanish, Liberal Arts.

Anna Lee describes herself as a natural born advocate and community leader who is passionate about protecting the land, water, and people of the San Luis Valley. She loves
working with kids and feels fortunate to have worked with youth at her previous employment, Conejos Clean Water, as well as a Prevention Specialist for the San Luis Valley
Community Mental Health Center (now the San Luis Valley Behavioral Health Group) and Parent Partner for the Monte Vista Migrant Head Start. With a decade of experience in
community organizing, facilitation, advocacy, and project management, Anna Lee has been a strong organizer and advocate for environmental, social, economic, and food justice issues in the San Luis Valley. While working with Conejos Clean Water, Anna Lee is known for having led the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument Expansion Campaign, working with the Navajo Nation to stop oil and gas leases, facilitating with partners a San Luis Valley Solid
Waste Diversion and Recycling Taskforce, helping gather quantitative and qualitative data for a San Luis Valley Waste Diversion Study, helping a local pharmacy implement the Medication Take Back Program and receptacle, and working with youth, youth leadership,
environmental education (Hands on the Land), youth outings, and a youth advisory council. Her advocacy has taken her from her small town in the SLV to the steps of the United States Capitol in Washington DC.


Anna Lee currently serves on the Board of Directors of Great Old Broads for Wilderness and the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area. She is also part of Soul Players of the Valley, Capulin and serves on the Capulin Leadership Development Team.

Anna Lee is proud of her professional accomplishments but considers her greatest accomplishment as being a mama to her wonderful daughter.

Claire Barker
Volunteer Office Manager, Programs

Claire is a Colorado native of foreign parentage. She's got a good handle on group dynamics from her experience shepherding a small herd of dairy goats and sheep for the past 28 years. She also worked as a Registered Nurse in many SLV health facilities.


Claire and her hubby run away to the hills as often as possible with their horses. Volunteerism has been an integral part of her contribution, working for La Leche, area schools, 4H, SLV community event planning, Back Country Horsemen, and now SLVEC. This speaks to Claire has immense concerns over the legacies of the environment, health, energy, community, 

parenting, and the economy that will confront future generations.


Daily, she aims to cultivate gratitude and hope.

Read more about our Current Issues:

Renewable Water Resources

We are involved in investigating Renewable Water Resources.  We encourage the protection of water quality and ongoing well testing for the San Luis Valley.


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Wolf Creek Pass

​Since 1986, a proposal has been underway to build a resort complex next to the ski area. This development is still a possibility.   


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Rio Grande
National Forest Plan

The RGNF encompasses over 1.8 million acres in southwestern Colorado, boasting multiple alpine peaks and critical headwaters' areas.


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