Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection
P.O. Box 421
La Veta, CO 81055
(432) 238-1157

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.

The SPAWP Logo Artwork Story

"Hello and welcome to our Organization, please allow us to explain what Our Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection Logo artwork Represents - You'll notice the familiar beloved sister mountain silhouette of the Sangre de Cristo Spanish Peaks Mountains with the threat of the over cast of the red wildfire flame looming, over the Snow White covered peaks that provides the snow melt helping to supply the critical watershed for our communities rivers drinking water supply. We ultimately work to help protect these lands, wildlife, communities and river systems from overly devastating fire damage, hence notice the blue river in the logo is purposely shaped like an " S " which stands for SPAWP!" …It is said that the many explorers found or buried gold in these mountains, all we can say is that the area is golden to our hearts đŸ’• which brings me to our Mission Statement….Thank you in advance for your support!

Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection Logo

The "Simple Six" SPAWP Value Objectives & Deliverables

  1. Increasing Public Volunteer hours - That benefit communities and Grant required matching objectives.
  2. Increasing the people/organization Member Contact List - all attendees to any function or project "must" provide all: name, address, email and phone numbers or they should not attend or be admitted.
  3. Asking every participant - Raising money by Memberships, Donations, Community Organization, Business Sponsors - sustaining the organizations operations, Executive Directors & Mitigation Coordinators positions and the survival of the Non-profit to do the work.
  4. Increasing the number of people educated/served - As in our mission statement and Grant project requirements.
  5. Increasing the number of High Value Alliances* - * Repeated personal connections with High Value Alliances, other Non-profit charities, Govt Agencies, Fire Fighting Agencies, Corp Sponsors, Grantors, Foundations, etc.
  6. Increasing the total number of Acres Mitigated - As in our mission statement and high priority objective of project and grant work.

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.

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.

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.

Directors At Large:

Steven Davis, Director At Large at SPAWP Board of Directors

Steven Davis

Steven Davis and his wife Lisa Garrison relocated to Cuchara, Colorado in early 2020 after purchasing a home there in July of 2019. Steven loves spending his weekends hiking the many trails around the Spanish Peaks area.

Steven has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Houston. He began his career as an aerospace engineer designing solid rocket motors for space, tactical and strategic applications used by NASA and the U.S. military branches. He transitioned into software development for NASA's Space Shuttle Ascent Guidance, Navigation and Control flight software and data analysis in the aerospace industry.

Steven has worked for the last twenty-one years as a Director of Data Science, a Technical DIrector, and a Technical Architect in the marketing, advertising, and consulting industries. He has specialized in building technical solutions, designing digital marketing campaigns, and generating business insights using data analytics. He has done work for many client companies. From large Fortune 500 brands like Google, Sherwin-Williams, BASF, ConAgra Foods, and Bayer; to U.S. government agencies like the FDA, FEMA, and CDC; all the way down to small local non-profits.

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

Daniela Lawrence
Director of Grants and Support Projects

Daniela Lawrence holds a Master of Science in Architecture from the University of Buenos Aires and has 15 years of experience in construction, project management, facility planning, property maintenance, sustainability practices, and design (both in the private and government sectors).

Her excellent client management and communication skills have allowed her to work in many aspects of the profession while handling very different types of clients. Previous experience includes: community planner, facility operations specialist, superintendent in the field, logistics coordinator, project manager and designer. Combined with her three-language proficiency, this experience has provided a platform for multiple professional positions around the globe to include the US, Japan, Italy and Argentina.

Daniela currently lives in Colorado Springs with her husband Adam and their two children, Gunnar and Teddy, where she serves as the "Facility Planning and Sustainability Manager" at the US Air Force Academy. Daniela and Adam fell in love with the Cuchara and Spanish Peak area and are committed to protecting its beauty and wonderful community.

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

Dawn Lervik
Project Director

Dawn Lervik has an MS in Mechanical Engineering and worked most recently as an R&D Product Development Project Manager with Keysight Technologies until her retirement in late 2021. She grew up in Bismarck and attended North Dakota State University as well as Arizona State University. Her work experience in the electronics and automotive industries have taken her to Michigan, Arizona, California before settling 20 years ago in Colorado.

Dawn has a passion for working with talented teams to improve process, resolve issues and creatively solve problems. As a new board member, she is excited to use her professional expertise working with the fantastic SPAWP team as a grant program manager which provide financial support for the adoption of forest fire mitigation best practices in Huerfano county and surrounding areas.

Dawn and her husband Jason, a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at University of Denver, currently live in Monument, Colorado. They spend significant time enjoying and exploring the beautiful Cuchara Valley and surrounding area, based out of their home near the Cuchara Mountain Park.

Executive Director

Executive Director

Pending Position

Pending Position

Wildfire Mitigation Specialist

Wildfire Mitigation Specialist

Pending Position

Pending Position

Committee Chair Assignments

  • Nominating and Advisory Council. Cody Siebert and Craig Yener
  • Grants. Daniela Lawrence
  • Grant Administration. Dawn Lervik
  • Fundraising and Membership. Sherri Jones
  • Outreach and Education. Rodger Thompson
  • Finance. Sherri Jones.

Advisory Council Members

  • Marshall Moore
  • Ron Jameson
  • John Robinson
  • Will Jones
  • Jared Fleming
  • Paul Branson
  • Marnee Camp

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 Director At Large - Sanford Rodger Thompson, Jr. MD.
  • Retired President - Doug Fry
  • Retired Board Member - Will Jones
  • Retired Secretary/Treasurer - James Ramsey
  • Retired Board Member - Sandy Magruder
  • Retired Director - Janna Laudato
  • Retired Board Member - Jim Littlefield
  • Board Founding Member - Mark Worgan
  • Supporting Founding Member - Jim Berg
  • Supporting Founding Member - Paul Branson