Our mission is to collaboratively protect the Spanish Peaks area and wildlife from the impact of destructive events.
Our specific objectives of this organization are:
- to formulate, update and use the master plan generated for the Spanish Peaks region to identify critical areas for reduction of high-density fuels in surrounding forests, protection of high value watersheds and creation of wildfire defensible spaces around dwellings, property and infrastructure;
- to educate the public on the need and benefit of wildfire mitigation activities on both private and public lands;
- to support Firewise Communities through outreach, funding for their activities, training and professional expertise and to encourage formation of additional Firewise Communities.
- to secure matching grants for property and home owners to encourage reduction of ground fuels and creation of wildfire defensible spaces on their properties;
- to secure funding and coordinate with relevant agencies to mitigate wildfire risks to evacuation routes to permit safe and timely evacuation in case of wildfire;
- to coordinate and collaborate with county, state and federal agencies to obtain funding to mitigate wildfire risks, protect watersheds, infrastructure, wildlife and communities, and create healthy forests and landscapes.
Board of Directors
President – Doug Fry, USAF LtCol (r)
Born and raised in Denver, Doug attended High School in Western Kansas before entering the USAF Academy. His time in the Air Force took him to several states, Europe and South Korea. Retiring from the USAF after 20 years, he coached Division 1 soccer at Creighton University before entering the technology world as a salesman of hardware, software and engineering services for companies such as HP. Upon final retirement he and his wife, Cendy, moved to their log home on Silver Mountain in Majors Ranch. They have three grown children (two in USAF) and nine grandchildren. Doug golfs, hunts, kayaks and occasionally substitute teaches in La Veta. In addition to SPAWP, Doug serves on the Majors Ranch FIREWISE Board and the Majors Ranch POA Board.
Although 52 of their 55 acres of trees and grass were consumed by the Spring Fire of 2018, their house still stands due to Fire Mitigation efforts and the efforts of firefighters.
Vice President – Janna Laudato
Janna and her family have nearly a 100-year relationship with Cuchara. Her grandmother began spending summer vacations at the “Cuchara Camps” in the 1920s and her father, along with his brother and sisters, built their cabin in the early 1930s. In 2013, Janna and other homeowners in the Albright Addition formed the Cuchara West Firewise Community.
Janna’s professional career has included grant writing for Booz-Allen and program planning and service on the Board of Directors for the Chartered Financial Analysts Society of Washington DC. She currently evaluates investments for Hauser Private Equity.
Secretary – Jim Littlefield
Jim graduated from New Hampshire College in the early 70s and spent the next 25 years working in various roles for two global chemical companies. For the last 18 years, as a member of USC Consulting Group, he has focused on helping mining and metals companies become more efficient and increase their profitability.
He and Peg, his wife of 46 years, have lived in Cuchara since moving to the area in 2000. He has held active leadership roles with the Cuchara Chapel, the publicly owned Cuchara Mountain Park and has been heavily involved in the La Veta Fire Protection District, both as a volunteer and, over the last few years, as the organization’s Board President. Following the devastation from the Spring Creek Fire in 2018, he facilitated the transition of a team of interested and concerned citizens, various governmental agencies and organizations as they took the early work done by the USFS Community Mitigation Assistance Teams (CMAT) from a concept to a functioning organization. Those efforts resulted in the formation of the Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection (SPAWP).
Treasurer – Jim Ramsey
Jim is a retired aerospace engineer and financial services programming supervisor. An advanced structures engineer by education, Jim spent most of his aerospace career working on spacecraft and the launch vehicles that delivered them to orbit. Following his aerospace career, he entered the financial services sector, eventually supervising a team of programmers dedicated to credit and debit card processing for credit unions.
Jim and his wife, Eileen, moved to Cuchara, Colorado in 2018 from California, having arrived just in time to be evacuated for the Spring fire. This experience provided the motivation to become involved in reducing the chances that such an event would reoccur in the region.
Directors At Large:
Sandy is a registered nurse, case manager and former business owner. She has extensive experience marketing to and working with state agencies and private companies. At her company, Medical Case Management, she trained and managed a team of registered nurses who worked throughout NM, TX, CO, and AZ. In addition, she developed a case management software system.
Sandy divides her time between Albuquerque, NM and the family cabin in Cuchara, CO. Cuchara is a special place for her and she hopes to help protect it from forest fire.
Cody’s mantra is: “Fire and water are as real as the air and soil; we seek harmony among them, not to be consumed by them!”
Cody has over 35 years of experience in the financial industry sector, including executive positions in some of the largest financial companies in the US, logistics operations, and private practice advisory consulting. She recently retired with honors as Infragard.org Sector Chief, Houston Alliance.
Cody is a graduate of FBI Infragard Alliance, Sector Chief Leadership Academy, a partnership for protection in seeking alliances between the private sectors and government/municipal agencies to promote support, learning and exchange of information relevant to the protection of critical US infrastructure from natural or instigated disasters. She is also a graduate of US Chamber of Commerce leadership training, which is focused on developing leadership skills and offering new approaches and solutions to community issues. She brings special knowledge in the areas of grants fiduciary responsibilities, community disaster recovery organization, and farming and ranching work processes that align with mitigation and recovery from flooding and wildfire damage.
Cody and her husband, John, are part-time resident of Cuchara, CO, having lost their former home of 16 years in Forbes Park in the 2018 Spring Fire.