Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection
P.O. Box 421
La Veta, CO 81055
(719) 717-0930

About Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection

About Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection

Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection

Following the devastation from the Spring Creek Fire in 2018, Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection, a non-profit Colorado corporation with 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt status, was created, with the mission to collaboratively protect the Spanish Peaks area and wildlife from the impact of destructive events.

SPAWP facilitated the transition of a team of interested and concerned citizens, various governmental agencies and organizations as we took the early work done by the USFS Community Mitigation Assistance Teams (CMAT) from a concept to a functioning organization.

It was clear to SPAWP that fire mitigation should not just be left to the individual property owners, and that a concerted effort to minimize the impact of wildfires and flooding had to be established.

SPAWP is servicing projects and restoration efforts in Huerfano County, Alamosa County, Costilla County, and Las Animas County.

Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to collaboratively protect the Spanish Peaks area and wildlife from the impact of destructive events.

Our Objectives

  • 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

Leadership Team:

Craig Yenzer, President at SPAWP Board of Directors

Craig Yenzer

Craig Yenzer graduated from Oklahoma State University with degrees in physical education and mathematics. Coach Yenzer began his coaching career in Newkirk, Oklahoma, eventually becoming the Head Football Coach and Athletic Coordinator to the Midland High Bulldogs. Craig was honored by the Texas House of Representatives with a Joint Resolution congratulating his excellence in his 38-year career in education, coaching and administration.

Craig developed many skill sets during his coaching career including organization of programs, working with budgets, personnel and staffing management, community advocacy, and relations development. He was a contributing member of the administrative staffs of two large Texas High Schools.

Craig and his wife Tammy have been coming to Cuchara for over 40 years. Their love for Cuchara is now five generations deep.

Cody Siebert, Vice President at SPAWP Board of Directors

Cody Siebert
Vice President

Cody Siebert'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 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.

Sandy Magruder, Secretary at SPAWP Board of Directors

Sandy Magruder

Sandy Magruder is a registered nurse, case manager and former business owner.

Sandy 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.

Sherri Jones, Treasurer at SPAWP Board of Directors

Sherri Jones

Sherri Jones holds a B.B.A. in Accounting and has been a Certified Public Accountant for 35 years (public firm and self-employed.)

Sherri has been a Fee-based Financial Advisor for 18 years and is a Graduate of Leadership San Angelo. Sherri's volunteer work has included: Cuchara Chapel (current Treasurer); San Angelo Cultural Arts Council (President); Junior League of San Angelo (Project Leader and Committee Chairman); Angelo Civic Theatre (Fundraising Chairman); Leadership San Angelo Alumni Assn. (Committee Chairman); Texas Theatre 1929 Restoration Feasibility Committee (Chairman).

Sherri has been married for 40 years to Bill Jones (part time resident of this valley for 67 years). Together they have three kids and 4 grandkids and split their time between San Angelo, TX and Cuchara, CO.

Directors At Large:

Janna Laudato, Director At Large at SPAWP Board of Directors

Janna Laudato

Janna Laudato 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.

Brad Snow, Director At Large at SPAWP Board of Directors

Brad Snow

Brad Snow is a part time resident of Cuchara and is otherwise in Austin, Texas. He is a self-employed environmental consultant who focuses on the investigation, risk assessment, and remediation of contaminated soil, groundwater, and surface water at industrial sites. Health and safety considerations are crucial elements in implementing his work.

Brad's professional experience includes enterprise-wide strategic planning, management of business operations, project management (including subcontractor management), sales and proposal preparation, and technical and regulatory consulting for private sector clients in a wide variety of industries. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geological Engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Brad is a registered Professional Engineer and Professional Geologist in multiple states.

He is very involved in his church's activities, particularly for missions-related work and church planning and governance. Brad is very passionate about the natural environment and its preservation.

Sanford Rodger Thompson, Jr., Director At Large at SPAWP Board of Directors

Sanford Rodger Thompson, Jr.

Sanford Rodger Thompson, Jr. MD. was born in Texas about fifty miles south of Houston. After college at Abilene Christian University, his wife Beverly (San Antonio) and he lived in Galveston where he attended the University of Texas Medical Branch while Beverly taught elementary school.

After an orthopedic surgery residency with Tulane University, he returned to his home town, Lake Jackson, Texas, where he practiced orthopedic surgery for forty years while Beverly and he began a family, raising their daughter Shelley and son Trey. Shelley practices nurse anesthesia in San Marcos and Trey is president of a steel fabrication company in Fort Worth. Each have brought them great joy and two wonderful grandchildren each.

Beverly and he bought their home in Cuchara 27 years ago and have enjoyed more time here since their retirement five years ago. They have been impressed with the wonderful people living in this special area of God's creation and look forward to serving with the Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection.

Previous Board Members

Honoring our past Retired Board Members for their hard work and dedicated volunteer service to the support and preservation of our SPAWP Charitable Nonprofit Organization and Communities.

  • Retired President - Doug Fry
  • Retired Board Member - Will Smith
  • Retired Secretary/Treasurer - James Ramsey
  • Retired Board Member - Jim Littlefield
  • Board Founding Member - Mark Worgan
  • Supporting Founding Member - Jim Berg
  • Supporting Founding Member - Paul Branson